From Scott Weidensaul, director of ProjectSNOWstorm, the Snowy Owl study project that includes one of the owls being seen at Ramsey, Minnesota.
There are just five days left in the Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign we launched Jan. 2, and which has been a phenomenal success. We remain stunned and humbled by the incredible support that the birding and conservation community has shown for Project SNOWstorm. Hundreds of individuals and dozens of organizations have made it possible for us to do groundbreaking research on snowy owls with a speed most scientists can only dream about -- and they've contributed in a direct, critical way to understanding and conserving this majestic raptor.
We are nearing our goal of tagging more than 20 snowy owls with GPS transmitters, and if you've been reading this blog, you know that the results already have been astounding. One owl has meandered for weeks around the frozen surface of Lake Erie, hunting for ducks and gulls on cracks of open water. Others have flown hundreds of miles along the Atlantic coast, while still others have proven to be home-bodies, rarely budging from their corner of farmland or suburbs.
But our work is far from over. We have been archiving blood, feather, DNA and tissue samples from snowy owls, which will allow us to peer deep into their genetics, confirm their gender, explore what chemicals and toxins they are exposed to here and in the far North, and perhaps determine just where in the Arctic they came from.
So in these final days, every contribution above and beyond our original goal will allow us to take this study to the next level, by funding the lab work and analyses that are just as important as the transmitters. So if you haven't contributed, we would respectfully ask that you consider a tax-deductible donation -- just go to the "Donate" tab above.
And to those of you who have already supported our work -- a huge thanks from all of us participating in Project SNOWstorm.