In the 10 days or so since he reappeared on the cell network, Newton has seemed content to remain in the Timiskaming area of eastern Ontario, just 20 km (13 miles) from the Québec border. This is a pocket of open, flat farmland at the north end of Lake Timiskaming, more or less surrounded by boreal forest.
He’s been on the grounds of the Earlton (Timiskaming) Regional Airport, at times roosting at the end of the runway, which is never a good thing for a snowy owl, but from what I’ve been able to find online, there is no commercial air traffic there, just private charter and medivac flights, so hopefully this is not as dangerous a spot as a busier airport. Still, we’d be happier if he found a new favorite hangout.
Hochelaga hasn’t been in contract since uploading all of his accumulated data Jan. 14, which sucked a lot of voltage from his battery. We need some bright sun up in Montréal to bring the charge back up, but that’s asking a lot in that part of the world at this time of year, and the forecast is for more mostly or completely cloudy conditions. We go through this with a lot of our owls in January, when the combination of short days, low solar angle and inclement weather often mean transmitters brown out and go quiet for a while. I imagine he’ll be back in touch before long.
We haven’t heard from any other previously tagged owls, but the past week or two has seen a definite push of snowy owls into places where they have been rare or absent this winter, including the coast of Maine. Fingers crossed that Otter or one of the other owls out there with transmitters come down into the cell network.