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

A New Season, a Lot of News

Scott WeidensaulUpdates17 Comments

Welcome back to the start of a new season of snowy owl research with Project SNOWstorm! This is our seventh year studying the movements and ecology of these amazing Arctic predators, and it promises to one of the most interesting ever. We’re delighted to say that things are awfully exciting right out of the gate this year, with a number … 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

On the Move

Scott WeidensaulUpdates2 Comments

Regardless of what the weather’s been like in your neck of the woods, our tagged snowy owls know that spring is here — and this past week, a bunch of them started responding to the season. In our last post we discussed some hints of the season, including Hardscrabble’s sudden departure from his traditional winter territory in southern Ontario (and … Read More

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

Farewell, Harwood

Scott WeidensaulUpdates8 Comments

This was supposed to be a long, chatty update about the status of all our tagged birds, the first in more than a week, with apologies for being behind with blog posts. Instead, we have to start with some somber news: we lost Harwood last week. He’s the Billboard Owl, the second-winter male that’s been hugging the margins of I-29 … Read More

Low on Luck on Amherst

Scott WeidensaulUpdates4 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