Since the end of 2013, North America’s snowy owls have been migrating farther south than usual, in what’s known as an irruption. That winter, more snowy owls making their way down from the Arctic were spotted in the Great Lakes region than in the past 100 years, and in the winters since, they’ve continued to migrate southward in greater numbers. Because these birds typically live most of their lives in the Arctic, making them hard to study, scientists are taking advantage of these unusual journeys to track more snowy owls.
In conjunction with the GPS-tagging researchers at Project Snowstorm, NPR’s Adam Cole followed a single male owl’s trip from Baltimore to Canada. The GPS tracker the owl was tagged with marked 14,000 GPS coordinates along the way, accurate to a few feet. Cole drove the route and managed to recreate the bird’s trek, even tracking down a few people who encountered him along the way.
All images via YouTube