• Photo by Wascana Centre Authority

Bird Banding In Wascana Marsh

Photo credit Jared Clarke - Yellow headed blackbird

Photo credit Jared Clarke - Yellow headed blackbird

The Wascana Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program was established in 2010 in Wascana Marsh. It aims to monitor the songbird populations that are found nesting in the marsh. The station is part of a network of 400 active MAPS station across North America, which is administered by the Institute for Bird Populations. Jared Clarke is the Bander in Charge of the station, which he established in 2010 while park naturalist at Wascana Centre. As of 2013, Jared runs the program strictly as a volunteer with assistance from a large team of volunteers with additional support from Friends of Wascana Marsh and Wascana Centre Authority.

Some of the successes of the Wascana MAPS station since 2010 are:

  • 2319 individual birds have been banded at Wascana MAPS comprised of 49 different species (2010-2014)!  
  • 113 of those birds have returned to Wascana Marsh in later years!  
  • Five birds captured in 2014, were originally banded in the Habitat Conservation Area in 2010, making some of those birds at least 6 years old!  
  • Wascana MAPS has the first banding record of a Sedge Wren in Saskatchewan's banding history and only the 3rd banding record of a Black-billed Cuckoo!
  • Our data is utilized by the Institute of Bird Populations in California to determine songbird population trends!
  • Our ongoing efforts are contributing to bird conservation in Wascana Marsh and across North America!
  • Link to the Wascana MAPS program: http://www.wascanamaps.ca/
  • Results of the MAPS program can be found here: Maps data sheet
  • An excellent video of the Wascana MAPS program can be found here https://vimeo.com/137446653 
Key Dates

As part of the MAPS standard banding protocol only 6 days are spent banding in Wascana Marsh, which are evenly spaced throughout the breeding season.         

  • Bird banding starts: After June 10
  • Bird banding ends: Before August 8
  • Bird banding statistics will be posted: Within a day of each session being completed at the Wascana MAPS website.
  • The last year for this project is 2016.             

Coming soon.

Fundraising Objectives

Project Costs involve $200 to $400 each year for mist net replacement and other equipment. The head organizer has to prepare permits, order bands, get all the equipment ready, organize volunteers, set up nets the night before, be on site at 4:00am and run the banding program, take down nets, enter data, proof the data, submit banding data. It takes about 110 to 120 hours of time each year to run the program. 

There is no goal for this program as it is complete.