Best time to travel to Quebec

Snow Geese Spring Migration in Quebec

This show is perfectly suitable for amateur birdwatchers, as it will let you see birds in their natural habitat and in a very convenient way

Best time: late March–mid-May

Snow Geese Spring Migration
Snow Geese Spring Migration
Snow Geese Spring Migration

Snow geese migration is among the most amazing nature shows in North America. From late March to about mid-May, the geese population is concentrated near the St. Lawrence River. Around 500,000 snow geese rest and feed on the Saint-Pierre Lake. The birds choose these flooded areas not accidentally, but because this is where they can find American bulrush roots, full of nutrients and stock fat before their long trip. Baie-du-Febvre and Saint-Pierre Lake belong to a UNESCO biosphere reserve that attracts many birdwatchers during the spring and fall seasons. Visitors can see thousands of geese before their 4,000-kilometer journey through Central Quebec.

Montmagny, known as Canada's snow goose capital, also witnesses birds in great numbers, mostly along the coastline of the St. Lawrence River. In early May, large flocks of geese congregate at Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, located in about 37 mi (60 km) from Quebec City. Snow geese like staying in a crowd, and that makes the view exceptionally beautiful when they congregate at lakes, covering the water. These birds also show amazing endurance as they can fly as fast as 59 mi/h (95 km/h) and cover 600 mi (about 1 000 km) without rest.

Practical info

When can you observe the spring migration of snow geese in Quebec?

From late March to mid-May, about 500,000 snow geese gather near the St. Lawrence River in Quebec for rest and feeding. You can witness this nature show at Saint-Pierre Lake, Baie-du-Febvre, and Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area located about 37 mi (60 km) from Quebec City. Show more

Where are the best locations in Quebec to observe the snow geese?

To see the beautiful view of thousands of geese congregating along the St. Lawrence River, head to places like the Bay of Fundy, Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, Saint-Pierre Lake, and Baie-du-Febvre. The Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area is where thousands of geese gather in early May, making it a popular spot for nature enthusiasts. Show more

What type of food do snow geese look for during their migration in Quebec?

Snow geese migrate to Quebec in search of American bulrush roots because they are rich in nutrients and can stock fat for the long trip ahead. During their migration in spring, they feed on vegetation and grains and have a particular fondness for grass. Show more

How far and how fast can snow geese migrate?

During migration, snow geese can fly up to 600 mi (about 1000 km) without stopping and reach speeds as high as 59 mi/h (95 km/h). They prefer flying at altitudes between 2,000 and 9,000 ft (600 and 2,700 m) to use the northern wind blowing towards the south to their advantage. Show more

Why are the UNESCO biosphere reserve and Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area significant to snow geese in Quebec?

The Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area and UNESCO biosphere reserve are significant for snow geese during their migrations as they provide vital feeding and resting grounds for the long journey. These areas, especially the Bay of Fundy under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Reserve, have high tides and are essential staging areas for Snow Geese. Protecting habitats in wildlife areas like Cap Tourmente ensures the long-term survival of snow geese and other wildlife species. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin