Plainfield Joins the Flock

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

While Coddington continues to recuperate from is close encounter of the manure kind, we have a new owl in central Wisconsin — Plainfield, an adult female relocated from an airport for her safety, and tagged by Gene Jacobs and released on the Buena Vista grasslands, where she’s been ever since. In fact, Plainfield is occupying almost exactly the same territory … Read More

Introducing Coddington

Scott WeidensaulUpdates9 Comments

We’re pleased to introduce our newest owl — “Coddington,” an adult male tagged Jan. 3, 2019, on the Buena Vista grasslands in central Wisconsin by Gene Jacobs, and named for a nearby town. Coddington weighed nearly 1,700 g (3.75 lbs.), a healthy weight for a male, which tend to weigh a third or less that of an average female snowy. … Read More

A Shout-out from James Bay

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Here at Project SNOWstorm, we usually expect to start hearing from tagged owls around the middle of November, when the first snowies reach the northern edge of the Canadian cell phone network. But that edge keeps moving north, as more and more bush communities get cell service. That’s why we heard from Bancroft in late June near Churchill, Manitoba. So … Read More

A Postcard from Churchill, and an Old Friend Gone

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

The growing number of cell towers in the subarctic and Arctic means that summer is no longer a time of complete radio blackout for our GSM-tagged owls — though it’s still a pretty rare (and therefore exciting) occasion when we hear from one on the breeding grounds. On June 27 Bancroft — a young male tagged near Coddington, Wisconsin, in … Read More

Catching Up

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

Sorry for the silence the past two weeks — as we’ve said before, all of us at Project SNOWstorm do this in our spare time, and this is a busy season for wildlife folks. I just got back from a 10-day writing and research trip to China focusing on shorebirds, while webmaster Drew Weber was with the Cornell Lab’s Sapsuckers … Read More

Stampede

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The movement north is in full swing, and by last week we only had a handful of owls still on their winter territories. Everyone else was on the move, or (maybe) already out of cell range. The movements have been especially strong in the East, where spring has finally started to make itself felt — but migration timing is only … Read More

Stops and Starts

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

The past week was a wild one for weather across much of the terrain our tagged owls are inhabiting. Some places went from summerlike tee-shirt weather one day to whiteout snow squalls the next, while blizzards and ice storms raked still other regions. So it’s not surprising that some owls that had been moving north hung back –but others pushed … Read More

More Heading North

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

Last week, we saw the first signs of northbound migration, but over the weekend we had several owls making major movements north in New England, Quebec and the Midwest. Arlington, who began moving a couple weeks ago, actually stopped and reversed course a bit in recent days in Pine County, Minnesota, not far from the “snout” of Lake Superior, and … Read More

Let the Race Begin

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Arlington isn’t waiting for spring. This juvenile male is making serious tracks to the north — the first of this winter’s class of tagged owls to show more than just some late-winter wanderlust. In just the past week he’s moved more than 120 miles (200 km) from south of Eu Claire, Wisconsin, northwest into Kanabec County, Minnesota — and more … Read More

Another Loss

Scott WeidensaulUpdates16 Comments

Apologies for the lag in updates; everyone on Project SNOWstorm does this in their spare time, and sometimes spare time is hard to come by. I was out of town and largely off the grid last week, and unable to post. Sorry to have kept you waiting. Unfortunately, the biggest news is the saddest — we’ve lost another owl, our … Read More