Holding Patterns

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It was a pretty quite week on the tracking front, with all of our owls — those still on winter territory, and those that have started to migrate — just biding their time. Out west, Dakota and Chase Lake remain on their respective territories in Saskatchewan and North Dakota. Oswego failed to check in again this week from her namesake … Read More

Wells is on Her Way

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If you live anywhere in the Midwest or East, we don’t have to tell you that the past week was bizarrely warm, with record-high temperatures across a huge swath of the country. That weather — coupled with the longer days — may be having an effect on the snowy owls. And one in particular, because Wells has left the building. … Read More

Dakota and Hardscrabble: The Rest of the Story

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As we’ve mentioned before, due to some unexplained hiccup the transmitters on our three returnee owls — Dakota, Hardscrabble and Baltimore — all experienced a glitch on Jan. 1, when they stopped downloading their backlogged GPS locations, leaving us without seven or eight months’ worth of stored movement data. Baltimore’s unit subsequently went completely dark (which is why we’ve tried … Read More

A Perch with an Historical View (and a Big Thank You!)

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Some weeks are exciting, some weeks are more of the even-keel variety. This is one of the latter — but we do have a terrific milestone to note, with gratitude. Our five tagged owls have all settled into winter territories, including Wells, who initially had us worried that she’d hightail it back to the Portland (Maine) airport where she’d been caught. … Read More

Trying for Baltimore

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Like parents, we try not to pick favorites — but over the years, Baltimore has become first among equals in the 45 snowy owls we’ve tagged. Banded in 2014 and given a transmitter in 2015, we’ve tracked Baltimore north and back over several years, generating the most detailed movement record for any snowy owl, anywhere. So we were thrilled on … Read More

Wandering Wells

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In our last update, we mentioned that Wells — the newly relocated airport owl — was sticking close to her release site at Rachel Carson NWR in southern Maine…at least for the first day or so. That didn’t last long, however. She checked in Thursday night, and Wells lit out pretty quickly — possibly pushed out by an untagged snowy … Read More

A Close Call, and a Tourist Owl

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A few days after the new year had started, birders found a snowy owl in the rolling farmlands and woodlots of Bradford County in northeastern Pennsylvania, not far below the New York line. Because relatively few snowies show up in this area, the bird became a minor local celebrity, with half a dozen or more birders and photographers lined up … Read More

Oswego Joins the Crew

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Sorry for the silence — I’ve been leading a birding tour out of the country the past week and a half, but things were hopping at Project SNOWstorm while I was off the grid. The big news is that we have our first newly tagged owl of 2017, caught by Tom McDonald on Jan. 19 at Oswego Harbor in upstate New … Read More

All Over the Map

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There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes at Project SNOWstorm since the beginning of the year — though not always the working out the way we hoped or expected, which is often the way things go with wildlife. Here’s an update on what we’ve been up to. * * * * * We continue to track the movements of … Read More

A Baltimore Four-peat

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We’ve tagged more than 40 snowy owls in the past three years, and every one of them has given us insights and surprises. Like parents with a large family, we try not to have favorites. But it’s fair to say that in our eyes, Baltimore is first among equals. We initially banded him as a juvenile in his first winter … Read More