Otter is an adult male tagged Jan. 18, 2019, in Jefferson County, NY, not far from Fort Drum, by Tom McDonald. He was the first snowy owl — and one of the first birds anywhere in the world — fitted with a hybrid GSM (cellular) and Argos (satellite) transmitter, which allows us to monitor his movements year-round. His transmitter was paid for by generous donors to Project SNOWstorm.
In May and June 2019 Otter migrated north to Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, summering on uninhabited Rowley Island in the Foxe Basin. In October and November he moved south along the western margins of Hudson and James Bay, and checked in via GSM cell network with his full data load Dec. 1, 2019, just north of Montreal, and wintered in the nearby St. Lawrence valley.
Otter migrated north in April 2020, summering on the Foxe Peninsula of southern Baffin Island. The winter of 2020-21 he remained in the subarctic, wintering on the Torngat Peninsula in northern Labrador, then migrated across Hudson Bay and appeared to have nested on the Melville Peninsula in summer 2021. On Dec. 30, 2021, he checked in from western Québec about halfway between James Bay and Georgian Bay, and spent the winter of 2021-22 at the eastern end of Lake Abitibi, QC.