Dancing around bad news never makes it any easier to give or receive, so I’ll simply say that we lost an owl last week, and it still feels like a punch to the gut. It was Wampum, the adult female who had been playing with fire much of the winter at several New England airports. She was found dead Thursday … Read More
Casco’s Grand Tour
Casco — our second Maine owl, tagged in late February — pulled a bit of a disappearing act earlier this month. After being captured at the Portland, Maine, airport, she was released Down East, in a complex of immense blueberry barrens in Washington County, ME, close to the Canadian border. Casco quickly moved a couple hundred miles north, crossing into … Read More
The Pull of the Pole
There’s no longer any doubt that spring is pulling many of our tagged snowy owls back home toward the Arctic. In the past week we’ve seen several birds make flights north, while others have dropped off the grid, apparently having moved beyond cell range. For example, Hardscrabble and Tibbetts both left their wintering grounds on the northeast shore of Lake … Read More
Wampum is Back!
As readers of this blog know, we’ve had a very bad feeling about Wampum — an adult female that Norman Smith captured at Logan Airport in Boston just after Christmas, tagged and moved to Cape Cod. She quickly moved southwest, along the necklace of the Elizabeth Islands, winding up at tiny, remote Penikese Island, off Cuttyhunk in Buzzards Bay. She … Read More
If there’s been a theme that was missing so far this winter — one that had been nearly constant in previous years — it’s been ice. Snowy owls love ice. For example, researchers with Laval University in Quebec (including our SNOWstorm colleague Jean-François Therrien from Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania) have documented how some adult snowies leave the breeding grounds in … Read More
The Three Amigos, and Other Owls
It’s always a little thrill when the cell phone vibrates and the text messages start coming in: “CTT Data Update: Unit #27236551 (Salisbury 4Y Male) has checked in.” And then another, and another, until we have the weekly report from our far-flung tribe. The three amigos (well, two amigos and an amiga) were back together on Amherst Island this past … Read More
Weekend Update: Jan. 30
It was a pretty quiet week for our tagged owls — though one of them was courting danger, briefly back at an airport we’d really hoped he would avoid. We’ll start with Flanders, who remained on the north shore of Lake Ontario, having ambled back southeast of Napanee, Ontario, to the farmland around Hawley, just a few kilometers from the lakeshore. After … Read More
Three’s a Crowd?
Most winters, Amherst Island is one of the best places to find snowy owls, and that’s certainly the case this year — especially if you’re looking for a snowy owl with a Project SNOWstorm transmitter. Two of our owls, Flanders and Baltimore, have been on Amherst for the past month or so. And although Flanders moved off the island last … Read More
Say Hello to Wampum!
Here’s a great way to ring out the old year and usher in 2016. The newest Project SNOWstorm owl is Wampum, an adult female captured at Logan Airport in Boston byJeff Turner, Logan’s wildlife biologist, and relocated by Norman to a safer spot on Cape Cod earlier this week — with one of CTT’s new third-generation GPS/GSM transmitters on her back. She’s … Read More