McGill Bird Observatory

A Canadian Migration Monitoring Network member, McGill Bird Observatory (MBO) sustains an important gap amongst banding stations located at Stoneycroft Wildlife’s 22-hectare area in Quebec’s Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue. This was the Migration Research Foundation project supported by Avian Science and Conservation Centre of McGill University. The operations are patterned, stressing migration research, monitoring and volunteer training.

The ornithology students of McGill University as well as various wildlife workshops for adults used the Stoneycroft Wildlife Area for spring and fall banding activities occasionally during the period 1995-2003. They caught 247 birds, including 34 species in the area and suggested it as a site for migration monitoring. However, the area was also suggested for owl banding though they did not attempt that activity during the time. In August 2004, an old cabin at Stoneycroft was restored for the banding station of McGill Bird Observatory. They established a total of 10 passerine nets. During the spring season of 2005, the network flourished and was quietly customised.

During 2004, a census route was established to provide access to different habitats in the area. It was walked daily during the seasons of spring and fall to ensure the total observation of the birds there. The census was also helpful for the winter and summer seasons.

In addition, the McGill Bird Observatory provides opportunity to both graduates and undergraduates to be given ongoing banding training to achieve a competitive edge in ornithology skills.