Bird Monitoring Project

For three years (2005 - 2008) , the Las Nubes Project conducted a Neotropical Bird Research and Monitoring Project in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor funded by the Molson Foundation and in partnership with the Tropical Science Center and the Toronto Bird Observatory.

The project led by the late Dr. Howard Daugherty, sought to increase the knowledge and information base on Neotropical migratory bids in the ASBC; to monitor changes in population; and to advance the understanding, appreciation and conservation value of these species.

The bird banding project consisted of 11 mist net monitoring stations in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor. The stations were set in two distinctive habitats, areas of shade grown coffee and forests. Also, these stations were placed at different elevations. The stations were set at sunrise and operated for six hours. Every 30 minutes the nets were checked for birds. Each bird was tagged with band of different colours (McNicoll, 2005).

Workshops on bird banding techniques were offered to locals at the beginning of the project in 2005, who would eventually become monitoring assistants. During the training, the assistants learned how to properly set-up and take down mist nets, bird identification, bird banding skills, and bird safety. This last point was reinforced throughout the training (McNicoll, 2005).

York University participated in local environmental fairs, visited schools and family farms in which the project was presented to the community and bird education sessions were held (McNicoll, 2005).