Marking animals with leg bands (birds) and ear tags (mammals) is one of the longest-standing techniques in the study of animal movements.  The first record of a banded bird dates back to one of Henry IV's Peregrine Falcons in 1595; in North America, it was John James Audubon who first used banding to track the movements of individuals, by studying a brood of Eastern Phoebes near Philadelphia in 1803.  The 100th anniversary of bird banding in Canada was celebrated recently in September 2005.  Despite the many advances in animal tracking since that time, most notably telemetry, banding remains an important source of information about animal movements.  While the recovery rate for banded birds is usually low, in many cases the number of birds banded is large enough to overcome this challenge and still allow for meaningful analysis of data.  Furthermore, many valuable data can be collected at the time of banding that have great value to population monitoring and the study of individual species.  Ear-tagging of mammals is usually done within the context of specific research efforts, and recovery rates are therefore usually much higher.  MRF uses banding / tagging in conjunction with a number of research programs to augment the data collected by alternate methods.  See the McGill Bird Observatory section for further details on our bird-banding efforts.



2002- The Migration Research Foundation Inc.