Attaboy, Otter!

Scott WeidensaulUpdates1 Comment

This time of year, we can see some really dramatic changes — and that certainly has happened within the past week or so. We’ve gone from 15 owls in regular contact to just six, as most of the rest have apparently migrated out of cell range. Perhaps not surprisingly, two of the owls that wintered farthest north — Pettibone in … Read More

Losing Buckeye

Scott WeidensaulUpdates13 Comments

We’ve seen some major migration to the north this past week, including one owl that is most of the way to James Bay — but the biggest news is the saddest, because we’ve lost one of our oldest and most interesting owls. You’ll recall my relief last week that, having survived a winter at Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), Buckeye was … Read More

The Pull of Spring

Scott WeidensaulUpdates6 Comments

These have been strange and disquieting days for everyone, no less so for those of us with Project SNOWstorm. The global coronavirus pandemic has upended — well, pretty much everything. But even in hard times, owl research goes on. As of now, everyone on the SNOWstorm team is healthy; most are working from home, but some have unfortunately experienced layoffs … Read More

Zugunruhe to You, Too!

Scott WeidensaulUpdates3 Comments

We’re just a few weeks away from the spring equinox, and as the sun creeps higher in the sky and days begin the lengthen dramatically in the northern latitudes, this is when we start to expect some restlessness to set in among our tagged owls. And that’s exactly what’s been happening the past couple of weeks. It’s not a rush … Read More

Good News Across the Board

Scott WeidensaulUpdates9 Comments

The news this week is good. Several owls that had been in dicey places have moved (or, in one case, been moved) to safer locales. Buckeye is, at least, keeping to the less busy parts of Detroit Metro Airport, and after a month on the lam, Pearl is back on the grid, with more than a thousand GPS points tracing … Read More

Yul the River-rider

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

Rebecca McCabe was worried. Becca — who is working on her Ph.D. at McGill University analyzing our huge trove of snowy owl movement data, and who has also become a key member of the SNOWstorm field team — was concerned that Yul had missed several check-in times in recent weeks. Yul, as you may recall, was trapped at the MontrĂ©al … Read More

Well, Well, Well — Wells is Back

Scott WeidensaulUpdates18 Comments

It’s been a busy week at Project SNOWstorm, with a shuffling of the deck among our tagged owls, some closure on an early loss, and the return of very familiar name. First, though, I want to acknowledge what many of you have noticed — we still don’t have maps posted for our four newest owls. That’s because of a systems … Read More

Early May Update

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 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