Québec: Summer 2020

1 Jun–31 Jul

Pierre Bannon

Samuel Denault

Olivier Barden

Normand David

Recommended citation:

Bannon, P., Denault, S., Barden, O., and David, N. 2020. Summer 2020: Québec. <https://wp.me/p8iY2g-9wZ> North American Birds.

For the third consecutive year, the summer was hot and dry. June was one of the driest in years, while July was the warmest month in 100 years. The highlights for the period included a Mississippi Kite and a Burrowing Owl. The Yellow-billed Cuckoo, normally a rare breeder in the region, staged an impressive demographic explosion.


For the 6th consecutive summer, Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks made an incursion into the region; this time a group of 5 made a brief appearance at Montmagny 21 Jun (G. Bonneau, ph.). A Mute Swan paused at Ile aux Grues 23–25 Jul (M. Robert). A pair of Trumpeter Swan photographed with 4 young documented breeding at La Morandière (Abitibi) 9–16 Jul (R. Gélinas). Pairs summered at Saint-Fulgence (m.ob.) and at Saint-Étienne-de-Beauharnois (L. Falcon, D. Collins) but with no evidence of breeding. Several birds were also reported in the Outaouais valley, west of Gatineau (m.ob.). A Tundra Swan visited Irlande 3 Jun (A. Sheinck). A Tufted Duck continued at Sept-Iles until 1 Jun (B. Duchesne). A Eurasian Collared-Dove turned up at Béarn (Témiscamingue) 23 Jun (M. Gervais, ph.). White-winged Doves were remarkably prominent in the region this summer; single birds were at Trois-Rivières 29 Jun (H. Samson), Les Escoumins 1 Jul (D. Turgeon), and Ile Bonaventure 31 Jul (R. Turgeon). It was an exceptional summer also for Yellow-billed Cuckoo; at least 40 individuals were reported in 33 localities in JunJul (fide S. Denault). A pair of Sandhill Crane was confirmed nesting in Frontenac National Park 13 Jun, a first for the Estrie region (T. Deleuil). A Baird’s Sandpiper, rare in spring, was at Yamachiche 1 Jun (M. Pelletier). A Willet visited Rivière-Ouelle 7 Jun (C. Girard, C. Auchu). Rare for the dates, Long-tailed Jaegers appeared at Portneuf 13 Jun (T. Grandmont) and at Pointe-des-Monts 7 Jul (B. Drolet, J. Ibarzabal). An adult Sabine’s Gull near Val d’Or 4 Jun was surprising for the Abitibi region (S. Perreault). Small gulls, now seen routinely, were noticed mainly along the St. Lawrence River: at least 6 Black-headed Gulls localized along the estuary and the gulf; 5 Little Gulls around the estuary; 5 Laughing Gulls also along the estuary; and 7 Franklin’s Gulls more scattered along the St. Lawrence corridor. A total of 119 Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Rivière-Saint-Jean (Minganie) 4 Jul established a new record high count for the region (B. Drolet, J. Ibarzabal).

Single American White Pelicans were found at Maskinongé 1826 Jun (Y. Dupont) and on Lake Abitibi 28 Jun (m.ob.). Among southern wading birds, a Snowy Egret was at Saint-Barthélemy 22 Jun (S. Lemieux, S. Blackburn), a Tricolored Heron was at Cap Tourmente 2228 Jun (P. Normand, C. Hébert) and a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was at Havre-aux-Maisons (Iles de la Madeleine) 31 Jul (B. Arseneau). Black Vultures were noticed in 8 localities of southern Québec. More fascinating, a 1st-summer Mississippi Kite was carefully identified at Saint-André-Avelin 34 Jun, providing a 2nd record for the region (C. Samoisette-Pilon, MP. Langlois, ph.). An adult Northern Hawk Owl accompanied by 2 juveniles at Ile aux Lièvres  (Rivière-du-Loup) 1415 Jul provided a rare nesting record south of the St. Lawrence River (P. Coquereau). A Burrowing Owl was photographed at Saint-Hubert 7 Jun, while resting on a traffic cone by a roadsideundoubtedly a least-expected perch for an owl; this finding provided a 5th record for the region and the 2nd occurrence in 2 years (G. Lamarre). It was the best summer in 12 decades for Red-headed Woodpecker; adults were reported at Ile Saint-Jean (Terrebonne) 12 Jun (F. Fortier), Saint-Joachim-de-Shefford 26 Jun (D. Fontaine), Gatineau 29 Jun18 Jul (G. Shields, C. Barbery), Magog 1 Jul (L. Cousineau), and Beaconsfield 1316 Jul (J. Labrosse). A White-eyed Vireo was singing at Godmanchester 6 Jun (M. Robert, P. Bannon et al), while another silent individual was reported at Neuville 7 Jun (M. Saint-Michel).

Sedge Wrens were reported at several new locations in the Montréal area with up to 2 at Ile Saint-Bernard (Châteauguay) 14 Jun that continued into Aug (D. Ouellette, S. Vanier); up to 2 at Cap Saint-Jacques Nature Park (Montréal) 30 May14 Jun (J. Demers, m. ob.); and up to 4 in Lauzon Marsh (Pierrefonds) 14 Jun15 Jul, where nesting was confirmed (S. Denault et al.). One at Lorrainville (Témiscamingue) 11-13 Jul was well north of its range (J. Fréchette). Carolina Wren is becoming more prominent in southern Québec, with at least 2 dozen sites occupied this summer. A Common Redpoll spent part of the summer at Rimouski 29 Jun23 Jul (P. Saint-Pierre, G. Raboin). It was a good summer for Red Crossbills as evidenced by a group of 11 in the Mount-Royal Cemeteries 24 Jun 3 Jul (R. Milot, P. Babeux). A singing male Grasshopper Sparrow at Saint-Armand 524 Jul was a first for Brome-Missisquoi regional county (T. Jobin et al). A Lark Sparrow at Plaisance 1 Jun provided a rare summer record for the region. LeConte’s Sparrows showed up at Longue-Rive 921 Jul (D. Turgeon, C. Émond) and Pointe-aux-Outardes 25 Jul (S. Robert). Single Yellow-headed Blackbirds visited Cabano 2 Jun (M. Beaulieu), Rouyn-Noranda 8 Jun (R. Deschênes) and La Malbaie 20 Jun (D. Tremblay). A Blue-winged Warbler was banded at Godmanchester 13 Jun and again 17 Jun (S. Duval, McGill Bird Observatory). The species is not yet well established in the region, and is still irregular in summer. A “Lawrence’s” Warbler was photographed at Godmancheser 14 Jun (A. Quenneville). An adult male Blue Grosbeak brightened Grosse-Île (Îles de la Madeleine) 6 Jun (C. Roy). A female Painted Bunting at Île du Grand Calumet 8 Jun (R. Dubois) was the first of its species to be recorded away from a feeder in the region. A male also visited a feeder at Hatley 9 Jun (D. Geffroy).

ADDENDUM: Fall 2019: A Forster’s Tern stopped at Victoriaville 28 Aug 2019 (C. Roy).

Report Processed by Alison Világ, 30 Dec 2020.

Photos–Québec: Summer 2020
Hover or click on each image to read the caption.