Spring Bird Banding at Prince Edward Point, Ontario / Page #3
Freedom is the next step. Brian's assistant takes the canned bird and places it out a small window on a ledge, tilting the can so that the bird drops out and flies away. The birds all seemed very eager to get back to their daily routine.

We were lucky enough to be there for the catch of the week. While checking the nets, one of the birders must have disturbed a sleeping Whip-poor-will.

Hermit Thrush
This spectacular bird is nocturnal which means he must have been in a deep sleep when he was aroused and was flushed into the net where the volunteers were ready with a cotton bag to bring him to the cottage for banding.

We were incredibly lucky to see this bird up close while Brian examined him and fitted a band on his leg.

He seemed quite annoyed, but also very sleepy while Brian tipped him from side to side, measuring him and checking his feathers.

After a brief photo opportunity for the grateful crowd, the Whip-poor-will was let go. He flew directly back in the direction of his bed, where he most likely settled in and over-slept for the night of bug eating.

With the help of funds from the Canada Millenium Partnership Program, the Important Bird Areas Program, Canada Trust "Friends of the Environment" and the James L. Bailie Memorial Fund, the PEPtBO has been able to continue the spring migration research over the last 7 years. The Canadian Wildlife Service has also given them great support, including, lending the PEPtBO the buildings (Van Cott Cottage) on-site that are the residence and banding station.

This year, with the help of the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s grant of $150,000, PEPtBO is able to restore the Van Cott Cottage to continue their research, and accommodate staff and volunteers as well as operate educational programs as part of the banding stations initiatives at Prince Edward Point.

Myrtle Warbler
They are also able to hire a full-time bander so that they can manage the cottage full time, enabling them to have many more weeks of study as well as a fall banding program, which will take place from mid August to the end of October 2001. Included with the songbird fall banding is an opportunity to do additional research on the Northern Saw-whet Owl. Prince Edward Point has some of the highest concentrations of these birds during the fall migration.
All this work plays a very important role in the study of ornithology in general and especially for the study of the migration of this particular group of birds and their flight patterns from season to season. If a bird species is in trouble for any reason, the banding and counting of these birds is essential to see problems in their population trends right away. Since the banding is done at regular intervals, they can keep an eye on how each bird species is doing. Information on individual species is compared across Canada with other bird observatories that are part of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network of which PEPtBO is a member.  
White Crown Sparrow
The PEPTBO have captured several birds repeatedly each year telling them many things about their longevity, migration routes, their contribution to their species and health.
The PEPtBO is continuing the work of the Kingston Field Naturalists who from the late 70's to the early 80's banded approximately 63,000 birds and 172 species.

The PEPtBO bands 3000 to 3500 birds in the spring. The session lasts from 7 to 9 weeks.

It is an enormous task but these people love what they do and know its importance for future generations of all bird types in Canada.

Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory

Ruby Crowned Kinglet
Back to Beginning of Spring Bird Banding
PEPtBO President: Eric Machell / elmachell@iname.com
PEPtBO Vice- President: Brian Joyce / warjoy@interhop.net
Visit the website of the PEPtBO at this address http://www.peptbo.ca


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