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

Here, or There?

Scott WeidensaulUpdates7 Comments

To stay, or go: That is the question. Stella, one of our transmittered alumni, was originally tagged four years ago, in January 2018 on Amherst Island on the northeastern edge of Lake Ontario. She was a juvenile then, having hatched the previous summer. When she migrated north that spring, she swung wide to the west, up the western shore of … Read More

A D.C. Celebrity

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

We’ve had some interesting developments with our tagged owls, but at the national level, the biggest snowy owl news this past week has been the growing attention on a snowy that’s wintering in downtown Washington, D.C., and appearing most every night like clockwork at Union Station, within view of the U.S. Capitol. In addition to drawing crowds of birders, photographers … Read More

Late Yul-tide Greetings

Scott WeidensaulUpdates6 Comments

The last gift of Yuletide came a little late this year for Project SNOWstorm. On Sunday evening, Jan. 9, we were surprised and delighted to see that Yul — an adult female originally captured at the Montréal airport in November 2019, and named for that airport’s international code, YUL — had just made a late return from the North. What’s … Read More

Hochelaga and Otter Return

Scott WeidensaulUpdates9 Comments

It’s always exciting when a previously tagged owl returns south, carrying with it months’ — or even years’ — worth of backlogged data. We got two such returns in the past week or so, including a snowy owl we’ve been especially hoping to hear from. Hochelaga: The day after Christmas we were pleased to see Hochelaga check in for the … Read More

The Worst News, and Some Good News

Scott WeidensaulUpdates9 Comments

I hate writing this kind of update; even after eight years it doesn’t get any easier to lose an owl, and I’m afraid we lost Aimé, our most recently tagged snowy, on Monday afternoon, Dec. 13. As we noted over the weekend, even though she’d been moved 80 km (50 miles) and across the wide St. Lawrence River, she quickly … Read More

A New Season, and Old Friends Return

Scott WeidensaulUpdates17 Comments

Welcome back, everyone, to the start of Project SNOWstorm’s eighth season of snowy owl tracking and research — and the timing is perfect, because in the past few days we’ve heard from three of our returning snowies, back south after a summer in the Arctic and subarctic. We also have news on what a fourth owl — Otter, who has … Read More