Mackenzie Nature Observatory’s banding station at Mugaha Marsh lies in the Rocky Mountain Trench, west of the Rocky Mountains and east of the Parsnip Reach of Williston Reservoir. The Omineca Mountains lie west of Williston Reservoir. These landscape features create a funnelling effect making Mugaha an ideal location to monitor migration of songbirds from Northern BC, Yukon and Alaska.


Mugaha Marsh in part is a natural wetland, but some parts of it are only flooded when water levels of Williston Reservoir are high. It was thought that the vegetation would be kept in check by flooding, but this isn't always the case and it is necessary to do some vegetation management at our site. Mugaha Marsh and some of the adjacent area received Sensitive Area designation under the Forest Practices Code Act of BC which offered a degree of protection while allowing for this type of management. The Mugaha Marsh Sensitive Area is now part of the McLeod Lake Mackenzie Community Forest.

Many of the species found at Mackenzie are associated with habitat types that are important to monitor, such as intact interior forest, mature forest, multiple layer canopy and riparian. Population trends of certain species can indicate conditions in these habitat types.


Hammond’s Flycatcher, Varied Thrush, Townsend’s Warbler and MacGillivray’s Warbler have a large portion of their population in BC and they are species individuals from the east are often looking forward to seeing.


Ruby-crowned Kinglets are caught in good numbers and are our number one species banded at Mugaha.

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