Species of Birds in Quebec – Colorful Birds in the Snow

Prabhpreet Kaur
Prabhpreet Kaur Travel
24 Min Read
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The French-speaking province of Quebec, Canada, still maintains a distinct European touch to this day. It is home to many beautiful species of birds in Canada.

Bird lovers in the province feel ecstatic upon witnessing the distinct species of birds in Quebec – flying around the city, chirping on the trees, or visiting backyards. They lay out bird feeders and trays in their backyards to attract birds.

Species of birds in Quebec
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1. The Provincial Bird Species

1.1. Snowy Owl

Snowy owls are round-headed, white birds with yellow gawking eyes that make for a beautiful sight to behold. Their mesmerizing appearance shines brightly against the snow-laden Quebec landscape. Thus, they are rightfully titled the “provincial bird of Quebec.” They are a protected species in this region.

Snowy owls are mostly found in the south of Quebec, especially during winter. They stay put during the breeding season in the south to avoid the rough Canadian winter.

Snowy owls are carnivorous species of birds. They feed on fish and small animals such as hares, squirrels, and lemmings near lakeshores and other coastal areas.

2. Raptors/Birds of Prey

Raptors are a majestic species of birds that hunt and feed on small animals. These birds can be seen flying in the winter skies of Quebec, frequently.

Species of birds in Quebec
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2.1. Hawks

These species of birds hunt other birds and animals for food. The vast Quebec sky is dotted with the presence of hawks in the warmer months.

2.1.1 Red-tailed Hawk

These species of birds in Quebec claim a unique characteristic – an exquisite red-colored tail. Their plumage varies from white to black. They are found in the southwest region of the province for most parts of the year, except for winter.

Species of birds in Quebec
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The red-tailed hawk is often spotted in urban areas, soaring in the sky near tall buildings and trees. However, for feeding, it targets open areas for preying on small birds and animals.

2.1.2. Sharp-shinned Hawk

These species of birds possess characteristically long tails. They fly swiftly through the skies, showing off their orange-colored chest and blue and gray backs.

Species of birds in Quebec
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Although sharp-shinned hawks are the smallest among the hawks in Quebec, they are the most accomplished when it comes to performance! These species of birds in Quebec remain in the province during the breeding season. Afterward, they migrate further south.

The primary prey of sharp-shinned hawks are the songbirds visiting the backyards attracted by bird feeders, such as mourning doves. This strategic hunter waits for its prey to arrive and then suddenly attacks it in the blink of an eye!

2.2. Eagles

Eagles are one of the most magnificent species of birds in Quebec. Witnessing an Eagle soaring high up in the sky, making a majestic flight, can make you feel a streak of confidence roaring inside.

2.2.1 Bald Eagle

These species of birds owe their name to the presence of a prominent white patch on their heads. They have a brownish-colored body and distinct yellow legs. Bald eagles are found in Quebec during the breeding season. Although some migrate during winter, most of them stay behind.

Species of birds in Quebec
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The bald eagle feasts on a variety of food ranging from worms and insects on the ground, to small birds and animals such as beavers, rabbits, etc.

2.2.2 Golden Eagle 

You are in for a delight if you spot a brown-bodied bird in the sky with a golden brown neck and crown. Golden eagles are majestic birds that soar through the sky with their white tails and pale, heavy feathers while making a high-pitched noise.

Species of birds in Quebec
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These species of birds are predominantly found in Quebec throughout the breeding season. Afterward, these breeding birds migrate to the US to escape the harsh winter.

The golden eagle’s favorite food consists of small animals such as rabbits, hares, etc. For this purpose, these birds are accomplished hunters and can swiftly afford to prey on domestic animals, cranes, deer, and mountain goats, too!

3. Wild Birds

Quebec has several species of birds that inhabit the forests in the wild but also visit the urban and suburban backyards. They cheerfully feed on the bird feeders in backyards and on insects when they are in the wild.

3.1. Northern Cardinal

Northern cardinals are beautiful birds that parade around with their red-colored beaks. Their faces are stained black(males) and brown (females), therefore making the northern cardinal an absolute stunner. They are considered one of the most dangerous species of birds, as they can attack if they are alarmed!

Species of birds in Quebec
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Also, northern cardinals are permanent residents of Quebec, as they do not migrate during any part of the year!

Northern cardinals feed mostly on insects such as grasshoppers, snails, etc. Hence, they browse for food in dense vegetation, wetlands, and gardens, eyeing grasses and weeds. In addition, the northern cardinal also loves savoring fruits, berries, grains, and seeds from the bird feeder.

3.2.  Black-capped Chickadee

The black-capped chickadee flaunts a striking, round, black-colored head with a black cap and a gray back. Its exclusive “dee-dee” calls bestow the current name of the species.

The black-capped chickadee prefers staying in Quebec throughout the breeding season.

These species of birds in Quebec mostly inhabit deciduous forests, parks, and other open areas, looking for food. The black-capped chickadee feeds on insects and, alternatively, on berries, nuts, and seeds too.

4. Common Sparrows

Everybody has welcomed and watched a sparrow sitting on their house fence, telephone wires, and where not. Quebec, too, has many species of these tiny sparrows flying constantly all over the province.

4.1. House Sparrows

Hailing from the Middle East, house sparrows have now established themselves as one of the most common species of birds in Quebec. They are characterized by a grayish-brown head, white cheeks, and a back covered in black and brown.

House sparrows are an invasive species of birds that do not migrate during the breeding season. As a result, they grace the skies in southern Canada throughout the year.

House sparrows are friendly birds. Therefore, they prefer hopping in the backyards of bird lovers foraging for food. They visit backyards in search of seeds, grains such as corn and millet, bread, and sometimes, popcorn too!

4.2. Chipping Sparrows

Chipping sparrows are the most easily identifiable species of birds in Quebec. They display a rust-colored crown, black and brown-streaked back, and a gray and unstreaked belly. Also, they possess a distinguishing long tail.

Chipping sparrows commonly reside in southern Quebec during the breeding season in April, continuing till November.

Chipping sparrows are common birds in Quebec that inhabit open grounds. They also feed on black oil sunflower seeds and other seed mixes that they find when they visit bird feeders. Moreover, they are also found in coniferous forests, meadows, farmlands, and woodlands.

4.3. Song Sparrows

These species of birds in Quebec possess brown streaks marking their chests and backs. The pretty song sparrow displays a brown crown on its head and grey eyebrows and cheeks in addition. If you ever hear a sweet, euphonic melody being sung in the vicinity, a song sparrow is sitting somewhere around, for sure!

Species of birds in Quebec
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Like many other of their fellow bird species, Song Sparrow tends to predominantly breed in the south of Quebec.

The song sparrow is a people-friendly ground bird. It mostly twirls and whirls around houses, looking for something to nibble on. It can feed on grains such as wheat, blackberries, and cracked corn. It will also devour seeds like black oil sunflower seeds from the feeders. Additionally, it can also feed on insects like earthworms, caterpillars, etc. Therefore, it can also be found in wet and shrubby areas.

Also read: Exploring the Unique Species of Birds in Nova Scotia’s Diverse Avian Haven

4.4. White-throated Sparrows

The white-throated sparrow has black and white stripes around its head and a grey underside. These species of birds possess a characteristic white throat.

Quebec skies are graced with large flocks of white-throated sparrows, specifically during the breeding season. They are migratory birds capable of long flights.

White-throated sparrows love bird feeders consisting of millet, berries, and black oil sunflower seeds. In addition, they also eat insects found on the ground and forest floors. They are also found in grasslands, roadside, and deciduous forests.

5. Backyard Birds

The generous natives of Canada love laying out bird feeders and trays for the dazzling birds flapping around. They add seeds, grains, nectar, peanut butter, bread, etc., in the feeders for the backyard birds searching for food. The most common backyard birds in Quebec arrive for their feast and stuff their bellies with delicious food.

Species of birds in Quebec
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5.1. Blue Jay

The blue jay is a pleasant bird that showcases a blue crest on its head. It stands proudly while displaying a swell and upright blue chest. Also, it has a beautiful peacock-colored plumage that decorates its head, back, and tail.

Blue Jay
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Blue jays are bold and noisy birds that settle in southern Canada for most parts of the year. In winter, however, they migrate to northern Mexico to soak up some sun.

Bird lovers often fill their bird feeders with corn, nuts, and seeds to attract blue jays. Blue jays also eat insects such as grasshoppers and earthworms.

Fun fact: Blue Jays are the only birds that can crack the shells of whole peanuts to reach the inside.

5.2.  American Robin

The American robin is a stunning songbird bird that flies in the air while showing off its beautiful feathers. It has a subdued red or orange-colored breast, with a rather dark head and a predominantly brown-colored back.

Although the American robin stays in Quebec during the breeding season from April to October, it is spotted throughout the year in the province. These are some of the most commonly spotted species of birds in Quebec.

Also, the American Robin has maintained its place on the list of the most common backyard birds. Bird lovers are overjoyed to find this beauty devouring their bird feeders for berries, sunflower seeds, etc. In addition, the American robin may inhabit woodlands, parks, mountains, and fields too for feasting on insects, mainly earthworms, beetles, and caterpillars.

5.3. American Goldfinch

The American goldfinch is characterized by a yellow throat, breast, and a black cap(in males). It flaunts beautiful black wings and a forehead painted with white markings. These brightly colored species of birds in Quebec are an absolute delight to witness.

The American goldfinch is present in Quebec throughout the year, including the breeding season, which lasts from May to September.

The friendly American Goldfinch keeps flying around the neighborhood, often stopping by the backyards.  Surprisingly, it is one of the birds that love Nyjer seeds! This gorgeous bird also dwells in deciduous forests, grasslands, and meadows. Be it grains or grass – the American Goldfinch is up for it!

5.4. Mourning Dove

The beautiful, small mourning doves are common among the backyard visiting species of birds in Quebec. They are brownish or grayish, with black dots covering their back and tail. However, the males are more rounded than females in appearance. The mourning dove makes a very distinctive call, commonly known as the “cooing.”

Species of birds in Quebec
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Also known as the turtle dove, the mourning dove lives in the south of Quebec during the breeding season. Furthermore, it flies across the southern Canadian skies throughout the year.

The mourning dove savors food such as millet, cracked corn, wheat, sesame, berries, and seeds such as black sunflower seeds. Therefore, it rummages the open grounds for food in trays and bird feeders. Also, it enjoys dwelling in grasslands, farmlands, woodlands, and other open areas.

5.5. Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed juncos are small-sized passerine species of birds in Quebec. These beautiful birds are characterized by slate-colored backs, white bellies, and long tails covered in white feathers.

Dark-eyed juncos are found across Quebec during the breeding season and throughout the year. However, in winter, they briefly leave for the southwest of the continent.

Species of birds in Quebec
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These are some of the most commonly found backyard species of birds in Quebec. Foraging for food, they often stop by bird feeders. They cheerfully feed on black oil sunflower seeds and cracked corn, especially in winter.  The Dark-eyed juncos also eat insects and arthropods while dwelling around the woodland edges.

5.6. Red-winged Blackbird

The red-winged blackbird is a common backyard bird that boasts differentiating red-orange wings. It is mostly all black except for the females, which are light brown.

They are also one of the bird species in Quebec that visit the city during the breeding season. Later, they migrate to the south. The male red-winged blackbird is known to be forceful, especially when it is trying to protect the eggs in its nests.

The red-winged blackbird often indulges in grains and seeds upon finding a bird feeder. Besides this, it also eats varied insects, such as frogs, worms, moths, flies, etc., when in farmlands and grasslands.

5.7  American Crow

American crows are some of the most common species of birds among those that show up anywhere in the presence of a bird feeder. These are medium-sized passerine birds that are entirely black. They can reside in all types of habitats. American crows enjoy the food from feeders as well as the insects too.

Species of birds in Quebec
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6. Woodpeckers

Famous for their constant pecking, woodpeckers extensively grace the sublime province of Quebec. Some of the woodpecker species are summer birds, whereas others are winter birds.

6.1. Downy Woodpecker

Downy woodpeckers are monotoned black and white colored birds, displaying a distinct red spot on the back of the head (in males). These species of birds in Quebec are recognizable by their high-pitched sound.

The downy woodpeckers are found mainly in the south of the province throughout the year.

The downy woodpeckers are a companion of backyard birds, too! Upon treasuring a bird feeder, they gladly relish the black oil sunflower seeds, fruit trees, corn, etc. Moreover, they also enjoy feeding on insects, ants, and caterpillars. Hence, they tend to cave in wild grasses, large trees in forests, and streams.

6.2. Pileated Woodpecker

These species of birds possess remarkable white stripes running on their otherwise black body. Also, both males and females flaunt red crests. However, the male pileated woodpeckers are distinguished by a red stripe running across their cheeks. The females, meanwhile, exhibit a white stripe.

They feed on nuts, seeds, and insects. The pileated woodpecker mostly inhabits densely vegetated areas surrounded by large trees and, sometimes, dead trees. As a result, it eagerly finds an abode in deciduous and coniferous forests.

6.3. Northern Flicker

The northern flicker is a medium-sized woodpecker. It is brown-colored, mottled with black dots on its body, and has a red neck(males only). It makes a very high-pitched squawking sound, just like a pileated woodpecker!

The northern flicker heads towards Quebec, especially during the breeding season, from April to October. Some of the birds migrate to other parts of North America, while others stay behind.

Species of birds in Quebec
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They are often spotted in backyards while browsing for seeds and berries. Also, they keep scanning for grasses and weeds while residing in grasslands, wetlands, and gardens.

7. Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are another example of a fascinating species of birds in Quebec. Although they are not as frequently spotted as the other birds, they can be seen when taking a stroll in the backyards and gardens in a pleasant summer.

7.1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The ruby-throated hummingbird is the most commonly spotted among hummingbirds in Quebec. It is a striking bird with a shining green crown on its head and a back washed in the same color. The male hummingbirds, however, possess a distinguishing red-colored throat.

The ruby-throated hummingbird occupies Quebec in the breeding season during the tepid months, from April to October. Afterward, they migrate toward Mexico.

People put out hummingbird feeders in their backyards consisting of nectar – their fundamental feed. That’s why the ruby-throated hummingbird is often spotted fluttering around the flourishing gardens, foraging for nectar. Moreover, this nimble and agile bird can catch insects in the air, too.

8. Nuthatches

The nuthatches are a distinguished species of birds that climb down the trees, pushing their head down first. There are two species of Nuthatches in Quebec – the red-breasted nuthatch and the white-breasted nuthatch.

8.1. Red-breasted Nuthatch

These species of birds in Quebec flaunt a distinctive rust-red colored breast and a bluish-gray back. The red-breasted nuthatch also exhibits white and black stripes on its back. It looks adorable with a diminished neck and a short, feathered tail.

Red-breasted nuthatches reside in Quebec for the breeding season. However, briefly in winter, they fly towards northern Mexico.

The red-breasted nuthatch flies long distances in search of cones in coniferous forests and deciduous forests. Besides this, it eagerly devours sunflower seeds, corn, peanuts, etc., from the bird feeders too.

8.2. White Breasted-Nuthatch

The white-breasted nuthatches are a common bird species exhibiting a distinguished white face, chest, and black cap. They are small birds with short tails and no necks at all!

Large flocks of white-breasted nuthatches are found in southern Canada, especially in July and August.

Species of birds in Quebec
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Although white-breasted nuthatches do not visit bird feeders commonly, they are attracted to bird feeders consisting of nectar along with seeds, corn, and nuts. Notably, these species of birds use their bills as tools – to take the seeds out of the shells by plunging them into tree trunks.

9. Other Species of Birds in Quebec

Although many species of birds in Quebec have been listed above, many other birds could not be included here.

Among these, some of the most commonly found bird species in Quebec are cedar waxwings, common yellowthroats, European starlings, purple finch, and yellow warblers.

Backyard bird
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In The End

In summary, Quebec is inhabited by many birds that add beauty to its natural landscape. These species of birds in Quebec add a touch of vibrant colors to this mostly white province.

You can be on a beach or a park, a forest or a marsh – you can spot these stunning birds throughout the year. 

Last Updated on by Arnab

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