Concern is growing over the decline of North American migratory songbird populations. Each year the woods seem quieter or a specific song is missing. The St. Andrews Bird Banding Station is working to understand that trend.
The forests of New Brunswick have seen many changes due to logging, agricultural clearing, and the growth of urban areas. Forests continue to recede to make way for urban expansion, and our water supplies are continually in jeopardy due to environmental malpractices. And as the forest habitat changes, so too must the bird populations. The species that are common now are not the same ones that would have been common in the virgin forests. In order to monitor these on-going changes, a major commitment of time and resources are needed to collect standardized data.
The St. Andrews Bird Banding Station (StABBS) started using mist-nets to capture and record data on local songbirds in 1989. Over the past 25+ years, there have been 23,729 birds banded, representing 101 species. These totals make it the longest running, most productive active bird banding station in New Brunswick. We believe that our efforts will help bird banding initiatives elsewhere and inspire others to focus their time and efforts to this growing problem.
In 2001, with support from the Bird Studies Canada Baillie Birdathon, the St. Andrews Bird Banding Station experimented with being able to operate on a daily basis in order to meet the requirements of the CMMN. This trial proved successful and with expanded support from NB Wildlife Trust Fund (NBWTF), the Station has become an associate member of the CMMN. It is New Brunswick’s only contributor to the nation-wide songbird-monitoring program.
The banding season, which begins in May and runs until the end of October, is divided into two data collection periods: