Spring 2005!

Wow! less than 2 weeks away now from Migration Monitoring in 2005! We have been busy as of late getting prepared for April 1st. The cold weather has really lingered this winter and as a result there have been fewer reports of migrants in southern Ontario than one would expect at this time of year. One highlight from winter 2004/2005 was the sighting of a Great-gray Owl on Peninsula D! This was a new species for the TTPBRS checklist which now stands at 209 species.
We are also looking for a few volunteers for both spring and fall seasons (check the ad below). Check back with the sightings board for weekly birding and banding highlights from spring 2005!

Volunteers needed for Tommy Thompson Park Migration Monitoring Program


Time Period:  April 1 – June 8, 2005

Tommy Thompson Park (formerly Leslie Street Spit) is located on the Toronto Lakeshore. The park is an exceptional site for birds as over 300 species of birds have been observed. The location of the park on the Toronto waterfront and its linkage to the Don River Migratory Bird Corridor make it particularly attractive to migrating birds and thus an ideal location for migratory bird research and public education.

Volunteers are needed to assist with the Migration Monitoring Program at Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station. The station is a cooperative effort of Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) and Toronto Bird Observatory (TBO). Migration Monitoring is a nation-wide survey of migrating landbirds, specifically targeting species that breed in the vast regions of the north where Breeding Bird Surveys are not practical. The data collected is also used to contribute to local land-use planning and bird conservation initiatives. Educational programs for schools, special groups and visitors are also an important component of the stations activities.

The Migration Monitoring Program operates daily in spring from early April-mid June and in the fall from early August to November. Staff and volunteers follow a set protocol involving census and point counts as well as bird banding. Fieldwork begins a half hour before sunrise each day (weather permitting) and runs for 7 hours.

Volunteers are being sought to carry out one (or both) of the following activities:


Volunteer Field Assistant:  Activities include: record keeping, extraction of birds from mist-nets, bird banding, data entry, habitat monitoring and general maintenance.


Skills required:  Previous banding or migration monitoring experience is helpful, but not required.  Volunteers will be supervised and trained by licensed banders who run the station. A good familiarity with eastern
North American birds is very helpful.

Bird Surveys:  Daily surveys include a one-hour census of all birds seen and heard from a set route as well as three point count surveys.


Skills required:  Ability to identify by sight and by sound eastern North American bird species that can be found at Tommy Thompson Park.

Volunteers who are prepared to commit the most time or who have previous relevant experience will receive priority with respect to training in bird banding and surveying. It is expected that volunteers will contribute 1 day/week or more through the season.  Those with less time to give will be able to provide valuable help in areas where they require less training, which may include data recording, census and point counts, data entry, habitat monitoring and maintenance.

For more information about Toronto Bird Observatory, please visit the TBO website:

For more information about Tommy Thompson Park and Toronto and Region Conservation visit:


Contact Information:

Dan Derbyshire
Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station

Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA)

derbyshire at