Homebodies and Wanderers (and One Crazy Mink)

Scott WeidensaulUpdates7 Comments

We’re at the point in the winter where we have a sense of the personalities — and I use the word advisedly, because individual birds certainly do have personalities — of the owls we’re tracking. Some of them habitually find a spot and stick like a tick; others, at least as evidenced by their GPS data, have wandering wings. We … Read More

Howdy, Huron!

Scott WeidensaulUpdates5 Comments

It’s been a slow start to the season, but not for a lack of trying on the part of our cooperating banders — and that’s finally paying off as more snowy owls have moved into their territories. Our newest trapping team are Charlotte England and Malcolm Wilson in the Toronto, ON, area. They’re part of the Simcoe Raptor Research Group, … Read More

How Does This Winter Stack Up?

Scott WeidensaulUpdates9 Comments

Happy 2023, a bit belatedly — I hope the new year is off to a peaceful start for everyone. Columbia certainly seems to have found her spot, and every check-in shows her using a fairly small 11 sq. km (4.25 sq. mile) area of farmland southeast of Carman, MB. That’s where Ken Stewart, an amateur wildlife photographer, encountered Columbia on … Read More

A Year-end Update, and an Out-of-Place Owl

Scott WeidensaulUpdates8 Comments

Here’s hoping everyone is enjoying the final days of 2022. It certainly seems as though Columbia has found her spot for the winter, just southeast of Carman, Manitoba, where she’s been hanging out since the beginning of December. It’s always possible deeper snow cover may eventually force her farther south where hunting may be easier, but for now she seems … Read More

Otter’s Back on the Grid

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

Well, just a day after our last update on Dec. 14 lamenting how quietly the season was starting, we got the great news that Otter — our 2019-tagged adult male fitted with a hybrid satellite-GSM transmitter so we can track him in the off-season — was back on the cellular grid in southern Ontario. With his arrival we got an … Read More

The Pull of the North

Scott WeidensaulUpdates7 Comments

Breaking, and very unwelcome news: As I was preparing to post this update, we learned that Roc, the adult female tagged by Tom McDonald’s team at the Douglass-Greater Rochester (NY) airport earlier this winter, was found dead along on off-ramp from I-390 close to the airport, the apparent victim of a vehicle collision. We’re grateful to the Monroe County Sheriff’s … Read More

On the Move (Direction, um…Uncertain)

Scott WeidensaulUpdates10 Comments

The past couple of weeks have seen some pulses of late-winter warmth into the Northeast, and along with longer days, it’s definitely having an effect on some of our owls. This is the time of year when we expect breeding-age adults especially to get antsy, and several of them have indeed begun moving in a noticeable way — though in … Read More

One, Two, Three New Owls

Scott WeidensaulUpdates8 Comments

This winter has been dominated mostly by news of our many returning snowies, with only three newly tagged owls, all relocated from the Montréal airport — Aimé, who immediately returned to the airfield and was killed by the back-blast of a taxiing jet, and Nicolet and Odanak, both of whom also returned to the airport but have thus far mostly … Read More

Zooming in on Otter

Scott WeidensaulUpdates5 Comments

A couple of weeks ago we were concerned we might lose track of Otter, one of our veteran owls wintering this season near Lake Abitibi in western Québec, when an update to his transmitter’s firmware caused it to start rebooting over and over and over again. Fortunately, CTT was able to push through a corrective command, and we’re back to normal. Even better, at the end … Read More