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An integral part of rare’s Ecological Monitoring program

A tree swallow is spotted perching upon a bluebird box at rare. Photo courtesy of Jenna Quinn.

Birds are being monitored in four key areas on rare property:

  1. Breeding bird monitoring was started n 2001 where Point Count stations approximately 180 metres apart were established using a method designed by the Forest Bird Monitoring Program of the Canadian Wildlife Service. These stations were revisited in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Each station was monitored twice in a season (at least a week apart) during fair weather and all birds seen or heard in a 10-minute period in early morning were recorded.
  2. Bird monitoring is taking place on the agricultural fields that have been taken out of crop production. In early summer, a volunteer bird team walks the length of each field twice along its edges and hedgerows and they record bird observations for 10 minutes at listening stations at least 200 metres apart. This annual monitoring will help us assess the importance of these restoration areas to bird populations.
  3. Overwintering bald eagle populations were monitored every two weeks between January and March along the south shore of the Grand River between 1999 and 2010. Observers noted information on bald eagle movements, courtship activity, perching and roosting sites, arrival and departure dates and feeding preferences. Intensive monitoring blitzes have helped pinpoint maximum eagle numbers.
  4. Bird banding has been established in two locations at rare; at the Slit Barn and at Springbank Farm. During spring and fall migration, bird banders set up mist nets at these two locations between sunrise and late morning on weekends (and occasionally during the week). At the same time, teams of volunteers walk various parts of the property recording all birds seen and heard.

Click here for more information on Bird Monitoring.

Click on any of the following to learn more about other rare ecological monitoring programs:

Benthic Invertebrates


Forest Health

Forest Soils



For more information on ecological monitoring at rare, please contact our Research Department h h at (519) 650-9336 x 111