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We delineate bird populations using cluster analysis to group ringing sites based on pairwise comparisons of recoveries. Clustering provides a quantitative (but non-unique) grouping that can be used to examine the relationships of bird distributions at both local and regional geographic scales. Clustering is based on similarity matrices composed of pairwise comparisons of recovery distributions from ringing sites. We demonstrate the method using mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) ring recoveries to group ringing sites in south-central Canada, and discuss the possibilities for these analyses for non-hunted species with few recoveries.
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Delineating bird populations using ring recoveries