Best time to travel to Quebec

Snow Geese Fall Migration in Quebec

Hundreds of thousands of snow geese cover the skies in Quebec, and you should see this phenomenon at least once in a lifetime

Best time: late September–late October

Snow Geese Fall Migration
Snow Geese Fall Migration
Cap Tourmente Reserve

Snow geese gather in unbelievable numbers during their migrations. Whether you are a passionate nature lover or an amateur ornithologist, you'll appreciate the sight of a huge bird colony. In late September, the daily counts at the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area can exceed 50,000 birds. The fall migration season in Quebec continues through late October.

Snow geese fly as far south as Mexico and Texas to escape the cold. They show amazing endurance, flying over 600 mi (about 1000 km) without a break. A one-day-old snow goose can walk 19 mi (30 km) and fly faster than 59 mi (95 km) per hour. After winter is over, they fly back to breed at the Arctic tundra, northeastern Siberia, Canada, and Greenland.

Large flocks of snow geese can be also spotted at Lac-Saint-Pierre, banks of The Saint Lawrence River, or northern Lake Champlain. They often stay there to eat leftover corn and oats on agricultural fields.

The best time to observe a geese colony is at sunrise when many birds take off at once, starting their day.

Practical info

When is the best time to witness the snow geese fall migration in Quebec?

The period from late September to late October is the best time to witness the migration of snow geese in Quebec. Hundreds of thousands of them migrate south to escape the cold during this time. One can spot them in locations such as Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area and Lac-Saint-Pierre, among others, in the region. Show more

Where in Quebec can snow geese be seen during their migrations?

During their migrations, snow geese can be spotted in several regions of Quebec, such as Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area and Lac-Saint-Pierre. In addition, they often feed on leftover corn and oats on agricultural fields at banks of The Saint Lawrence River or northern Lake Champlain. Show more

How far south do snow geese travel during the winter season to escape the cold?

To escape the cold, snow geese travel as far south as Mexico and Texas during the winter season. After winter ends, they return to breed in the Arctic tundra, northeastern Siberia, Canada, and Greenland. As impressive endurance flyers, they can fly over 600 miles without taking a break. Show more

How fast can a snow goose fly and how far can a one-day-old snow goose walk?

A one-day-old snow goose has the ability to walk up to 19 miles, while flying at a speed of over 59 miles per hour. During migration, they fly long distances without resting. They reach heights of up to 20,000 feet and produce a sound unique to snow geese by flapping their wings rapidly to generate low-pitched tones. Show more

Besides Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, what are some other locations in Quebec where snow geese can be spotted during their migration?

Other than Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, snow geese can be spotted in other locations in Quebec, such as Lac-Saint-Pierre, banks of The Saint Lawrence River, or northern Lake Champlain. Sunrise is the opportune time to witness the colony of geese, as they take off at once, starting their day. These places provide an excellent view of geese flying in the sky or feeding on agricultural fields. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin