Canada’s bird populations have been declining since the 1970’s. With nearly 50% of bird species in Canada experiencing population declines, conservation of these species can be limited by a lack of information at a local or regional level.
The main objective of this project is to conduct a bird monitoring and banding program at Vancouver Island University (VIU). Specifically, this project aims to:
- monitor migrant and resident birds to contribute to regional and continent-wide efforts to monitor changes in population levels of these species;
- provide practical educational and training opportunities for VIU students through regular courses, directed studies and research project opportunities; and,
- conduct public demonstrations where people of all ages can learn about bird identification, ecology, evolution and conservation.
Bird banding is an important tool used in the scientific study and monitoring of wild birds. Birds are captured using mist nets and uniquely numbered bands are placed on the leg of each bird to allow tracking of individuals throughout their lifetime. Important biological measurements are also obtained before each individual is released unharmed.