What Happened When One Guy Set Out To Follow A Snowy Owl's Path

The result is beautiful.

People know surprisingly little about snowy owls -- including what sparks the iconic Arctic birds' occasional mass migrations south.

That’s one of the main reasons that scientists Scott Weidensaul and David Brinker launched Project Snowstorm in 2013, when thousands of owls flew south in a movement known as an "irruption." The project tracks the travels of snowy owls using small GPS transmitters attached to the birds like little backpacks. (Don’t worry; they don’t hurt the owls.)

NPR’s Adam Cole decided to take the idea even further. The video above, published Wednesday, details Cole’s journey along the route of one snowy owl, a male named Baltimore that had logged 14,000 GPS locations from Maryland to Canada. It’s a pretty wild ride. (Read Cole's entire account here.)

And Weidensaul, one of Project Snowstorm’s creators, is a fan.

“Obviously it's not hard, cold science, but it catches a lot of the same sense of wonder and excitement we feel as we peel back some of the mysteries about this species,” Weidensaul told The Huffington Post in an email.

As for what’s next for Project Snowstorm, Weidensaul said he and Bringer are busy analyzing movement data from the 43 owls that they’ve tracked for the past three years, and planning out next winter.

You can learn more about Project Snowstorm here.



Beautiful Birds