This publication is part of an atlas series that presents,
for the first time, a comprehensive overview of bird-banding
results involving birds banded, recaptured or recovered in Canada
for all species of birds except waterfowl. Volume 1 covers most land birds
(passerines and near passerines). Volume 2 covers seabirds (albatrosses,
petrels, gannets, cormorants, pelicans, jaegers, gulls, terns, and auks).
Volume 3 covers raptors (hawks and owls), vultures, and a variety of waterbirds
(loons, grebes, cranes, herons, and rails). Volume 4 covers shorebirds (plovers and sandpipers).
Bird banding involves placing a metal band with
a unique serial number on a bird's leg, so that the bird
can be individually identified when it is found again.
An "encounter" is any subsequent observation of the
banded bird, dead or alive. (The term "recovery,"
sometimes used as synonymous with encounter, refers
only to encounters of dead birds.)
Bird banding in Canada was begun by private
individuals in the early years of the twentieth century.
Following the 1916–1917 implementation of the
Migratory Birds Convention between Great Britain
(for Canada) and the United States, the public sector
organized the administration of bird banding. The
Canadian Bird Banding Office, established in 1923,
was originally part of the Dominion government's
Parks Branch but is now administered in Ottawa by the
Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) of Environment
Canada. The Office works closely with the Bird
Banding Laboratory of the U.S. Geological Survey's
Biological Resources Division, which was established
in 1920. These two agencies jointly administer the
North American Bird Banding Program for migratory
birds. Mexico joined the North American Bird Banding
Program in 2006 and is developing a banding system
in that country.
In Canada, as in most countries with vigorous
banding programs, bird banding has included a great
deal of volunteer activity. While many professional
biologists use banding in their research and
government biologists have done much of North
America's banding of game birds, interest in the
spectacular migrations of birds has led scores of
unpaid enthusiasts to spend much of their spare time
banding birds. Most published analyses of band
encounters have involved species with numerous
records, particularly species of economic importance.
For other species, there is an enormous body of encounter data that has
never been compiled, covering
many decades of effort. This atlas series is intended to
fill that gap.