Saturday, April 11, 2015

Bird Protection Quebec "Monthly Lecture, Meeting"

Ten years of migration monitoring – highlights of MBO’s first decade

Monday, March 2, 7:30 - 9 p.m.
Kensington Presbyterian Church, 6225 Godfrey Ave., Montreal, NDG
Monday, January 5 - 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

McGill Bird Observatory (MBO) was launched as a pilot project in August 2004 by a small team of graduate students from McGill’s Natural Resource Sciences program, assisted by a few BPQ members. Little did anyone realize at the time how successful the program would become. Spring and fall migration monitoring programs have been standardized since 2005, and along the way summer and winter research projects were added and the capacity of the Northern Saw-whet Owl migration program was expanded. Despite open water being limited to small ponds, the site checklist has grown to 209 species; perhaps more impressively, 115 of these have been banded. MBO’s 50,000th bird was banded in October 2014, and the annual average of over 5,000 individuals banded ranks among the top handful of migration monitoring locations in Canada. Along the way, MBO banders have trained hundreds of volunteers, learned new details about countless species, and generated ever more questions to keep us busy well into the future! This presentation will highlight key results from MBO’s new ten-year report, and provide a sneak peek of what lies ahead.

Marcel Gahbauer is one of the co-founders of MBO, and served as the primary bander-in-charge for the first three years (while procrastinating on completion of his PhD at McGill). He has since scaled back on-site activities, but remains heavily involved with data analysis and program guidance as executive director of the Migration Research Foundation (which operates MBO). Outside MBO and MRF, Marcel serves as co-chair of COSEWIC’s Birds Specialist Subcommittee, and is a senior wildlife biologist with Stantec, based in Ottawa.

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