The Sorel-Tracy region A stopover for ornithologists
As the gateway to the Lac-Saint-Pierre world biosphere reserve, the Sorel-Tracy region is an ornithological treasure to be discovered. It has an exceptional natural environment and the birds, some of which are rare species, count in the thousands.
Ornithological places of interest
The archipelago of Lac Saint-Pierre has the largest known heron nesting grounds in the world. Located on Grande Île, this heron nesting ground has no less than 1,300 herons. When spring arrives, the rising water cleans the grounds and allows the huge silver maples to survive the presence of the great herons as they are home to an extraordinary number of birds every year.
From the end of May to early June, the least bittern, that we hear more often than we see, makes its nest in the reeds of Lavallière bay, a habitat conducive to the reproduction of this endangered species. The black tern is also there during the reproductive period. From the end of May to early July, we can see their young sitting in their floating nests. At dusk, the eastern screech owl takes its turn to sing for you.
In August, the beaches of Îles de Sorel are home to the shorebirds that are usually around when the water level is low. Keep your eyes open. You may even see an American white pelican.
And since forests are becoming scarce in Montérégie, the Sorel-Tracy region can be proud of being an exceptional migration stop for neo-tropical birds, such as the warbler, bunting, tanager and preacher-bird that pass through in the spring and fall. The presence of the white-eyed vireo at the Maison du Marais in the spring of 2007 caused a great deal of excitement among ornithologists in Québec.
Even downtown Sorel-Tracy is a remarkable place for watching birds. In fact, from Regard-sur-le-Fleuve park, we can see great egrets and, a few steps from there, perched on grain silos, a pair of peregrine falcons get ready to hunt for pigeons.
Finally, the wood duck is also among the special species in the region. From the month of April to the end of May, wood ducks take over the 345 nests made available to them all around Lac-Saint-Pierre. Some of these nests are installed along the edge of the trail at Lavallière bay, making it possible to watch them while keeping your feet dry. The Société d'aménagement de la baie Lavallière (SABL), a non-profit organization, that is responsible for the provincial network of nests for wood ducks. The organization bands 3,000 ducks per year in the Lac-Saint-Pierre territory.
- Ducks: wood duck, ring-necked duck
- Owls: eastern screech owl , great horned owl
- Least bittern
- Black tern
- Eastern screech owl
- Shorebirds: greater yellowlegs, lesser yellowlegs, spotted sandpiper, semipalmated sandpiper, least sandpiper
- Herons: great herons, black-crowned night heron, green-backed heron
- Terns: common tern, Caspian tern
Beginning of October
- Birds of prey: rough-legged hawk, red-tailed hawk
- Seagulls: Iceland gull, glaucous gull, great black-backed gull, herring gull
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