Each year, the start of the Snowy Owl breeding season triggers a migration for the Owl Research Institute. Like clockwork, lead researcher Denver Holt and crew head to the Alaskan Arctic to conduct the Snowy Owl Breeding Ecology and Lemming Population Study - a project now in its 27th year.
Researcher Matt Larson arrived in Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow) last week to get logistics in order, survey for nests, and identify study sites. Denver will arrive in two weeks to begin research and monitoring. While the study was initially developed to evaluate the predator-prey relationship between the Snowy Owl and Brown Lemming – the owl’s primary food source - it has evolved to address a host of research topics and produces increasingly valuable insights.