Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTRI) : Institut de recherche du Mersey Tobeatic

MTRI

MTRI is a non-profit co-operative with a mandate to promote sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity conservation in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve and beyond through research, education, and the operation of a field station.

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Backyard Biodiversity

Backyard Biodiversity

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Bird Monitoring

MTRI is involved with many bird monitoring projects, including:

Caledonia Christmas Bird Count

Noctural Owl Survey

Landbird Species at Risk  

Contact us at info@merseytobeatic.ca for more information or if you would like to get involved!

 


 

Caledonia Christmas Bird Count

Christmas Bird Counts have been carried out annually for over a century.  They have been conducted at several locations in Nova Scotia over the last 50 years and in Caledonia since 1991.  Currently, within Nova Scotia, approximately 35 Christmas Bird Counts are conducted every year.  The counts occur on one day between mid-December and early January (hence the name Christmas Bird Count) within the same set area.  The bird counts document early winter birds and can be compared from year-to-year and area-to-area.  The Nova Scotia Bird Society and Audubon Society maintain a master record of all counts within the province and annually report the counts with notes on the unique results of that year.


Photo Credits:  Julia Reid

 

Project Objectives

 

Methods


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photo Credits:  Amanda Lavers and Julia Reid

 

2014 Results

  • The 2014 Caledonia Bird Count occurred on December 14 when 29 species and 819 individual birds were observed. There were 19 hours spent observing feeders and a total of 53 hours volunteered.

  • There were 31 observers who participated this year, up from 25 last year.

  • The total number of kilometres walked was 48 and driven was 61.

  • Rare birds sighted included the following: Northern cardinal, Pintail duck, Common loon, Sharp-shinned hawk and White-throated sparrow.

  • Species not observed that are usually included in the Caledonia Bird Count include Canada goose, Song sparrow and Purple finch.


Years of Data

  • Ongoing  project since 1991

  

Partners

  • Nova Scotia Bird Society 

  • Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute

 


 

Nocturnal Owl Survey

Nocturnal owls are surveyed across Canada as indicators of forest ecosystem health As top predators in the food chain, they are vulnerable to habitat disturbance. Barred owls require large hardwood trees which have cavities suitable for their nests.   Additionally, they are sensitive to forest cover and composition changes associated with forest harvesting and human developments. Owls are not easy to monitor due to their secretive, nocturnal activities. Bird Studies Canada coordinates nocturnal surveys in all three Maritime provinces. Locally, two official routes have been conducted annually since 2002 while a third, unofficial route, was established in 2005. These surveys document relative owl counts and note changes over time.

 

Project Objectives

Photo Credit: Eric Le Bel

 

Methods

 Photo Credits:  Jeffie McNeil

 

2014 Results

 

Years of Data

 

Partners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits:  Donna Crossland and Amanda Lavers

  


 

Landbirds at Risk in Forested Landscapes

Landbird species that have declined sharply in recent decades include the Common nighthawk, Chimney swift, Eastern wood-pewee, Olive-sided flycatcher, Canada warbler and Rusty blackbird.  These six landbird species at risk (SAR), their declines and threats to their persistence are largely unfamiliar to the general public.  Education through outreach can help conserve these species, and public engagement in monitoring can yield important information about populations and habitats.  With data from research and public surveys, models can be built to map habitat distribution for each species across the landscape.  Conservation activities can target areas identified as important and guide conservation activities on managed landscapes.

 

Project Objectives

              Photo Credits: Clara Ferrari

 

Methods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


          Photo Credits:  Laura Achenbach and Alana Westwood

 

2014 Results

 

Years of Data

 

Partners

 

Additional Resources