Returning Owls

Alderbrooke – 2020

Alderbrooke is a juvenile female trapped Dec. 9, 2020, at the Montréal-Trudeau International Airport by Falcon Environmental, tagged by Rebecca McCabe and moved from the airfield as part of Project SNOWstorm’s research into the best ways to relocate snowy owls so they remain away from airports. She is named for one of the sanctuaries of Bird Protection Québec, which is supporting this research.

Columbia – 2020

Columbia is an adult female captured in January 2020 near Madison Audubon’s Goose Pond Sanctuary in Arlington, WI, with support from Madison Audubon. She migrated north in April, spending the summer of 2020 on Prince of Wales Island in the central Canadian Arctic before migrating south. She first checked in Nov. 12 in Manitoba, and then moved to southeastern Saskatchewan.

Fond du Lac – 2020

Fond du Lac, a fourth-year female, was trapped and tagged by Gene Jacobs on Feb. 23, 2020, along with two other snowies, near Waupun, WI. She was nicknamed in honor of Fond du Lac Audubon Society, an anonymous donor to which had underwritten the cost of the transmitter. She wintered near her capture area, and migrated north in early April 2020. She nested that summer in the eastern Ungava Peninsula of Québec, then migrated north to spend the winter of 2020-21 in the northern Ungava and on sea ice south of Baffin Island. In the summer of 2021 she nested on Baffin Island, migrating south to southern James Bay in November 2021, where she checked in and uploaded the previous 18 months’ data.

Stella – 2018

This juvenile female was captured by a four-person SNOWstorm team Jan. 15, 2018, on the south shore of Amherst Island, Ontario, at the northeastern end of Lake Ontario. She is part of an ongoing study to determine the extent to which 27 large wind turbines, being installed on Amherst, impact the movements of wintering snowy owls there. She returned south Nov. 15, 2018, checking in from southern Saskatchewan after spending the summer on Victoria Island in the Canadian Arctic. She spent the winter of 2018-19 in northeastern Montana, then migrated north for the summer of 2019 to Lougheed Island, one of the most remote and northerly parts of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. She migrated south in October 2019 to southern Saskatchewan, then back north in April 2020 to King William Island in the central Canadian Arctic. Her transmitter was underwritten with generous donations from the public to Project SNOWstorm.

Wells – 2017

Wells is our third Maine owl, captured at Portland Jetport by USDA APHIS, tagged by our colleagues at the Biodiversity Research Institute and released Jan. 25, 2017 at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge near Wells, ME. She is an adult female and weighed just over 2,000g. She nested in the northern Ungava Peninsula during the summer of 2017, then spent the following winter in Quebec City, QC. In 2018 she summered 2,800 km (1,770 miles) to the northwest on King William Island and the Boothia Peninsula in the central Canadian Arctic, returning by December 2018 to Quebec City. (Photo ©BRI)