The first large-scale, co-operative, studies of marked birds in North America were attempted in the 1950s. Operation Recovery, which linked numerous ringing stations along the east coast in a study of autumn migration of passerines, and the Preseason Duck Ringing Programme in prairie states and provinces, conclusively demonstrated the feasibility of large-scale projects. The subsequent development of powerful analytical models and computing capabilities expanded the quantitative potential for further large-scale projects. Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship, and Adaptive Harvest Management are current examples of truly large-scale programmes. Their exemplary success and the availability of versatile analytical tools are driving changes in the North American bird ringing programme. Both the US and Canadian ringing offices are modifying operations to collect more and better data to facilitate large-scale studies and promote a more project-oriented ringing programme. New large-scale programmes such as the Cornell Nest Box Network are on the horizon.
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Large-scale studies of marked birds in North America