[CT Birds] Logan Airport Snowy Owl Success

Timothy L Thompson tthompso at gdeb.com
Mon Dec 9 14:23:01 EST 2013

From Timothy L. Thompson

12/9    FYI.... fellow birders.  I have included below, some internet 
"snippings" regarding the very successful work done by Snowy Owl champion 
Norman Smith of the Mass Audubon at Logan Airport, Boston, Ma.  This is 
viable 2013 information involving this year's irruption.  So something has 
been and can be done as exemplified below ....we need to act now!

"We've caught 20 snowy owls so far this season at Logan International 
Airport in Boston.  Over the years, we’ve put satellite transmitters on 
the owls to see if they make it back to the Arctic, and found a number of 
them do.  No one really knows why they move south. But there have been 
more this year than in recent years — with as many as 15 on the airfield 
at one time. We use a mouse or a bird in a cage to lure the owl into the 
net. Then we release them either north or south of the airport."  Norman 
Smith, 61, is with the Massachusetts Audubon Society and has been trapping 
and releasing snowy owls at Boston’s Logan International Airport since 
1981. -  New York Daily News, December 9, 2013
“Historically, people have thought the owls flew south because they 
weren't able to find food up north, but this does not appear to be the 
case, said Norman Smith, who catches and relocates snowy owls attracted to 
the tundra like expanse of Logan Airport in Boston. The arriving birds 
seem to be in good condition, and transmitters attached to them have 
revealed they are capable of returning to the Arctic. One flew back to the 
airport the following year for a round trip of more than 7,000 miles 
(11,265 kilometers), Smith said.  And, not surprisingly, it’s unclear 
what’s driving the owls' attention-grabbing appearances in recent years. 
"That's one of those things that is a good question," said Smith, who 
works for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. "Is it something that is 
happening in the Arctic habitat?"  Since beginning to study the birds at 
Logan in 1981, Smith has seen seasons with as few as one bird and as many 
as 43.”   Wynne Parry, LiveScience , December 6, 2013
Great Snowie viewing everyone!!


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