Last Updated on April 21, 2023 by Lily Aldrin
Hey there, bird lovers! As someone who has always been fascinated by the beauty and diversity of avian species, I couldn’t resist but share my passion with you.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at 12 common birds that you can spot in the stunning province of Quebec, Canada.
From vibrant warblers to majestic raptors, Quebec’s rich birdlife offers a captivating experience for any avid birder or nature enthusiast.
So grab your binoculars, put on your hiking boots, and let’s embark on a bird-watching adventure through Quebec’s picturesque landscapes!
Common Birds in Quebec
1. American Robin
Throughout Quebec, 66% of summertime checklists include the American Robin, which breeds there during the winter months.
The months of April through October are when they are most often seen, although there are always a few that decide to spend the winter in the region.
The American robin is a regular sight in gardens, where it feeds on earthworms.
Their scarlet or orange chests stand in contrast to their mostly black bodies.
During the winter season, they prefer to spend the night in the trees, so you may not see any in your area until spring.
The range of the American Robin extends from the contiguous 48 states to the Pacific coasts of Western Alaska and Canada.
Breeding populations across Canada and interior Alaska spend their winters in the southern United States.
The American robin has a wide range of habitat preferences and may be encountered in a variety of habitats, including forests, mountains, and woods, as well as open spaces like lawns and parks.
Insects, earthworms, fruit, and snails make up the bulk of their diet.
Use peanut hearts, suet, sunflower seeds, mealworms, and fruit to entice American Robins toward your garden.
The ideal way to feed birds is by using a platform feeder or scattering food on the ground.
The varieties of sumac, juniper, dogwood, and hawthorn are just some of the natural berry-bearing plants you may consider growing.
2. Downy Woodpecker
The southern part of Quebec is where you are most likely to see a Downy Woodpecker any time of the year.
Some 26% of summertime lists have them, whereas 32% of winter ones do.
Tiny Downy Woodpeckers may often be seen at bird feeders in suburban yards.
It’s not uncommon to see them in a flock with other birds like nuthatches and chickadees.
They possess a red spot on the back of their heads, and the rest of their bodies appear white and black.
Although they don’t migrate, you may still see Downy Woodpeckers in all except the northernmost parts of the United States and Canada.
Downy woodpeckers are common in streams, woodlands, gardens, and parks.
They eat mostly insects and beetle larvae but occasionally grains, berries, and acorns.
Besides suet, platform feeders stocked with peanuts, black oil sunflower seeds, and millet can entice Downy Woodpeckers toward your garden.
It may be easier to distinguish certain species of woodpeckers than others, however, this guide will help you identify all of the woodpeckers found across Quebec.
3. Hairy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpeckers are year-round inhabitants across Quebec, with 16% of checklists including them during the summer and 29% during the winter.
In addition to their white and black plumage, Hairy Woodpeckers have a sizable white spot on their backs.
On the back of the males’ heads, there’s a flash of crimson.
Larger and with longer beaks than Downy Woodpeckers, these birds seem quite similar to Downy Woodpeckers but comparatively have a larger beak.
They tend to cohabit, making it difficult to tell them differently if you encounter them in different locations.
The non-migratory Hairy Woodpecker may be found across all of North America except for the Arctic Circle.
The Hairy Woodpecker is a common resident in wooded areas, where it may be seen perched on the trunk or primary twigs of big trees.
It is also common in all other types of wooded areas, such as cemeteries and parks.
Almost all of a hairy woodpecker’s food comes from insects.
4. American Goldfinch
The southern region of Quebec is home to American Goldfinches all year round, although the months of May through September see a significant rise in the species’ population.
They may be found on 52% of summertime and 25% of winter checklists as provided by birdwatchers around the region.
Male American goldfinches, which are easily recognizable by their distinctive springtime black and yellow plumage, are among the most often seen birds in the United States.
Females and males alike get darker brown in the winter.
In most of North America, American Goldfinches are permanent residents.
However, during the winter months, those that nest across the Midwest and Canada will go south to the United States.
Some of their favorite foods include asters, sunflowers, and thistles, which they find in weedy meadows and overgrown areas.
Plant thistles and milkweed to entice American Goldfinches toward your garden.
In particular, they like nyjer seed and sunflower seed, although they will visit any bird feeder.
5. House Sparrow
The house sparrow is a non-native bird firmly developed throughout the year across Quebec.
They are found in 14% of summertime, while 17% of winter checklists are reported by bird watchers in the region, and they do not migrate.
House Sparrow has become one of the most widespread bird species in the state.
They possess brown and grey hair and white cheekbones.
They’re brown and black on the back and grey on the belly.
They spend the winter across the United States and southern Canada.
These birds are often seen in urban areas, and some of them are so docile that you may feed them right from your hand.
Typically found in urban areas, house sparrows feed on leftovers and grain.
Non-native species like these may be a nuisance if fed, but you’ll still find them in your garden if you leave them alone.
Feeders filled with sunflower, millet, or maize seeds can entice House Sparrows toward your garden.
6. American Crow
During the spring and summer, American Crows may be spotted more commonly across Quebec.
However, they can be observed in the southern part of the province throughout the year.
They may be found on 59% of summer and 41% of winter checklists reported by birdwatchers in the region.
The American crow is a huge, all-black bird that makes a harsh cawing sound.
The majority of the lower 48 states, as well as the Pacific coasts of Alaska and Canada, are permanent home to American Crows.
Migrate south for the winter from their breeding grounds in the upper Midwest and Canada.
It’s not unusual to see one of these birds on the beach, sky, field, forest, or even in a city.
Their diet consists of insects, earthworms, fruit, and seeds.
They consume everything, such as young turtles, fish, clams, mussels, nestlings, and eggs of several bird species.
It is not uncommon for as many as two million American Crows to congregate in winter in big, raucous roosts.
7. Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinals may be seen year-round in the United States, but southern Quebec is where you’ll find Song Sparrows nesting between April and October.
More than half of all summer lists in the region include them.
Song sparrows aren’t the most visually striking birds in the yard, but their near-constant singing during the spring and summer helps them attract mates.
Birds named Song Sparrows may be seen throughout the year in the northern states of the United States.
During the winter, those that breed in Canada go south to the United States.
They like open regions with water and bushes, and you may frequently hear them singing from a low bush.
In most cases, you can see them at your garden feeder.
Beetles, earthworms, midges, caterpillars, spiders, and even spiders are just some of the insects and plants that the Song Sparrow likes eating.
They’ll also consume raspberries, wheat, rice, blackberries, buckwheat, and wild cherries.
Place black oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, and Nyjer on platform feeders in your garden to entice Song Sparrows.
8. White-Breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted nuthatches live in southern Quebec year-round.
Only 13% of summertime checklists have them, whereas 25% of winter checklists do.
White-breasted Nuthatch has a gray-blue back, a white face, an abdomen, and a black crown.
The underside of their tails and bellies frequently have a brown color.
The United States and southern Canada are year-round habitats for white-breasted nuthatches.
White-breasted Nuthatches are common in areas with trees or bird feeders, such as woodland borders, deciduous woods, backyards, and gardens.
Beetles and their larvae, ants, caterpillars, and even spiders make up the bulk of what they consume.
Sunflower seeds, acorns, hawthorn berries, and even maize crops are some of the seed and nut foods that White-breasted Nuthatches like.
9. Red-Winged Blackbird
Blackbirds with red wings are common summer visitors to Quebec.
They return here every year to reproduce, and you can find them on half of your checklists right now.
Although 99.99% of the province’s population heads south for the cold season, 1% of the population stays behind.
Common and easily recognized because of their distinctive reddish-orange wing spots, red-winged blackbirds are mostly black.
The females are more interestingly dull than their male counterparts, with their streaky brown coloring.
The lower 48 states and the west coast of British Columbia are the only places where red-winged blackbirds overwinter.
During the winter, birds nest in the northern United States and Canada go south.
They are frequently seen perched on top of telephone poles, and during the mating season, the males will aggressively defend their territories, even attacking anybody who comes too near to their nests.
Spreading a variety of grain and seeds on the ground can entice red-winged blackbirds toward your garden.
10. Mourning Dove
The Mourning Dove is a year-round resident of Quebec, where it is most often seen in the southern part of the province (26% of summertime and winter checklists).
The elegant Mourning Dove has a chubby body and a long tail to complement its tiny head.
They have black dots on their brown wings.
The average male weighs only a little more than a girl.
In the northern Midwest and southern Canada, mourning doves breed, and then they may fly south to spend the winter.
Mourning Doves are common sights in meadows, pastures, and even gardens, where they may be spotted perching on telephone lines or searching for seeds on the ground.
They also inhabit grasslands and the peripheries of forests.
Fill the floor or pedestal feeders with millet to entice mourning doves into your garden.
In addition to peanut hearts and black sunflower seeds, they will also consume nyjer and cracked corn.
11. Blue Jays
At any time of year, blue jays may be seen flying over Quebec, especially in the southern part of the province.
Only 29% of summertime checklists have them, whereas 34% of winter ones do.
The blue jay is a common big songbird that is easily recognizable by its blue crest that stands erect, its black and blue back, and its white underbelly.
The year-round home of the blue jay is southern Canada and the eastern United States.
It is not common for birds to go west for the winter, but it does happen.
These loud birds flock together and forage for acorns when they can find them.
They thrive among oak trees in the forest since their diet consists mostly of acorns.
Also, you may often see them in backyards next to bird feeders.
In addition to acorns, their diet includes nuts, insects, grain, and seeds.
They might also steal nesting materials or young birds.
Blue Jays are huge birds that often come in, grab a peanut or sunflower seed, then fly away to eat.
Platform or tray feeders are their go-to’s since they allow for a speedy getaway.
Peanuts, suet, and sunflower seeds will bring Blue Jays to your garden.
They like to eat them out of hopper feeders or open trays.
A birdbath is another nice addition that they will like.
12. Black-Capped Chickadee
The black-capped chickadee spends throughout winter in Quebec.
They are found in 46% of summertime checklists and 63% of winter season checklists, respectively, and they don’t migrate.
The Black-capped Chickadee is an endearing little bird with a large, rounded head and a little, delicate body.
These birds are curious and will approach you as they explore your property in search of food.
They possess grey feathers, a black beak and head, and a white face.
Black-capped Chickadee is the year-round residents of Northern North America.
They like wooded areas, parks, and other open areas.
Seeds, insects, berries, suet, and spiders are all part of the diet of a black-capped chickadee.
You may entice Black-capped Chickadees toward your garden by offering them peanut butter, peanuts, and other seed and nut mixes.
They are the first species to find new bird feeders, and they’ll even eat from your hand.
Providing nest boxes with wood shavings encourages them to utilize them.
In conclusion, Quebec, Canada, is a birdwatcher’s paradise with its diverse array of bird species.
From the strikingly colorful warblers that grace the trees during spring migration to the powerful raptors that soar across the skies, Quebec’s birdlife offers a treasure trove of natural wonders to discover.
By exploring Quebec’s unique habitats, such as the boreal forests, wetlands, and coastal areas, you can encounter an impressive variety of birds, each with its own unique characteristics and behaviors.
Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a beginner, observing these common birds in their natural habitat can provide a sense of awe and appreciation for the beauty of nature.
So, whether you’re strolling along a scenic trail, paddling through a tranquil lake, or simply sitting in your backyard with a pair of binoculars, keep your eyes and ears open for these 12 common bird species in Quebec.
You’ll be rewarded with breathtaking sightings and unforgettable memories of the vibrant birdlife that calls Quebec home.
Where can I go birdwatching in Quebec?
There are numerous birdwatching hotspots in Quebec, ranging from national parks and wildlife reserves to urban parks and natural areas. Some popular locations for birdwatching in Quebec include Mont-Tremblant National Park, Pointe-à-Callière Museum, Îles-de-Boucherville National Park, Parc du Mont-Royal, and Parc des Rapides, among others.
When is the best time to go birdwatching in Quebec?
The best time for birdwatching in Quebec depends on the season and the species you’re interested in. Spring and fall are usually the peak times for bird migration when many bird species pass through Quebec on their way to and from their breeding grounds. Summer is also a great time for birdwatching in Quebec, as many species are actively nesting and raising their young.
What equipment do I need for birdwatching in Quebec?
Basic birdwatching equipment includes binoculars, a field guide or bird identification app, and appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. It’s also a good idea to bring a notebook and pen to take notes on bird behavior, as well as a camera to capture memorable moments. If you’re planning to spend extended time in the field, consider bringing snacks, water, and sunscreen.
Can I feed birds in Quebec?
Feeding birds is generally discouraged in Quebec, as it can disrupt natural foraging behaviors and attract unwanted wildlife. However, if you do choose to feed birds, it’s important to do so responsibly by using appropriate feeders and food, keeping feeders clean to prevent disease transmission, and avoiding overfeeding.
Are there any rare or endangered bird species in Quebec?
Yes, Quebec is home to some rare and endangered bird species, such as the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike, Canada Warbler, and Olive-sided Flycatcher. It’s important to respect their habitats and follow any specific conservation guidelines or restrictions in place to protect these vulnerable species.
Can I take photographs of birds in Quebec?
Yes, taking photographs of birds in Quebec is a popular activity among birdwatchers and nature photographers. However, it’s important to do so responsibly by maintaining a safe distance from the birds and avoiding any disturbance to their natural behaviors or habitats. Follow any photography guidelines or regulations in place, and always prioritize the well-being of the birds and their environment.
How can I learn more about birds in Quebec?
There are many resources available for learning more about birds in Quebec, including field guides, bird identification apps, online forums, and local birdwatching clubs. You can also participate in birdwatching events, workshops, or guided tours led by experienced naturalists or ornithologists to expand your knowledge and appreciation of Quebec’s avian diversity.