By Paul A. Smith
Buena Vista translates to "good view." A Wisconsin snowy owl bearing the Spanish name is poised to provide insights that conjure a more superlative moniker.
"Buena Vista" is a male snowy owl caught and released Dec. 23 on the grasslands near Plover. The bird was fixed with a GPS-GSM transmitter to allow researchers — and the public — to follow its movements.
The owl and another in New Jersey are the first of perhaps two dozen snowies researchers hope to outfit with the high-tech electronics this winter. The transmitters use cellphone technology to send a signal every 30 minutes.
The locations are picked up by a computer, allowing the birds to be tracked with extremely high precision and frequency.
It's part of Project SNOWstorm, a fledgling, crowd-sourced initiative to better understand and ultimately conserve snowy owls.