Chasing Hardscrabble

Scott WeidensaulUpdates5 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

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

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

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

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 Comments

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

Let the Race Begin

Scott WeidensaulUpdates7 Comments

Arlington isn’t waiting for spring. This juvenile male is making serious tracks to the north — the first of this winter’s class of tagged owls to show more than just some late-winter wanderlust. In just the past week he’s moved more than 120 miles (200 km) from south of Eu Claire, Wisconsin, northwest into Kanabec County, Minnesota — and more … Read More