A Postcard from Churchill, and an Old Friend Gone

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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

Island Beach and Lenape, Down the Shore

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From literally the beginning of Project SNOWstorm in 2013, we’ve tracked snowy owls to the New Jersey coast. Our very first bird, Assateague, was captured in Maryland but quickly flew to New Jersey and spent the rest of the winter there. So, in subsequent years, did others tagged farther south, like Hungerford and Baltimore. But despite many attempts we’ve always … Read More

Spring is in the Air

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If you live in the Northeast, you didn’t need much of a hint that spring is coming early this year — it was T-shirt weather across much of the region this week. Here in Pennsylvania, where I live, sheets of migrant tundra swans, Canada and snow geese were papering the skies the past few mornings, and spring peepers and wood … Read More

Buckeye’s Back!

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Here in the northern hemisphere, the days are getting noticeably longer — and that’s having an effect on birds of all sorts, including snowy owls. The past week or two we’ve started seeing some significant movement — not migration, and not necessarily northbound, but a sign of seasonal restlessness setting in. And with predictions for dramatically warmer weather across much … Read More

Owls, West to East and in Between

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It’s been an exciting week with our two new owls, Hardscrabble and Casco, but of course we still have a lot going on with our other tagged snowies — so let’s get to the update. Starting out West, Dakota continues to shift between her northern and southern hunting areas in the northeastern corner of Stutsman County, North Dakota, this fascinating … Read More

Ice Owls

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If there’s been a theme that was missing so far this winter — one that had been nearly constant in previous years — it’s been ice. Snowy owls love ice. For example, researchers with Laval University in Quebec (including our SNOWstorm colleague Jean-Fran├žois Therrien from Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania) have documented how some adult snowies leave the breeding grounds in … Read More

All Roads Lead to Amherst

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We’ve been talking all winter about how Amherst Island in Ontario has a reputation as an internationally famous owl mecca — and the fact that three of our tagged snowies have been wintering there only confirmed that distinction. Well, make it four. This week Tibbetts, who had been wandering around the New York side of the St. Lawrence near Chaumont … Read More

Surprises, East to West

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Thursday night was our weekly check-in. As always there were some surprises, and some owls we didn’t hear from…whether out of cell range, or suffering a temporarily low battery, we can’t say. Here are ones that checked in. Starting from the east, Orleans remains regular as clockwork along I-81 in upstate New York, just a few miles south of the … Read More