More Heading North

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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

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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

Across the Bay and Off the Ice

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It’s been quite a week since the last update. The low point, obviously, was confirming Hereford’s death, but there’s also been a lot of very cool news from the other owls, and that’s what we’ll focus on this time. We won’t hit every owl (like Stella, whose great photo our friend Dan Lafortune got on Amherst Island recently) but check … Read More

Shaking Things Up

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The days are getting longer, and right on schedule, we’re seeing some restlessness start to appear among this winter’s cohort of owls. But there’s a lot of ground to cover this week, including the second “bomb cyclone” of the winter on the Northeast coast, an ice-queen owl on the Great Lakes, and a turbine-dodging bird on the prairies. Here are … Read More

Weekly Update

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It’s been quite a week, with new owls in five states — but there’s lots happening with the rest of this winter’s cadre, too. Here’s a roundup of where we stand with all 24 of the snowy owls we’re currently tracking. It’s a lot of ground — geographically and metaphorically — to cover. The most intriguing movements this week were … Read More

Who is Where?

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Time for a weekend update on our 2017-18 cohort — the largest we’ve had since our first winter four years ago. We’ll start west and work our way east, but it’s a lot of owls. Ashtabula remains pretty faithful to his general territory near Sanborn, ND, and lately has been spending a lot of time roosting in a grove of … Read More

Neighbors

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One of the goals we set for ourselves this winter is to track the movements and interactions of neighboring owls, as we did several years ago with Whitefish Point and Chippewa in northern Michigan. So this winter we’ve made an effort to trap and tag snowies in close proximity to one another, starting with Island Beach and Lenape on the … Read More

Welcoming (Back) Ashtabula

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In the wake of Higbee‘s loss, we have some exciting news in this update — great data from our new owls in Wisconsin, evidence that Chickatawbut probably nested last summer in the subarctic, and the unexpected return of Ashtabula. Wait — Ashta-who? If you’re scratching your head and wondering why you can’t recall that particular owl, don’t worry. This is … Read More

Welcome Back, Hardscrabble!

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The news last week was somber, with the death, probably from electrocution, of a newly tagged owl in Maine. So we’re delighted to share some very exciting positive news — Hardscrabble is back. Longtime SNOWstorm supporters will certainly recognize that name. Hardscrabble is an adult male originally tagged in February 2016 by Tom McDonald, near Hardscrabble Road on Cape Vincent, … Read More

The Wrong Kind of News

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This was supposed to be a good-news story — tagging our first Maine owl of the year, a bird moved from a busy airport to the safety of a national wildlife refuge. Unfortunately, it’s turned out instead to be a sober reminder of the many dangers that snowy owls face when they come south. On Dec. 6 USDA Wildlife Services, … Read More