Bird Protection Quebec is a pioneer in the acquisition of property for conservation purposes. Our first property, Île aux Perroquets on the Lower North Shore, was acquired in 1937. Since then we have come into possession of a number of important habitats, either by purchase or donation. Today there are a number of sanctuaries in Quebec that are owned by the society and many more owned by other organisations such as the Nature Conservancy to whom we have contributed funds or expertise to assist in their acquisition as wildlife reserves.
Please note, that it should not be assumed that all, or any, of these sites are necessarily open to the public. Anyone desirous of visiting is advised to contact the society in advance of their intended trip in order to clarify the position.
(A) Sanctuaries that are owned by BPQ:
Philipsburg (George H. Montgomery) Bird Sanctuary
Our best known and most important sanctuary lies in south eastern Quebec and is the focus of current multi-year project to improve its facilities for both visiting birders and the birds that they come to see. It consists of roughly 175 acres on the shore of Mississquoi Bay, at a point where the foothills of the Green Mountains meet the plain of the St. Lawrence Valley.
Most species of birds occurring in southern Quebec and northern New England have been seen here. Among species generally uncommon in Quebec but regularly breeding here are the Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Yellow-throated Vireo, Eastern Towhee and Field Sparrow. The extensive marsh and pond system, supports Wood Ducks, Least Bitterns, Sora and Virginia Rails. Golden-winged Warblers have nested in the sanctuary, and Cerulean Warblers are found regularly. Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Tufted Titmouse are also present.
You can see a Google map of the location here.
Download the trail map
Read more about the Philipsburg Sanctuary
The Alfred Kelly Nature Reserve
This enormous, thousand acre piece of virgin forest and cliffs lies between Piedmont and Prevost about an hour’s drive north of Montreal. The land, apart from two areas which BPQ have owned for a quarter century since they were left to us by Alfred Kelly, has been purchased by the Nature Conservancy of Canada – however the purchase in 2010 was made possible in part by a large grant to the NCC from BPQ. We are major partners with them and other local conservation groups in the management and success of this stunning property.
This project is new and signage and trail maps are still being developed – more information will be made available in future months.
The Quebec government have designated the property as a protected nature sanctuary. The reserve includes a large lake, extensive forests and two areas of high and inaccessible cliffs that are, amongst other things, home to regularly nesting Peregrine Falcons. Almost all of the raptor species that can be seen in Quebec have been recorded in the Alfred Kelly Sanctuary. See also a couple of articles that were published about the sanctuary: Quebec Oiseaux and Flora Quebec (page 5)
Île aux Perroquets
Located at the northern tip of Quebec’s Lower North Shore, this island off Blanc-Sablon acquired in June of 1937 is the society’s oldest sanctuary.
The island is named after the sizeable Atlantic Puffin colony found there and which gave the island its name. Atlantic Puffins nest in burrows dug into the sod. Lower North Shore seabird colonies such as this one have been traditionally threatened by poaching of eggs, which is on the decrease due to educational efforts.
The site is administered under:
- Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (1994, c.22; SOR/96-458 to 464 and SI/96-90 to 92, 30 October 1996).
- Canada Wildlife Act (R.S. (1985) c. W-9, sect. 1; 1994, c. 23, sect. 2(F); SOR/94-684, 7 November 1994; SI/95-42, 5 April 1995)
- Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations (C.R.C., c. 1036)
The island holds one of the largest Atlantic Puffin colonies on the eastern seaboard of North America and has been designated as a “Site of International Importance”
Access is restricted as much by its remote location and difficult tides and currents as it is by our preference. We ask that anyone thinking of landing there contact us in advance.
More information about this sanctuary is available by following the link to the right of the page.
The sanctuary, in two parcels near Sutton, was acquired in 1995 and subsequently leased at a nominal fee to the Alderbrooke Marsh Land Trust, which manages the property as part of a much more extensive ecosystem they are working hard to protect. It consists of marshland created by beavers along a brook at the bottom of a valley. The Alderbrooke Marsh Land Trust protects close to 60 hectares by acquisition and conservation servitudes. At this time, these have been funded by Bird Protection Quebec and The Quebec Wildlife Federation. Nature Conservancy Canada is also an active partner. These wetlands have enormous ecological value. Through studies of the flora and fauna, performed in collaboration with specialists from several Quebec universites, many rare plants as well as the wood turtle, four-toed salamander and the green frog have been identified. The variety of birds identified by the Brome Mississquoi Birding Club is also impressive.
Breckenridge / Ghost Hill Farm
BPQ are joint owners with NCC of this extensive property in western Quebec not far from Gatineau. Its primary importance was originally as the site of a breeding and release programme to reintroduce the Loggerhead Shrike to Quebec, this site providing “ideal” habitat for these birds that used to be relatively common. The approximate location can be found east of the highway on the map at http://goo.gl/maps/lmeYx
Mont St-Grégoire property
This small property is jointly owned by Bird Protection Quebec and the Centre d’interprétation du Milieu Écologique, which manages it.
Driscoll-Naylor Bird Sanctuary
This is a small, three-acre property forming a sanctuary of marsh and woodland nestled in a residential part of Hudson to the west of Montreal. The society maintains Wood Duck boxes and bird feeders there.
Île aux Canards (and) Îlet Vert
These islands were acquired by Bird Protection Quebec in 1984. Part of a series of islands in the St. Lawrence River off Varennes, they contain a mixture of marshland, meadows and woodland. The island provides crucial staging habitat for migrating waterfowl.
(B) Properties BPQ has played a role in saving
BPQ has contributed funding to partner organisations in past years to ensure that the following sites are preserved for wildlife
Parc des Falaises
In late 2015 we gave a donation of 30,000$ to aid the Comité régional pour la protection des Falaises (http://www.parcdesfalaises.ca/) to buy a piece of land that will now be be protected “à perpétuité” and to be part of the larger reserve that is being developed adjacent to and contiguous with the Alfred Kelly Wildlife Reserve which we contributed to some years ago and where we have been working with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The newly protected land represents 334 acres (135 hectares) and lies in the municipaly of St.Hyppolyte.
The property consists of a gorge and adjoining marsh, which straddle the US-Canada border. This property is owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) thanks to a substantial grant made by BPQ. The sanctuary not only has an intriguing topography and bird life, but harbors several species of rare salamanders.
The peat bog, owned by the NCC, contains several species of rare plants.
Owned by the NCC. Island off Verchères,
Near Temiscamingue owned by the NCC. Home to American Woodcock, white-tailed deer, black bear, moose, timber wolves and other wildlife.
Île aux Lièvres
This is an island off Rivière du Loup owned by Duvetnor with financing from Bird Protection Quebec, NCC and other agencies. It has large breeding population of Common Eider.
Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve
This is a small property in Hudson owned by the NCC.
Île aux Moutons and Île aux Asperges
These islands off Varennes owned by the NCC close to the two islands mentioned above that are owned by BPQ.
Île du Moine
This is a large island at the western end of Lake St. Pierre that is owned by the NCC. The island provides crucial habitat for breeding waterfowl and migrating shorebirds. Wilson’s Phalaropes, Sharp-tailed Sparrows and Sedge Wrens have bred here but their current status is unknown.
A number of properties on islands at the mouth of Lake St. Pierre:
These islands are also owned by the NCC
- Grande Île
- Île de la Traverse
- Île à la Perche
- Île au Citron
- Île Lapierre
- Île Cavale
- Île de Grace
- Île aux Cochons
- Baie de la Vallière
- Île St-Jean
- Île à la Pierre