Farewell, Harwood

Scott WeidensaulUpdates8 Comments

This was supposed to be a long, chatty update about the status of all our tagged birds, the first in more than a week, with apologies for being behind with blog posts. Instead, we have to start with some somber news: we lost Harwood last week. He’s the Billboard Owl, the second-winter male that’s been hugging the margins of I-29 … Read More

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

Low on Luck on Amherst

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

There’s been a lot going on, and the fates have not always been with us. That’s the way wildlife work goes, sometimes — you take the bad with the good. For example, one of our major goals this winter was to deploy up to five transmitters on snowy owls on Amherst Island, to continue our multi-year look at how the … Read More

Pickford Phones Home

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

Pickford — a female we tagged last winter as a first-winter immature last season on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — has been playing hide-and-seek with us for months. The last time we heard from her in the spring was May 29, when she was heading north along the western shore of James Bay. Her transmitter connected with a cell … Read More

Woodworth Joins the Flock

Scott WeidensaulUpdates9 Comments

One of our goals this winter is to get more movement data on snowy owls in the Great Plains, to complement the larger data set we have for the Great Lakes and Northeast — which is we’re especially pleased that our colleague Matt Solensky just tagged the first owl of the 2018-19 season in eastern North Dakota. “Woodworth” — named … Read More

Two More Back South

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

Two more previously tagged owls are back south, having uploaded more than 12,000 GPS points showing where they’ve been over the past eight months — Wells and Island Beach, who went in dramatically different directions over the summer. Wells is an adult female, originally trapped in 2017 by USDA Wildlife Services at the Portland (Maine) Jetport, tagged by SNOWstorm collaborators … Read More

The End?

Scott WeidensaulUpdates6 Comments

All good things must come to an end, and we may be at the finale of the 2017-18 winter season. This past week only a single snowy owl checked in, and it’s been anywhere from eight to 10 days since we’ve heard from any of the others of this winter’s crew. The one communicative bird was Island Beach, one of … 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

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

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