McGill Bird Observatory is focused on monitoring bird populations throughout the year at McGill University’s 22 hectare Stoneycroft Wildlife Area, in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec. It is adjacent to the 245 hectare Morgan Arboretum, the largest arboretum in Canada. The primary objective is to collect data that can be used to contribute to the understanding of bird movements and population trends, in collaboration with the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network / Réseau Canadien de Surveillance des Migrations (CMMN-RCSM). MBO also pursues a variety of other research projects and delivers educational programs, ranging from banding workshops and ongoing training of volunteers to public presentations and development of identification resources. It is designated as a McGill Research Station, and as such there is no public access, except within the context of special events or research programs. Operations at MBO are patterned after those at other Canadian bird observatories, with an emphasis on migration monitoring, research, and volunteer training.
Volunteer assistance is required to operate all research programs at the McGill Bird Observatory. Help is needed both with banding activities and with site maintenance – information about volunteering can be found here. Most volunteers participate occasionally, from just a couple of times per season to a couple of times per week depending on interests and availability. We also have a limited number of openings for seasonal interns.
What do we do?
Bird banding is an essential tool for gathering information regarding the timing and routing of bird migration, survival rates, social structures, population trends, and more. Even for the most common species, such research continues to reveal surprises, while for species of concern it provides critical data for the planning of conservation and management efforts.
Learn more about what we do and how you might be able to help, by following the navigation links at the top of the page.