Nature is awakening!
With the longer days and arrival of milder spring weather, animal and plant species are awakening and nature is coming back to life. It’s time for us to get outdoors and watch wildlife wake up!
Biodiversity in southern Québec is rich. In Montréal alone, more than 300 bird species migrate to the region or live there. The return of the red-winged blackbird is one of the first signs of the arrival of warmer weather: from the middle of March onwards, we can start to see and hear red-winged blackbirds, who defend their breeding territory.
After spending the colder months on the East Coast in Florida or close to the Great Lakes, the ring-billed gull returns to Québec. Even if it has a strong tendency to scavenge bins – giving it a bad reputation – it remains a bird graced with natural beauty when we take time to observe it. It deserves our full attention in spring when its colours are the brightest. It is with this arsenal of colours that the male tries to seduce the female.
As for the Canada goose, which is often wrongly called a “bustard”, it returns from migration to the skies of Québec especially when the snow starts to melt. So it is not rare to see a large V-shaped flock of Canada geese flying across the sky, even in January. They announce the arrival of spring, but above all the melting of the snow!
The song sparrow is one of these species that announces that spring is around the corner through its song.
With regard to mammals, the woodchuck also plays an important role in the change of seasons. The male is the first to leave the burrow and the first thing it does is mark its territory with its buccal glands by rubbing them against trees, stones and other objects. Then, one to two weeks later, the female wakes up and mates with the male.
We sometimes forget but nature in urban areas is very present and diverse, but also threatened. The loss of biodiversity is a global challenge and the rapid decline in species is alarming. This is not the first extinction crisis but this is the first directly caused by human impact. Poaching, land fragmentation, habitat destruction, invasive exotic species and climate change are some of the impacts explaining this decline.
However, solutions exist and several measures have been implemented to slow down the situation. Thus, with the arrival of spring, many ways can be used in your own yard. Increasing the variety of plants in your garden not only makes it more beautiful, but also increases crucial habitat for wildlife. Choosing native and honey plants for pollinators is also recommended to increase biodiversity and support our local species. More information can be found below.