McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY

RESEARCH TOPICS

Passerine banding:
Songbird banding takes place at MBO throughout the year.  The primary emphasis is on migration monitoring, from April through early June, and again from August through October, using a standard array of 16 mist nets.  Click here for an archive of weekly/monthly reports on banding activities.

Additionally, winter banding is undertaken to study residency patterns and northern migrants, using a smaller number of nets around a bird feeding station on the property.  In summer, informal or formal (via the MAPS program) monitoring of productivity via banding studies is pursued, again using a subset of the migration monitoring nets and/or additional nets in other locations within the property.

Throughout the year, banding efforts are supplemented by observations from along a standardized census route, and additional incidental sightings recorded throughout the site during the course of banding and maintenance activities.

Owl Migration Monitoring:
Owl banding efforts are targeted at the Northern Saw-whet Owl and Boreal Owl, using a standardized audio lure technique promoted by Project Owlnet.  This involves playing a continuous tape loop of calls from a speaker along a line of eight interconnected mist nets
.  The season extends from late September through early November, beginning nightly at sunset and continuing for a minimum of three to four hours.

Data collection and analysis:
Standardized methods of data recording are used for recording both birds and environmental conditions.  Items noted for every bird include age, sex, wing chord, and weight, as well as date, time, and location of capture within MBO.  Banding records are submitted regularly to the Canadian Bird Banding Office and Canadian Migration Monitoring Network, and all station programs proceed in accordance with their guidelines for operation.  All activities at MBO are supervised by at least one licensed bander. 

Students interested in qualifying for a banding subpermit will be provided with training, through activities at MBO and/or through outside training with the Migration Research Foundation, Bird Studies Canada, or other qualified institutions. 

Researchers working at MBO are encouraged to pursue and publish studies based on the data collected, and to suggest further ways in which the observatory can contribute to large scale research efforts.  Click here for more information on past, present, and potential future research topics under investigation.  

Reports:
Reports have been compiled for each season of the migration monitoring program, as well as a summary report for the first five years of operation.  These are available in PDF format at the links below:

MBO Annual Report 2012 (PDF file, 4.3 MB)
MBO Annual Report 2011 (PDF file, 3.8 MB)
      MBO Fall Migration Monitoring Program 2007 (PDF file, 2.9 MB)
      MBO Fall Migration Monitoring Program 2006 (PDF file, 1.8 MB)
      MBO Fall Migration Monitoring Program 2005 (PDF file, 949 KB)

 





 

 

2002- The Migration Research Foundation Inc.