Denver Holt, founder of the Owl Research Institute introduced me to the snowy owl chick that I hold before the camera a few miles out of Barrow Alaska. Snowy owls nest on slight hammocks out on the arctic tundra. Downy feathers that once kept owlets warm in snow became matted down with rain water. With less insulation, owlets were in increasing numbers not surviving the summer months due to hypothermia.
Walking out to the nest along a floating plastic “board walk” we saw expired water-matted lemmings. Walking back Pomarine jaegers swooped and cried at us. In this cold mist was the sensation of standing at the precipice of an extinction vortex drawing in suites of species and swaths of taxa, a vortex set spinning by human-caused climate disruptions.
Denver Holt works primarily in Montana and Alaska. Some current research projects include: the Snowy Owl project in Barrow, Alaska, the Long-eared Owl project in western Montana, the Short-eared Owl study in Massachusetts and Montana, as well as a number of other collaborations, surveys and studies.
Location: Montana and Alaska