CMMN Daily Estimated Totals: Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station

Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station

Project name: Canadian Migration Monitoring Network

Goals : To generate counts of migrating birds for use in long-term population monitoring, especially landbird species not monitored by current breeding or winter surveys; To carry out cooperative research projects on the ecology of migrating birds. Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station is dedicated to the understanding, protection and awareness of birds in Toronto.

Dataset summary : This dataset contains daily estimated totals (DET) from the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station. DET is a standard protocol used by Canadian Migration Monitoring Network stations to estimate the total number of individuals of each species occurring at a site during migration.

Status : Active

Year started : 2003

Years (comments) : CMMN was launched in 1998 as an ongoing monitoring program. The first migration monitoring station in North America was LPBO, started in 1960. Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station was established in 2003 and began standardized migration monitoring in 2004.

Season(s) and frequency : Monitoring occurs daily in spring from April 1- June 9 and from August 5- November 12 in the fall

Geographic area covered : Located near Toronto, Ontario (43.3754, -79.1949). The count area is approximately 7.7 hectares.

Type(s) of habitat : Count area consists of Woodland, Shrubland, Open wetlands (marsh, bogs, etc.), Standing water (pond, lake) and Beach or dunes.

Primary species covered : Primary focus is landbirds (104 priority species). Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station also runs a ground trap operation for blackbirds and grackles; passive raptor mist nets using a decoy; shorebird mist net using playback; a waterfowl trap; Double-crested Cormorant chick banding (outside of count area) and a Larus gull project (on and off site).

Sampling Design : Standardized captures and observations used to derive daily estimated total throughout migration window.

Field methods : Combination of standardized daily captures, census, visible migration counts and other observations resulting in a daily estimated total for each species. The count period is 6 hours in duration with a 1 hour census. The station runs 15 standard nets and 5 non-standard nets.

Data format : Data-entry program produces .dbf files. Archival copy of data for most stations is maintained at BSC.

Sample size : 16 full member station operating 21 migration stations. Several pilot stations.

Results : Most stations produce some form of annual report for members.

Trends and time series availability : Time series varied (1960-present for LPBO). Trend graphs updated annually for all stations with at least 5 years of data. Available on BSC web site

Publications : Hussell, DJT and CJ Ralph. 1998. Recommended methods for monitoring bird populations by counting and capture of migrants. (available on BSC website) Dunn, EH and DJT Hussell. 1995. Using migration counts to monitor landbird populations: review and evaluation of current status. Pp 43-58 in D.M. Power (ed.), Current Ornithology vol 12. Plenum Press, NY.

Funding sources : Varied.

Applications for the data : Trend information feeds into integrated population approach and is also used for planning and environmental assessment purposes.

Users of the information : BSC, research biologists