Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sightings for January 29

Hemmingford: Black-backed woodpecker, a female on Shield, 200 meters north of Williams in a dead pine.
Pic à dos noir, une femelle sur Shield,200 mètres au nord de Williams dans un pin mort.

Noyan: a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on 
montée McCallum. First woods to the right coming from the Richelieu.
Un Pic maculé sur la montée McCallum à Noyan. Premier bois à droite en venant du Richelieu. - Pierre Bannon

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bird Protection Quebec "Field Trip"

Saturday, January 31 – samedi 31 janvier
Chateauguay, Rue Higgins and Sainte-Catherine Récré-O-Parc
Guide: Tom Long 450-692-1590

8:00 a.m. Meet at rue Higgins in Châteauguay. At Higgins, the birds to look for will be Red-bellied Woodpecker and Tufted Titmouse. But you never know what will show up. One Christmas Bird Count, 22 species were counted there in just over an hour. They included a Carolina Wren and an Eastern Towhee. After checking out the Higgins area, we will go to the Récré-O-Parc in Sainte- Catherine where it will be mostly winter ducks and there may be some surprises. There are no facilities at the Récré-O-Parc. Half day.

From Montreal, take Hwy 138 and cross the Mercier Bridge. Stay right coming off the bridge and take Hwy 138 through Kahnawake into Châteauguay. As you enter Châteauguay, turn right onto Boul. St-Francis. Follow St. Francis all the way to the end where it meets the Châteauguay River at Blvd. Salaberry Nord. Turn right on to Salaberry Nord and continue to rue Higgins and turn right. There is a small parking area on the left next to the cell-phone tower.

8 h 00 Rendez-vous sur la rue Higgins à Châteauguay où les espèces recherchées sont le Pic à ventre roux et la Mésange bicolore. Mais nous ne pouvons prévoir qui sera au rendez-vous. Lors d’un décompte de Noël, 22 espèces y ont été dénombrées dans un peu plus d’une heure comprenant un Troglodyte de Caroline ainsi qu’un Tohi à flancs roux. Après avoir fait le tour de la rue Higgins, nous irons à la Récré-O-Parc à Sainte-Catherine. Au Récré- O-Parc, nous rencontrerons presqu’exclusivement des canards d’hiver et peut-être quelques autres surprises. Le Récré-O-Parc n’offre aucune installation sanitaire ni de restauration. Demi-journée.

De Montréal, prendre la route 138 et traverser le pont Mercier. Rester à droite en venant du pont et prenez l’autoroute 138 à Kahnawake dans Châteauguay. Lorsque vous entrez dans Châteauguay, tourner à droite sur le boul. St- François. Suivez St.-François jusqu’au bout, en face de la rivière Châteauguay au boul. Salaberry Nord. Tourner à droite sur Salaberry Nord et continuer jusqu’à la rue Higgins et tourner à droite. Il y a un petit parking sur la gauche à côté de la tour de téléphonie cellulaire.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bird Protection Quebec "Field Trip Report" January 24

It was very convenient that we got a warm break in the weather for yesterday's Urban Birding field trip. Had it been today (Sunday), it would have been a completely different story! 13 birders participated, including three McGill students (two from South Africa and one from Connecticut). We started out from the Costco parking lot at Bridge and Mill Streets in Pointe-St-Charles, heading out to Cite du Havre, where we explored a great extensive park that stretches from Habitat 67 eastward beyond the Concorde Bridge. The narrow spit of land has trails and a number of belvedere style lookouts along both sides of the water. This looks like a park that warrants further investigation at other times of the year. From there we explored the Technoparc area between the Bonaventure Expressway and the rail yards in Pointe-St-Charles. From there we headed to Nuns' Island where we first explored trails on the Pointe-Nord section followed by the wooded trails around the artificial lake on the island. Mild temperatures and light winds made for a very pleasant day of birding.

Our Bird of the Day was a Northern Mockingbird found atop an evergreen tree in the area behind the Bell Complex on Pointe-Nord of Nuns' Island. (Thanks to Doug for his eagle-eye spotting on this one).

We finished the morning with a total of 15 species, including a couple of nice surprises, including a much discussed Cooper's Hawk that we were desperately wanting to turn into a Northern Goshawk. Here is our list for the day - 
Sheldon Harvey

Common Merganser 50, Cooper's Hawk 1, Red-tailed Hawk 1, Herring Gull 1, Great Black-backed Gull 25, Rock Pigeon 200, Downy Woodpecker 8, Hairy Woodpecker 2, Pileated Woodpecker 1, American Crow 12, Black-capped Chickadee 20, White-breasted Nuthatch 3,
Northern Mockingbird 1, Purple Finch (female) 1, House Sparrow 75

Grand Harle 50, l'Épervier de Cooper 1, Buse à queue rousse 1, Goéland argenté 1, Great Black-backed Goéland 25, Pigeon biset 200, Pic mineur 8, Pic chevelu 2, Grand Pic 1, Corneille d'Amérique 12, Mésange à tête noire 20 , Sittelle à poitrine blanche 3, Moqueur polyglotte 1, Roselin pourpré (femelle) 1, Moineau domestique 75

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Great Backyard Bird Count

We've received a reminder from the Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab and Bird Studies Canada that the Great Backyard Bird Count will be held on Valentine's weekend this year. Detailed information is provided below. - Zofia

Join the Great Backyard Bird Count!


New York, NY, Ithaca, NY, and Port Rowan, ON —Give Mother Nature a valentine this year and show how much you care about birds by counting them for the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). The 18th annual count is taking place February 13 through 16.

Anyone in the world can count birds at any location for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count and enter their sightings at The information gathered by tens of thousands of volunteers helps track changes in bird populations on a massive scale. The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partnerBird Studies Canada.
  Bird watchers fell in love with the magnificent Snowy Owl during the last count when the birds were reported in unprecedented numbers across southeastern Canada, the Great Lakes states, the Northeast, and down the Atlantic Coast. Expect Snowy Owls to show up in higher numbers during this year’s GBBC, too.

"It’s called an 'echo flight,'" explains Marshall Iliff, eBird Project Leader at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. "After a huge irruption like we had last winter, the following year often yields higher-than-usual numbers as well. The abundance of lemmings that produced last year's Snowy Owl irruption likely continued or emerged in new areas of eastern Canada, more owls may have stayed east after last year's irruption, and some of last year's birds that came south are returning."

"This may also be a big year for finches," notes Audubon Chief Scientist Gary Langham. "GBBC participants in North America should be on the lookout for larger numbers of Pine Siskins and redpolls. These birds also push farther south when pine cone seed crops fail in the far north of Canada."

Bird watchers from 135 countries participated in the 2014 count, documenting nearly 4,300 species on more than 144,000 bird checklists--that's about 43% of all the bird species in the world! In addition to the U.S. and Canada, India, Australia, and Mexico led the way with the greatest number of checklists submitted.

"We especially want to encourage people to share their love of birds and bird watching with someone new this year," says Dick Cannings at Bird Studies Canada. "Take your sweetheart, a child, a neighbor, or a coworker with you while you count birds for the GBBC. Share your passion and you may fledge a brand new bird watcher!"

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with nature and show some love for the birds this Valentine's Day. Participation is free and easy. To learn more about how to join the count, download instructions, a slide show, web buttons, and other materials, visit While you're there, get inspired by the winning photos from the 2014 GBBC photo contest.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bird Protection Quebec "Field Trip"

Saturday, January 24 – samedi 24 janvier
Urban Birding – Sortie Ornithologique Urbaine

Guide: Sheldon Harvey 450-462-1459

8:00 a.m. Meet in the Costco parking lot at the corner of Bridge and Mill Streets in the Pointe-St-Charles area of Montreal. We will explore the Cité-du- Havre, Technoparc and CN rail yard areas before continuing on and making some final stops on Nuns’ Island. Looking for resident winter birds in an urban setting. Possibilities include raptors, ravens and mockingbirds. Half day.

8 h 00 Rassemblement dans le stationnement de Costco à l’angle des rues Mill et Bridge dans le quartier de Pointe-St-Charles à Montréal. Nous allons explorer la Cité-du-Havre, le Technoparc et les zones de triage du CN avant de continuer et de faire quelques arrêts sur l’île des Sœurs. Nous serons à la recherche des oiseaux d’hiver résidents en milieu urbain, avec la possibilité de rapaces, de corbeaux et de moqueurs. Demi-journée.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Botanical Gardens Field trip

I plan to be there tomorrow morning. We should meet inside at the reception area where it will be warmer. - David

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sightings for Tuesday January 13

Montreal: While I was waiting for the 165 bus outside Guy-Concordia metro, I noticed 2 Peregrine Falcons harassing a Red-tailed Hawk (Faucons pèlerin  harceler une Buse à queue rousse)--not a welcome visitor in their opinion! It's not the first time I've seen raptors in the vicinity. A couple of years ago, I was astonished to see a goshawk right outside the metro station, and I've more than once seen Cooper's Hawks from Ste-Catherine Street. 

My guess is that the birds of prey are attracted by the numerous pigeons in the area. In fact, that's often how I first see them: I notice a major pigeon disturbance and then look around to see what, if anything, is causing it. - Zofia Laubitz  

Bird Protection Quebec "Field Trip"

Saturday 17 January – samedi 17 janvier
Montreal Botanical Garden – Jardin Botanique de Montréal

Guide: David Mulholland 514-630-6082   e-mail

8:00 a.m. Meet in front of the restaurant, near the entrance on Sherbrooke St. East. There is a charge for parking inside the gates. Looking for winter finches. Half day.

8 h 00 Rassemblement devant le restaurant, près de l’entrée du jardin sur la rue Sherbrooke Est. Prévoir des frais de stationnement si vous stantionnez à l’intérieur du jardin. Espèces recherchées : oiseaux d’hiver. Demi-journée.
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