Pickford Phones Home

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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

Heading for the Line

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I often tell groups to whom I’m speaking about Project SNOWstorm that virtually every one of the owls we’ve tagged has surprised us in some fashion. And that’s certainly the case now, as we watch two owls in the same general region heading in opposite directions. After more than a month and a half near Melfort in central Saskatchewan, Pettibone … Read More

Out on the Prairies

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Some wander, some stay; that’s always the pattern every winter with our snowy owls, and it makes our work interesting. Woodworth, the second-year male tagged earlier this month by Matt Solensky in eastern North Dakota, has been on a bit of a walkabout. On Dec. 14 he began moving north from his capture location near his namesake town in Stutsman … Read More

Woodworth Joins the Flock

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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

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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

First Across the Finish Line

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This is the time of the year when we’re on heightened alert for the first signs of snowy owls, both new birds coming south from the Arctic, and the first returning tagged owls from previous winters. As we noted a week or two ago, this year there has been an unusually early surge of snowies, and we’d gotten a brief … 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

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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

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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

More Heading North

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Last week, we saw the first signs of northbound migration, but over the weekend we had several owls making major movements north in New England, Quebec and the Midwest. Arlington, who began moving a couple weeks ago, actually stopped and reversed course a bit in recent days in Pine County, Minnesota, not far from the “snout” of Lake Superior, and … Read More