Those great travelers!

White-throated sparrow
Credit: Espace pour la vie
White-throated sparrow
  • White-throated sparrow
  • Northern flicker
  • Black-and-white warbler
Those great travelers!

If we take a look around us, we can already enjoy the return of the migratory-bird population. A number of species are back by this time, the males generally earlier than the females, the idea being to choose the best territory to impress potential mates.

A journey in several stages

In the fall, birds migrate over short or even great distances. They need to be well prepared. First of all, they need to have reserves in order to store the energy needed for the trip. But too much weight being potentially harmful, they have to find a balance: provide small reserves to be renewed during stops on the journey.

So, why migrate?

Migration takes place when food runs short. Only 70 bird species spend all winter in Québec. They take advantage of berries in trees, but also of feeders installed by the many bird lovers here. Those that don’t feed on seeds– like the insectivore species – will migrate south, where they’ll find enough to eat.

The return of resources

In the spring, over 300 species come back to our regions. Of those birds, some will cross Montréal as they make their way northward. Others will stop and settle on the island. As the days grow longer, birds have much more time to devote to searching for food. In addition, resources are more abundant and make it possible to raise one or more broods.

With the nice weather coming back, all we have to do is step outside to enjoy their wonderful melodies and all their finery. And if the weather takes a turn for the worse, be part of Bird Fest, an event running at the Biodôme until May 22, 2017. See if you can spot more than 55 bird species from the Americas that we play host to there!

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