Hundreds of Thousands of Boreal Birds Traveled Through the Tadoussac Dunes

A new video series showcases this extraordinary phenomenon

Along the northern banks of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada is a place called Tadoussac.  Many avid birders arrive there each spring in hopes of witnessing an amazing phenomenon—migrating warblers during their morning flight south—that’s right, south! This reverse migration occurs when the birds are pushed off of their typical migration pattern during the night. They then reorient themselves at dawn, backtracking to known food sources before continuing on their northward journey. Although this type of behavior undoubtedly happens many times each year during migration, the geography of this region creates a sort of funnel concentrating the birds together right at the Tadoussac dunes. This opens the opportunity for bird lovers to witness hundreds of thousands of warblers all in one day. In fact, in 2018 a group of exuberant birders witnessed 700,000 warblers in just over 9 hours. And this past spring an impressive 250,000 were counted there.

The area is also the home of the Tadoussac Bird Observatory. Our partners at SNAP Quebec visited there this spring and talked with staff and volunteers who are working to better understand the birds of the Boreal Forest in order to better protect them. While they were onsite, they also caught a glimpse of the extraordinary reverse migration event! In this upbeat and enthusiastic video series—produced by SNAP Quebec with support from Audubon—you will learn more about the birds and their habitat, hear from the people working to protect it, and even witness a bit of this amazing occurrence.   

To learn more about this series visit SNAP Quebec’s website.