Ruthven Migration Monitoring Station (Haldimand Bird Observatory) - Cayuga, ON, Canada
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Bon Echo
N 42° 58.712 W 079° 52.492
17T E 591740 N 4759044
Quick Description: An excellent place to not only see birds but to watch as they are caught and banded
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 10/18/2013 8:25:07 AM
Waymark Code: WMJA6Z
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 3

Long Description:
The Ruthven Migration Monitoring Station, located at Ruthven Park in Cayuga Ontario, is an excellent place to see the birds up close. So close that you can see the find details in their features, so close that you might even get to release one after it has been banded.
This particular migration monitoring station is a part of the Haldimand Bird Observatory, and it is a member of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network.
Visitors are encourage to stop by the migration station to observe the birds and the activities of the volunteers as they extract birds for the ground traps or mists nets, identify not only the species but also the age / life stage of the individual bird, collect data such as weight and condition, place a band on the birds leg (or read the number of the bird is already banded), and finally release the bird back into the wild.
Furthermore, the lab is always looking for additional volunteers and will provide training to anyone with an interest and aptitude for the work.
The lab typically focusses on banding small passerines (songbirds) such as sparrows, finches, warblers and the like. In a typical year then will band between 3,000 and 4,000 birds!
In addition to banding small songbirds, this lab also monitors and bands swallows (principally barn swallows and purple martins), snow buntings, and saw-whet owls!
For the new birder, a visit to the Ruthven Migration Monitoring station will provide the perfect opportunity to learn to identify species which may be harder to observe such as secretive sparrows and warblers. And while the seasoned birder may not be able to add many lifers to their list while visiting the lab, it will still be a great opportunity to learn some of the fine distinctions between life stages or closely related species.
But the best opportunity here may be for the kids, where they can see these wonderful creatures up close, many for the first time. Hopefully this will help them develop at least an appreciation for birds and other wild animals, and at best a passion for birds and bird study.

According to the Ruthven Migration Monitoring Station's website (visit link)
The Ruthven Migration Monitoring station was developed:
¦ To monitor migrants during the Spring and Fall migrations following a standardized protocol determined by the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network. One goal is to analyze and identify interesting or important population trends of neotropical migrants.
¦ To monitor breeding/wintering birds at the site to provide baseline data for use in making decisions around land-use policy related to urban development generally, and in the Haldimand region specifically. (Ruthven Park contains over 1500 acres of land, half of which is forested.)
¦ To provide a training facility for students and other individuals interested in developing practical skills in field ornithology.
¦ To provide a learning resource to the local community to enhance awareness and appreciation of the local environment.

Daily Migration Monitoring Procedure

Migration monitoring follows a standardized protocol that includes each day:
¦ A structured census
¦ Bird Banding – following a ‘constant effort’ format
¦ The recording of general observations

The data generated from these efforts are used to create an ‘Estimated Total’ for each species on that day. The analysis of Estimated Totals is carried out by Bird Studies Canada. Banding data is maintained in a central data base overseen by the Canadian Wildlife Service and US Geological Survey.

The banding station at Ruthven runs daily in Spring from the beginning of April until early June, and in Fall from early September to early November. Typically migration monitoring and bird banding begins at sunrise and goes until about noon. Banding also takes place occasionally throughout the summer and winter seasons.

The Ruthven Migration Monitoring Station is located at Ruthven Park, a Canadian National Historic Site; see these related Waymarks for details:
(visit link)
(visit link)

Access to the grounds is available by donation, and there is therefore no set fee for visiting the park or the banding lab. Donation boxes are located throughout the park and entrance gate with proceeds assisting with ongoing maintenance. Donation boxes are located inside the banding lab to help offset the cost of running the lab. Guided tours of the Ruthven mansion are available with paid admission to the mansion.
Park Name: Ruthven Park

Sponsoring Organization: Haldimand Bird Observatory

Handicap Accessible?: Yes

Website: [Web Link]

List any Hides, Birding Towers, or other structures to assist in Birdwatching found at the location:
Bird are caught in various traps and nets and are brought to the Banding Lab building where they are assessed, banded, and released.

Parking Coordinates: N 42° 58.685 W 079° 52.514

Entrance Fee: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
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