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

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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

Shaking Things Up

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

The days are getting longer, and right on schedule, we’re seeing some restlessness start to appear among this winter’s cohort of owls. But there’s a lot of ground to cover this week, including the second “bomb cyclone” of the winter on the Northeast coast, an ice-queen owl on the Great Lakes, and a turbine-dodging bird on the prairies. Here are … Read More

Weekly Update

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It’s been quite a week, with new owls in five states — but there’s lots happening with the rest of this winter’s cadre, too. Here’s a roundup of where we stand with all 24 of the snowy owls we’re currently tracking. It’s a lot of ground — geographically and metaphorically — to cover. The most intriguing movements this week were … Read More

The Wrong Kind of News

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

This was supposed to be a good-news story — tagging our first Maine owl of the year, a bird moved from a busy airport to the safety of a national wildlife refuge. Unfortunately, it’s turned out instead to be a sober reminder of the many dangers that snowy owls face when they come south. On Dec. 6 USDA Wildlife Services, … Read More

Wells, Our Newest Maine Owl

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As longtime SNOWstorm followers know, one benefit of our project is finding ways to help airport officials and federal wildlife agencies learn how snowy owls relate to airports. (Because airports look a little like the Arctic, at least to an owl — flat, open and treeless — they tend to be magnets for the birds.) Last year we cooperated with Maine Wildlife Services, … Read More

Into the North

Scott WeidensaulUpdates1 Comment

Apologies for the gap in updates — everyone at Project SNOWstorm does this as a volunteer, and this past week a number of us were out of touch and in the field, leading birding trips or studying nesting goshawks, among other day-job kinds of things. But there have been some interesting developments in the past week and a half that … Read More

Down to the End?

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

It’s that time of year — not a lot to report, because almost all of our tagged owls have moved out of earshot, so to speak. This past week, only two birds remained within cell range: Hardscrabble and Brunswick. Brunswick is still hunkered down in the Isle of Shoals, though I suspect the attraction is eiders, gulls and other waterbirds, … Read More

Wampum’s Gone

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

Dancing around bad news never makes it any easier to give or receive, so I’ll simply say that we lost an owl last week, and it still feels like a punch to the gut. It was Wampum, the adult female who had been playing with fire much of the winter at several New England airports. She was found dead Thursday … Read More