Welcoming (Back) Ashtabula

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In the wake of Higbee‘s loss, we have some exciting news in this update — great data from our new owls in Wisconsin, evidence that Chickatawbut probably nested last summer in the subarctic, and the unexpected return of Ashtabula. Wait — Ashta-who? If you’re scratching your head and wondering why you can’t recall that particular owl, don’t worry. This is … Read More

Welcome Back, Hardscrabble!

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The news last week was somber, with the death, probably from electrocution, of a newly tagged owl in Maine. So we’re delighted to share some very exciting positive news — Hardscrabble is back. Longtime SNOWstorm supporters will certainly recognize that name. Hardscrabble is an adult male originally tagged in February 2016 by Tom McDonald, near Hardscrabble Road on Cape Vincent, … Read More

Wells’ Excellent Summer Adventure

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As we mentioned last week, two of our 2016-17 owls have come back south and checked in. Chickatawbut has been quiet since her initial check, likely because her battery is still recharging. But Wells checked in a few days ago and uploaded her entire previous eight months’ worth of data, all in one enormous batch — the first time we’ve … Read More

Chickatawbut and Wells Come Back

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Well, it’s been a busy week around here, an no mistake. We launched our 2017-18 research season, which is going gangbusters (thank you to everyone who has helped so far). We got Hilton, our first new owl of the season tagged, and we have been chasing snowies in a number of places, as we’ve shared with you all. We’ll have … Read More

And Then There Was One

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It’s been a while since we’ve posted an update, which doesn’t mean nothing’s been happening on the snowy owl front — just that we’ve all been incredibly busy. (SNOWstorm is our passion, but it isn’t anyone’s day job, and sometimes work gets in the way.) But the fact is that the winter season is winding down, and one by one, … Read More

Through the North Woods

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We’ve seen some big movements within the past week, and only one tagged owl (that we know of) remains on its wintering grounds. That one is Oswego, who is still hanging out on little Bass Island in eastern Lake Ontario, with occasional side trips to the mainland and even tinier Gull Island — this last a state wildlife management area with nesting … Read More

On and Off the Grid

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More and more snowies are moving north, dropping out of cell range for the summer — but we were pleased to get a big data dump from Oswego, who had been AWOL for the past month. Oswego, you’ll recall, had slipped off our radar at the beginning of March, after her transmitter showed a curious lack of solar recharge. Unsure … Read More

Oh, Canada!

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  Due to a glitch, this update scheduled for Tuesday April 4 didn’t post — sorry for the delay, and we’ll have a further update on the latest movements of the owls in another day or so. The Project SNOWstorm team ——————— It’s definitely spring, and robins and geese aren’t the only birds making serious tracks to the north. After … Read More

Chickatawbut Chows Down

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One of the coolest aspects of Project SNOWstorm’s tracking has been documenting the extent to which some snowy owls hunt waterbirds over open water, a practice long recognized by snowy owl researchers like SNOWstorm co-founder Norman Smith, but rarely quantified in any way until now. Readers here will recall that earlier this month, Norman tagged Chickatawbut, a juvenile female owl … Read More

Weekly Update: Loop-d-loops

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A fairly quiet report this week, although several of our birds continue to show signs of seasonal wanderlust, with several of them making looping rambles that wound up where they started. Running down the roster from east to west, Wells remains in southern Quebec along the St. Lawrence River. After spending much of last week near the town of Saint-Henri, … Read More