Imagine a line of radar stations operating across the continent,
from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Rather than aircraft, however, they are quietly
tracking the numbers and movements of migrating birds, not with radar but with hundreds of
pairs of eyes and binoculars. Imagine further that these stations are linked, each
sharing and processing enormous volumes of data, painting the "big picture" of
what bird populations are doing across the northern half of North America. This
concept underpins the development of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network.
The network is supported by Bird Studies Canada, but involves the cooperation of many
bird observatories across the country. Bird Studies Canada is developing standards for
data collection, preparing computer software to aid with data entry for migration counts,
and developing analysis programs to calculate trends automatically using the data from
each station. The stations, of course, are actively involved in the actual field
workcounting and banding birds across the country. Much of this work is done by
volunteers, and if you would like to help out at any of these stationsand have a
great time in the process, getting better acquainted with the birds and the
peopleplease contact the station managers.
Here we provide a brief introduction to each of the participating stations across the
country. Some of these have been running for many years, while others are still in a pilot
phase. The idea is to test as many sites as feasible, and then choose the best ones
to represent the Network. Any one could be an exciting place to spend a few days (or weeks
or months) in spring or fall, observing birds on migration.
The Canadian Migration Monitoring Network
is grateful for support received from a great variety of sources, including hundreds of
private donors and volunteers, naturalist clubs, provincial governments, academic
institutions, and many corporate donors. On behalf of network stations, Bird Studies
Canada would particularly like to thank the Canadian Wildlife Service,
the Canada Trust Friends of the Environment
Foundation Canada Fund, and the James L. Baillie Memorial Fund for their
outstanding contributions to the development of the Network.