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Snowy Owl caps are here! Get 'em while they last!

Hot off the embroidery line, Snowy Owl caps are finally here! With two great styles and lots of easy-to-wear colors - these caps are the perfect way to help support ORI and spread the word for Snowy Owl research and conservation. For a donation of just $75, we will send you a cap in return. See the selection HERE >>

Change at the Top of the World

In the documentary Change at the Top of the World, explore.org founder Charlie Annenberg visits the Canadian territory of Nunavut, an Arctic land with an 85% Inuit population. He talks with towns' mayors about how climate change is altering their ways of life: people being located due to rising sea levels, mothers being warned to not eat too much fish due to pollution and mercury, ice fishing diminishing with the melting glaciers. The film mirrors many of the same issues facing the Beaufort Sea Coastal Plain near Utqiagvik, Alaska, the home of our Snowy Owl study. The land is stunning and beautifully filmed in Change at the Top of World, which you can see here. Watch till the end to learn 10

ORI's Snowy Owl study site, Utqiagvik, Alaska

The Owl Research Institute's Snowy Owl study is based out of Utqiagvik, Alaska (formerly named Barrow) - the northernmost city in the United States and located north of the Arctic Circle. It is here that lead researcher Denver Holt, ORI researchers, and countless volunteers have spent the last 27 summers conducting the Snowy Owl Breeding Ecology and Lemming Population Study. Our study area is a 100-square mile area located in, and around, the Inupiat village where Holt has been given research authority over Snowy Owl nests by the Utqiagvik village and UIC Science. Transecting the tundra in search of owls and their nests requires reliable transportation - both 4-wheelers and snowmobiles - and

Have a question about Snowy Owls? Get it answered here!

Straight from the Arctic, Lead Researcher Denver Holt will be answering your questions about Snowy Owls, our research, and this breeding season later this week! While we are waiting to hear back from our team with an exact date and time, we collecting your questions now so they will have them at the ready! And don't worry if you miss it, we will posting a link to the chat here after it takes place. Submit your questions here: https://blog.explore.org/snowy-owl-live-chat/ This chat is being hosted by our friends and partners and explore.org. Photo courtesy of Ly Dang, www.nature2pixels.com

Long-eared Owl Banding

Last week we visited a Long-eared Owl nest to band the five, resident chicks before they fledged. One interesting thing about the nest: all five chicks displayed obvious, chronological size differences, typical to the species. The exception was the youngest, who was notably smaller than all others, including the one closest in age. It seems likely that there could have been an egg or chick in this gap that did not survive. All other five chicks appeared to be thriving - a great thing to see in light of other, failed, Long-eared nests we have monitored this season.

Snowy Owl nest footage

This video footage was shot by Ly Dang at a Snowy Owl nest near Utqiagvik, Alaska last week. Snowy Owls flush from the nest very easily and are notoriously difficult to photograph. Footage like this was obtained through an Owl Research Institute blind on the tundra. Snowy Owls do not hide their nests. Perhaps because it is difficult to find a hiding place in the wide-open space of the tundra. Snowy Owl pairs search for a nest site atop one of the highest of the small mounds found on the tundra. These mounds can be from about 8 inches to 3 feet high. Most are found within larger formations called tundra polygons. Tundra polygons form as the ground repeatedly melts and refreezes. This causes i

Snowy Owl Breeding Research

Now in its 27th year, our Snowy Owl Breeding Research project is the longest running breeding study in North America. Snowy Owls did not breed in Barrow, AK in 2017, presumably because Lemming numbers were low. Population indexing is currently underway for 2018. Snowy Owls have a circumpolar breeding distribution associated with Arctic tundra. Here they nest on the ground and are dependent on lemmings for successful breeding. However, lemming numbers fluctuate widely throughout the Arctic in location and time. Thus, in some years, some Snowy Owls may not breed. But when huge numbers of Snowy Owls migrate south into southern Canada and the northern U.S., we know they just had a terrific bree

Snowy Owls and Lemmings

So far this breeding season, ORI researchers report fairly strong Snowy Owl nesting numbers from our study area near Utqiagvik, Alaska. Last year, for example, no nests were reported. What creates these boom and bust conditions? It all comes back to the lemmings. When lemmings do well, Snowy Owls do well. When lemming numbers are down, Snowy Owls may lay just a couple eggs or may not nest at all. The photo above by Dan Cox shows a Snowy nest during a strong lemming year. The following article, Nothing makes Snowy Owl chicks feel at home like a nest wreathed in dead lemmings, by Ethan Shaw talks more about this dependent relationship. https://www.earthtouchnews.com/natural-world/animal-behavi

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We welcome all media inquiries. If you are a credentialed member of the media and wish to set up an interview or request further information, please e-mail liberty@owlresearchinstitute.org.



We are so grateful to the photographers who capture owls, and our work, in the most amazing ways. They generously share their work with us, and you. Check out the works of some of the photographers whose work is featured on our site! They are incredible talented artists who are committed to wildlife conservation.

Thank you to:

Kurt Lindsay: https://kurtlindsay.smugmug.com/Nebulosa/i-7D8Wh9d

Daniel J Cox: http://naturalexposures.com

Radd Icenoggle: https://www.flickr.com/photos/radley521

Melissa Groo: https://www.melissagroo.com

Ly Dang: https://www.nature2pixels.com

Tom Murphy: https://www.tmurphywild.com/

Deborah Hanson



The ORI is a non-profit, 501(c) 3, tax-exempt organization. We are funded by individual and non-profit  group donations, grants from foundations and corporations, and occasionally agency contracts.

We accept donations of real property. Please consider us in your estate planning.

Donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law. Our federal tax identification number is 81-0453479.





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Copyright © 2018 Owl Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

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