Snowy owl named Fond du Lac has provided data over 2 breeding seasons
You don’t need a dictionary to know the meaning of the term “charismatic wildlife species.” Just picture a snowy owl. Large in stature, covered in spectacular black-and-white feathers and with big yellow eyes, these birds have made the world fall in love with them.Affection and concern for the species led Racine native David Brinker ’77 (Science and Environmental Change) and a group of other ornithologists in 2013 to form Project SNOWstorm, a crowd-funded initiative to study and help conserve the owls.But Brinker knows it’s important to not get too attached to the project’s subjects. “Well, of course they’re wild birds and once they fly off they may never come back or you may lose contact with them,” Brinker said Tuesday during a phone interview. Yes, there are few guarantees in life or research. On occasion, though, the work can produce both cheers and a rich data set.