Stella!

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

First off, an apology — the past couple of weeks have been unusually hectic for members of the SNOWstorm team. Mike Lanzone and Trish Miller were in Israel for the Champions of the Flyway birding competition (which raised money this year for African vulture conservation). Steve Huy and his wife had a baby; I moved from Pennsylvania to New England. … Read More

On the Move

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Regardless of what the weather’s been like in your neck of the woods, our tagged snowy owls know that spring is here — and this past week, a bunch of them started responding to the season. In our last post we discussed some hints of the season, including Hardscrabble’s sudden departure from his traditional winter territory in southern Ontario (and … Read More

Chasing Hardscrabble

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Hardscrabble has been one of our most interesting owls, a male that was at least four years old when he was tagged on Cape Vincent, NY, in February 2016. The past three winters he has returned, quite reliably, to the Ottawa River valley near Arnprior, Ontario. But while his transmitter keeps faithfully sending us regular transmissions, a fault in its … Read More

Farewell, Harwood

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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

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

Ice-riding Around PEI

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A week or so ago we shared the news that Pickford had come zooming back into range, migrating southeast from James Bay, where she’d been since May, to northern New Brunswick. Well, she kept on moving, and her latest positions — sporadic, because her battery is still recharging from the drain it took to send almost 11,000 GPS points, and … Read More

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

First Across the Finish Line

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

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

A Shout-out from James Bay

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Here at Project SNOWstorm, we usually expect to start hearing from tagged owls around the middle of November, when the first snowies reach the northern edge of the Canadian cell phone network. But that edge keeps moving north, as more and more bush communities get cell service. That’s why we heard from Bancroft in late June near Churchill, Manitoba. So … 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