Founded in 1917 as the Province of Quebec Society for the Protection of Birds, Bird Protection Quebec is one of North America’s oldest birding and natural history organizations. It offers a wide range of activities to its members, as well as educational and conservation programmes of benefit to the general public.
Birdwatching – or “Birding” – can be enjoyed by people of all ages, almost anywhere: backyards, urban parks, the local countryside, and further afield. Your Bird Protection Quebec membership will introduce you to new friends and new places, and you can enjoy this activity wherever you go, even in spare moments on business trips.
To enjoy excursions, comfortable (and sometimes waterproof) clothing and footwear are essential. Removable layers are usually the most practical. Bird walks are in dry and wet woods, marshes and overgrown fields. Cold, wet feet and clothing can really spoil one’s enjoyment. Rubber boots are often necessary and sturdy, warm boots are essential in winter. In summer, bug repellant is recommended.
Binoculars are, of course, essential, as is a checklist of birds and standard field guides, such as:
- List of the Birds of Montreal (bilingual English/French – available for purchase at our monthly meetings)
- Peterson’s A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America
- National Geographic Society A Field Guide to the Birds of North America
- Stokes’ Field Guide to Birds (Eastern Region) – provides current status information for species
- The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America
- Oiseaux du Québec et des Maritimes, J. Paquin and G. Caron, French text, but bird names are also indexed in English
Three other very useful books are:
- Birdfinding in the Montreal Area by Pierre Bannon (published by Bird Protection Quebec and the Centre de conservation de la faune ailée de Montréal and available in French and English editions)
- Jean Paquin – Où observer les Oiseaux au Quebec
- Guide des sites d’observation des oiseaux
Formerly printed five times each year and mailed to all members, The Song Sparrow newsletter began electronic publishing and distribution in January 2009. The newsletter provides details of all Bird Protection Quebec activities and is a good source of information concerning local birds and birding events. It contains a column on all the noteworthy sightings in the Montreal area as well as reports of the regular field trips and interesting bird- and conservation-related articles.
Our website, www.birdprotectionquebec.org (www.pqspb.org), provides information on Bird Protection Quebec’s activities and other relevant events around Montreal. The site features links to other interesting bird websites and a checklist of Montreal birds.
Field trips: Bird Protection Quebec holds field trips through the year. The trips include short early morning and evening walks in Westmount’s Summit Park or on the LaSalle waterfront during the exciting weeks of spring migration, as well as trips to good birding spots further afield. Most field trips take place on Saturday, half-days during the “off” season and full days during spring and fall migration. Field trip leaders and other experienced birders are always ready to help with identification problems. Two of the most popular outings are to Bird Protection Quebec’s George H. Montgomery sanctuary at Philipsburg and to the Hudson area, both of which offer widely varied habitats. There is no charge for field trips although on rare occasions, when access is by boat, the boatman charges a small fee.
Birdwatching Courses: Several popular courses are given each year by Bird Protection Quebec Directors. Details are given in The Song Sparrow Newsletter. To be sure of getting on a course list, it is a good idea to enroll early.
Monthly Lectures: From October through May, Bird Protection Quebec holds monthly lectures at the Knox Crescent Kensington and First Presbyterian Church, 6225 Godfrey Avenue, NDG (between Grand Boulevard and Kensington Avenue, 1 ½ blocks north of Sherbrooke, bus #105). The lectures are open to all without charge. Details are given in The Song Sparrow Newsletter. They cover a wide range of topics of interest to birders and nature lovers. Lecturers may be biologists from the Canadian Wildlife Service, professional ornithologists, conservation organization officers, or Bird Protection Quebec members. One thing unites them all: a love of birds which is communicated with enthusiasm and expertise (and usually illustrated with superb slides). A bilingual checklist of Montreal area birds, printed on card, is available for purchase at monthly meetings, as well as bird-friendly coffee and other items.
Christmas Bird Counts: Bird Protection Quebec members take an active part in Montreal and Hudson Christmas Bird counts, in common with birders all over North and Central America. 2014 will mark the 115th such count.
Conservation and Advocacy: Bird Protection Quebec acquires and maintains sanctuaries. It also actively supports bird protection and habitat conservation, and is affiliated with Nature Canada, Nature Québec, and Regroupement QuébecOiseaux.
For more information, telephone: (514) 637-2141
Group e-mail: http://groups.yahoo.com (group name: Songsparrow) – join this to keep up with local birder’s news and thoughts