About 25 Snowy Owls are on Amherst Island, mid-January, 2018.
You will find a Snowy Owl by open fields, sometimes on the ground; other times perched up high. Most often people sight them at the Township Roads office on the Stella Forty Foot, at the Bird Sanctuary on the south east corner of the Island, or out Long Point Road, the peninsula accessed by taking the Stella Forty-foot south then turning west. Their main food are voles and ducks. Other owls may be found in our “Owl Woods” but not the Snowys who need space.
Snowy Owls have been regularly sighted on Topsy Farms land.
This week, two Amherst Island Snowy owls, now named “Stella” and “Emerald”, were fitted with solar powered transmitters by Project SNOWstorm, a group that tracks and protects Snowy Owls in North America. The project story may be found here: https://www.projectsnowstorm.org/posts/back-to-amherst/. They were trapped with care, brought to Bird Lady Janet Scott’s dining room table for careful handling, and then released.
Both Snowy Owls were young, born last summer on the Tundra.
Both owls were strong and very well fed – Stella, less than a year old, weighed 5.25 lbs. with a wingspan of just about 6 feet. The transmitters are quite light, fitted with solar chargers. The researchers ensure that the Snowy Owl’s flight is not in anyway affected.
The data is coming in smoothly, tracking their hunting movements on the Island. Later valuable information will be sent when they travel in the Arctic. The transmitters can store data for up to 3 years, if they stay in the Arctic, far from data transmitters, or during the northern darkness. This project is in its 3rd year.