consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Project Snow Storm. Who?

A reader forwarded an email about a telemetrically tracked snowy owl, around the Town Center open spaces. The email generally said:

Who? Ramsey, the owl.
One of the snowy owls in the Ramsey Town Center area is being tracked with a telemetry transmitter by ProjectSnowStorm (website: www.projectsnowstorm.org). The owl sightings - of more than the single bird that was tagged, two at least - were reported as early as Jan. 3, 2014, per a Minnesota birding website. I was unaware of this project until today. Frank Nicoletti from Duluth is a project team member who equipped this owl with the telemetry device. They currently have 11 snowy owls across the nation equipped with transmitters including the local bird, named by the trackers, "Ramsey." (That link is to an interactive map of the bird's meanderings since being telemetrically tagged Jan 26, of this year.) Meandering of the project's other tagged birds, elsewhere outside of Minnesota, are also mapped, for those interested in comparing ranging habits within the set of birds. The Ramsey bird is pretty much staying where it's at since it was fitted with a transmitter on January 26.

The project has a press page, hosting their press release and linking to press coverage, e.g., here.

UPDATE: It probably does not need to be said to readers here, but nonetheless, there are proper ways to unobtrusively observe the owl activity that do not intrude on its natural use of habitat and does not bias ongoing scientific study by scaring the bird off to some other hunting ground. Baiting the bird, things of that sort are plain stupid and should be avoided in the first person, and complained of to peace officers if seen as a third person activity. Recall, these are animals accustomed to wilderness, not to close intrusive human contact.

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