Early May Update

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

Things are popping, as spring migration rolls along. Only two of our remaining owls — Pickford, up on Prince Edward Island, and Seneca on the (very rapidly) diminishing ice along the northeast shore of Lake Erie — have been stationary this past week. Wells continued moving north through southern Quebec, and on April 29 was just south of Lac Saint-Jean, … Read More

On the Road

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

The season is winding down, and fewer of our 2018-19 owls are still in regular contact. Most of those that remain look as though they’re pushing north as well. Plainfield — who has already made a more than 1,280-mile (2000-km) loop from where she was tagged in Wisconsin, up into southwestern Ontario, then south and west through Minnesota — checked … Read More

A Year in the Life of Chickatawbut

Scott WeidensaulUpdates1 Comment

Snowy owls never fail to surprise us, but we really got a shocker this week when Chickatawbut phoned home — almost exactly a year since the last time we’d heard from this particular female. SNOWstorm co-founder Norman Smith, from Massachusetts Audubon, captured her as a juvenile in March 2017 at Boston’s Logan Airport, tagged her and released her at Salisbury … Read More

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

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

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

A New Look for Our Maps!

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

From the beginning, one of the most exciting aspects of Project SNOWstorm has been our interactive maps, which allow everyone — not just those of us with access to the raw tracking data — to follow every move that our tagged owls make. Those Tracker Maps were the brainchild of Don Crockett from Connecticut, who contacted us shortly after we … 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

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