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i miss the beautiful Snowy Owls 😢
Hi everybody! Have you ever wondered what ORI researchers keep busy with up in the Arctic during years there are no Snowy Owl nests? 2023 is one of those non-breeding year for the Snowy Owls in our study site. Check out our new video to see what the field crew works on when there are no nests.
We have a new video update on the Snowy Owl Project from the field crew in Utqiagvik, Alaska!
In this video, Hayley and Solai share a brief update on the lemming population, a non-breeding year for the Snowy owls in the study area, and an update on how the recently released female snowy is adapting to life on the tundra.
Thank you for the update 😃
Thank you for the update. I am so happy to hear little #6 is still in the area and doing well. 🥰
Has Denver been unable to find a nest for the cam ?
Not as of yet, but the field crew is still looking and keeping their hopes up!
It's a slow breeding season up in the Artic so far, and no Snowy Owl nests as of yet. Denver reported only seeing a few owls in the study area, all males- and the young female that ORI helped to rescue and release back to her natal grounds!
In the meantime, we wanted to share this new video with some amazing footage from another of our research projects this year:
🎥NEW VIDEO! 🦉
Steve Hiro, volunteer researcher with the Owl Research Institute (ORI), shares information and video footage from the 2023 Northern Pygmy Owl breeding season. All video footage was taken in the late spring of 2023 at one of ORI's research locations in Northwest Montana.
Steve has been volunteering with ORI and studying Northern Pygmy Owls for the past 28 years. In this video, he shares insights from his years of observing these remarkable little owls during their breeding season.
Special thanks to Damian & Megan Powledge for graciously allowing ORI access to their property to observe this nest throughout the 2023 breeding season.
Another update from the Arctic! Denver shares information about the recently released female Snowy Owl- after not seeing her for a few days, the crew spotted her again! She seems to be doing well and hunting successfully on her own.
She was found injured and rescued in the fall of 2022, and with the help of many dedicated people, she made it to the Alaska Raptor Center. After initial treatment, she was transported to Montana, where she spent the winter in the excellent care of Wild Skies Raptor Center in Potomac, MT. She was successfully released back in the same area where she hatched in 2022, in ORI's research area in Utqiagvik, AK.
📆🦉📖 Mark your calendars!
Tuesday, June 27 at 5 pm EST/ 3 pm MST | Zoom
Join NYT best-selling author Jennifer Ackerman and ORI's Denver Holt as they discuss Jennifer's newest book: What an Owl Knows: The New Science of the World's Most Enigmatic Birds.
Register here: https://us06web.zoom.us/mee...
Can't join us live? Request access to the recording here: https://form-usa.keela.co/w...
Be there or be square.
oh i’m so excited i can’t wait to see them!!!!
Snowy Owl successfully released back to the Arctic!
From the Arctic to Montana and back again: the long journey of Snowy, the young female Snowy Owl who was rescued as a chick, has finally come full circle.
In June 2023 Snowy was released in the same area where she hatched last year, near the end of July 2022. While we do not know what her future may hold, we are excited that she is now back in the wild where she belongs. We wish her all the best, and hopefully we will see her again throughout the years in our study site! Denver has been keeping an eye on her in the days since her release, and will continue to do so as long as she stays in the area.
Watch the release video here: https://youtu.be/8FH6epBzEN8
Read the full backstory, and see more pictures, in this post on ORI's website: https://www.owlresearchinst...
How did Snowy get injured last year?
We can't say for sure- all I know is that they seem to be human-caused in some capacity. But, that's why we're so committed to education as well as our research!
It's year 32 of ORI's Snowy Owl Breeding Ecology and Lemming Population Study project! Earlier this week, Denver traveled up to our research site near Utqiagvik, Alaska, for the beginning of the Snowy Owl breeding season.
No nests yet, but he's been seeing male Snowy Owls in the area. We're hopeful there will be some nests this year🤞🤞
He shares a quick update in this video: enjoy!
June 2, 2023It's almost time...
Next week Denver will travel up to Alaska for the beginning of the 32nd year of ORI's Snowy Owl Breeding Ecology and Lemming Population Research Project! It's a long way to travel from Montana up to Utqiagvik, which is the northern-most point in the U.S.- more than 300 miles above the Arctic Circle! It's the only place in the U.S. where Snowy Owls breed.
Our study is the longest-running one of its kind, and we are looking forward to getting our field crew out in the field and getting started! Once Denver has a few days to settle in and get the field station set up, they will start searching for nests. If he can find one that is appropriate to have a live cam on, we'll work with Explore to get it up and running as soon as we can.
Hopefully we'll be seeing live views of the Arctic in just a few weeks!
Can't wait! Good luck to Denver for finding a camera-appropriate nest!
🆕📹🦉New video update!
It's a great breeding season for owls so far this year in Montana- including for cavity-nesting species, like Northern Saw-whet Owls and Northern Pygmy Owls.
We're preparing for the Snowy Owl breeding season up in the Arctic- Denver will be traveling up there in a few weeks!
In the meantime, we have updates on some of the smaller owl species we study closer to home. In this video, Denver Holt is joined by Steve Hiro, and they talk about ORI's long-term research on these cavity-nesting owls. We also get a glimpse of a female Northern Saw-whet Owl as she pokes her head out of her nesting cavity.
Watch our other breeding season update videos on our YouTube channel, or on our website: https://www.owlresearchinst...
we need more owls
📹 🦉 New live cam launched TODAY!
Thanks to explore.org, we now have a new live camera at the ORI farm in Charlo, Montana! This cam will feature 24/7 views of the pond behind our workshop. (In the past, we've had a Winter Roost cam here).
In the winter, the trees behind the pond are favorite perches for many raptors, including Great Horned Owls, Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, and Rough-legged Hawks. In the early spring and summer, our resident Great Horned Owl pair usually nest in the area. The open grasslands and fields surrounding the pond are home to species like Short-eared Owls, Northern Harriers, and others. Often, we see gulls and other shorebirds as they fly to and from the nearby Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge.
Huge thanks to explore.org for getting this cam set up!
Check out the cam here: https://explore.org/livecam...https://uploads.disquscdn.c...
Hi Everyone! Just wanted to let you know that our new Photographic Guide to Aging and Sexing Snowy Owls from Hatching to Fledging is now also available to download as a PDF! https://uploads.disquscdn.c...
Find it on the Owl Research Institute website here: https://www.owlresearchinst...
Give her what she really wants this Valentine's Day... dead lemmings! 😄https://uploads.disquscdn.c...
Male Snowy Owls do almost all of the hunting for the female while she is incubating eggs and then taking care of the young chicks after they hatch. He will bring as many lemmings as he can to the nest, and when there are more than the female and chicks can eat they will pile up around the nest, saved for later. The highest number ORI has ever recorded cached at a nest: 86!
Here's a photo of young Snowy Owl chicks in a nest, surrounded by cached lemmings! (Photo from the ORI archives, I'm not sure of the year). https://uploads.disquscdn.c...
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
The recording for Denver's Jan. 19 presentation on Snowy Owl breeding ecology and the Snowy Owl that was recently seen in Cypress, California is now available online! 🦉📽️
Huge thanks to Sea and Sage Audubon and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife for sponsoring- it was a great presentation!
Watch the talk here:https://www.youtube.com/wat...
Wanted to share a new resource with you all:
Denver, Solai, and Chloe have just finished putting together a new photographic guide to aging and sexing Snowy Owl chicks! You can read more about it, and find the link, on our website here: https://www.owlresearchinst...
While the guide has a lot of details for researchers, it also includes a ton of pictures of all stages of development from the 2022 nest- up close photos that we couldn't have seen on the cam!
We're excited to have this resource up on our website, and to have these photos to enjoy as we wait for the 2023 breeding season! https://uploads.disquscdn.c...
Sorry it is not Cypress Creek. Our city is Cypress.
i am so very excited to see these magnificent raptors again ❤️can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait
In honor of National Bird Day, here are TWO Snowy Owl-related posts!
One: Next week, Denver is traveling to Cypress, CA to give a talk about Snowy Owl breeding ecology (and to talk about the Snowy Owl that is currently hanging out in the area!) For those of us who can’t join in-person, there will be an option to watch online. More details here: https://www.owlresearchinst...
Two:I reached out to Wild Skies Raptor Center for updates on Snowy Owl Chick 6 (not really a chick anymore!), who ORI helped transport from Alaska to a raptor rehab center here in Montana. She’s doing great! Some recent photos, and more information, here: https://www.owlresearchinst...https://uploads.disquscdn.c...
Hope everyone can find a way to enjoy birds today, and thanks for being part of our online bird community!
The talk given by Denver Holt at the Cypress Community Center was fantastic! There was a crowd estimated at 300+ on site and 500+ streaming it online. Thanks to Denver Holt and ORI for coming to Cypress to help us celebrate that the Cypress Snowy Owl spent over a month with us.
The zoom last night in Cypress was very interesting!
Have you heard of the Snowy Owl that's been hanging out in Southern California? I know some of you have- thanks for sharing your experiences and info with us!
Denver was recently interviewed for this Jan. 9, 2023 SFGATE article by Amanda Bartlett-
From the article:
"Denver Holt, a founder and president of the Owl Research Institute in Montana who has been studying snowy owls for the last 31 years, said the Arctic species migrates in the winter months and typically lives and nests in the Canadian islands, the Russian coastline and in Norway. He sees them every summer in Utqiagvik, Alaska, where he conducts his research.
'It’s unusual for one to travel all the way down to Southern California,” he told SFGATE. But the behavior itself isn’t out of the ordinary. “It’s pretty typical of them to show up in places that are way outside of their normal range, and this appears to be a case of that.' ”
https://uploads.disquscdn.c...Mark your calendars! Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023- Denver will be giving a presentation for the International Owl Center's Virtual Owl Expert Speaker Series!
For more information and the link to register: https://www.owlresearchinst...
PLEASE NOTE: This presentation will NOT be recorded, so you can only tune in live!
About the presentation: Denver Holt and colleagues have been studying the natural history of breeding Snowy Owls and their primary prey, the Brown Lemming, for thirty-one years. The breeding season is long, approximately 4 months, and even during "summer" the weather is a challenge for researchers and the owls.
During this talk Denver will highlight some aspects of the owls' natural history such as the mating system, division of labor between male and female to raise a family, nest defense behavior, nestling growth and development, food habits, lemming population fluctuations, and more.
Denver will also discuss how Snowy Owls could make decisions to stay and breed or migrate through Barrow during early spring. He will also answer the following questions:
Why are Snowy Owls white?Why have they evolved sexual color dimorphism?What drives their migration?What is an irruption?
Are their populations declining, stable, or, we do not know?
Finally, Denver will emphasize the need for long-term research and monitoring on their breeding and non-breeding grounds.
Denver Holt is the founder and president of the Owl Research Institute, a nonprofit he started 30 years ago. Today, it is one of the premier owl research centers in the world, just as Holt is one of the leading experts.
Holt is a widely published author who has been featured in many articles from National Geographic to the New York Times, as well as in many television programs. He has educated and entertained people from all walks of life and enjoys guiding, meeting new people, and expanding his knowledge of wildlife and the natural world.
I walked over and saw the snowy owl today in Cypress, CA. We saw it regurgitate two huge pellets so it must be feeding well.
What the heck is this doing in Orange County California?https://m.youtube.com/watch...
Here is the story (click No THanks on popup)https://www.ocregister.com/...
Hello Everyone! I hope you are all doing well and staying warm, especially if you're somewhere with weather like we've been having here in Montana! (It warmed up to -8 degrees F today on my way in to work- practically toasty compared to yesterday!)
Wanted to let you all know that I heard the rescued Snowy Owl chick has been doing really well, and has progressed to catching her own live prey- I'll be asking the raptor rehab center where she is if they have any photos they can share with a more official update. But, some very happy holiday news! She should be able to be released this coming summer, which is such good news.
All of us here at ORI wish you & yours a happy and warm holiday season! https://uploads.disquscdn.c...
Here is the story from SO CA (click the No THanks on popup)https://www.ocregister.com/...
#6 is in the news
A young snowy owl is in rehabilitation and will be spending the winter at Wild Skies Raptor Center in Potomac. The injured owlet was discovered September in a field near Utqiagviv (Barrow), Alaska, unable to fly. The owlet is the youngest of six chicks in a nest that Owl Research Institute (ORI) monitored in the summer of 2022. ORI in Charlo, Mont., has been monitoring Snowy Owl activity in Alaska since 1992, and Wild Skies Raptor Center has been rehabilitating raptors since 2010.https://www.seeleylake.com/...
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIVING TUESDAY SUPPORT!
In less than 24 hours we raised just over $6,400 for owl research and conservation! All of us at ORI are blown away by the generosity of our supporters- we could not continue our long-term research and conservation work without the support of individual donors. It is because of you all, our community, that we are able to continue our 30+ years of owl research. Everything we do is with your support.
From all of us at ORI, THANK YOU!
(Raffle winners have been notified by email).
Nov 29- Giving Tuesday! https://uploads.disquscdn.c...Today is Giving Tuesday. A large portion of our annual funding comes from individual donors, like all of you! We are so grateful for every donation, and for all of you, our supporters! It is because of all of you that we are able to continue our long-term research and owl conservation work. THANK YOU!
If you can, we would really appreciate it if you’d consider donating to ORI today for Giving Tuesday. All donations will go directly to support our long-term research—and, all donations have the option to be entered into a drawing for one of our Snowy Owl embroidered hats! Five will be given away!
Donate via this link to be entered into the raffle: https://donate-usa.keela.co...
THANK YOU! We couldn’t do it without you!
The Long-eared Owl winter cam is now live!
Yesterday (Nov. 21) we saw 3 roosting Long-eared Owls... hoping they'll be back in the same spot today!
Utqiagvik 11/16/2022sunrise 12.08 sunset 2.13pmhttps://uploads.disquscdn.c...