The Pull of the North

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

Breaking, and very unwelcome news: As I was preparing to post this update, we learned that Roc, the adult female tagged by Tom McDonald’s team at the Douglass-Greater Rochester (NY) airport earlier this winter, was found dead along on off-ramp from I-390 close to the airport, the apparent victim of a vehicle collision. We’re grateful to the Monroe County Sheriff’s … Read More

Some TLC for Amherst

Scott WeidensaulUpdates10 Comments

One of our previously tagged owls to return last autumn was Amherst, an adult female captured in February 2020 on Amherst Island on Lake Ontario. She was fitted with what was then an experimental GSM cellular/Argos satellite hybrid transmitter. After she migrated north that spring we didn’t hear anything from her for another 19 months, until she came south last … Read More

Here, or There?

Scott WeidensaulUpdates7 Comments

To stay, or go: That is the question. Stella, one of our transmittered alumni, was originally tagged four years ago, in January 2018 on Amherst Island on the northeastern edge of Lake Ontario. She was a juvenile then, having hatched the previous summer. When she migrated north that spring, she swung wide to the west, up the western shore of … Read More

Late Yul-tide Greetings

Scott WeidensaulUpdates6 Comments

The last gift of Yuletide came a little late this year for Project SNOWstorm. On Sunday evening, Jan. 9, we were surprised and delighted to see that Yul — an adult female originally captured at the Montréal airport in November 2019, and named for that airport’s international code, YUL — had just made a late return from the North. What’s … Read More

Columbia and Fond du Lac: An Update

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

While we’re excited about our two new Québec owls, Nicolet and Odanak, we’re also keeping a close eye on our returnees from past winters, especially two in the upper Midwest, Columbia and Fond du Lac. Columbia, you may recall, returned Nov. 25 and uploaded part of her migration data from last spring, then went dark while her battery recharged. Two … Read More

The Worst News, and Some Good News

Scott WeidensaulUpdates9 Comments

I hate writing this kind of update; even after eight years it doesn’t get any easier to lose an owl, and I’m afraid we lost Aimé, our most recently tagged snowy, on Monday afternoon, Dec. 13. As we noted over the weekend, even though she’d been moved 80 km (50 miles) and across the wide St. Lawrence River, she quickly … Read More

The Last Three

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

It’s spring — although here in New England, where I live, and in other parts of the East, you’d have been hard-pressed to know recently, with accumulating snow last weekend as far south as the mid-Atlantic region. Still, our tagged snowy owls realize the seasons are moving fast, and they have been as well. In the past couple of weeks, … Read More

Attaboy, Otter!

Scott WeidensaulUpdates1 Comment

This time of year, we can see some really dramatic changes — and that certainly has happened within the past week or so. We’ve gone from 15 owls in regular contact to just six, as most of the rest have apparently migrated out of cell range. Perhaps not surprisingly, two of the owls that wintered farthest north — Pettibone in … Read More

Losing Buckeye

Scott WeidensaulUpdates13 Comments

We’ve seen some major migration to the north this past week, including one owl that is most of the way to James Bay — but the biggest news is the saddest, because we’ve lost one of our oldest and most interesting owls. You’ll recall my relief last week that, having survived a winter at Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), Buckeye was … Read More

The Pull of Spring

Scott WeidensaulUpdates6 Comments

These have been strange and disquieting days for everyone, no less so for those of us with Project SNOWstorm. The global coronavirus pandemic has upended — well, pretty much everything. But even in hard times, owl research goes on. As of now, everyone on the SNOWstorm team is healthy; most are working from home, but some have unfortunately experienced layoffs … Read More