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How the Magdalen Islands Can Bring You #CloserToTheOcean through Birdwatching

Nestled in the gulf of Saint Lawrence, the Magdalen Islands boast some of the most breathtaking views in North America. Its turquoise waters, coastal windswept cliffs and lush greenery will transport you to a world far away – one full of adventure and awe-inspiring sights.

But beyond its natural beauty, the Magdalen Islands offer something unique: it is home to an incredible array of birdwatching opportunities that promise to bring you closer than ever before to nature's majestic creatures. For birdwatchers and travellers alike, this remote and special archipelago should certainly not be missed!

5 Ways to get #CloserToTheOcean

To Watch: 300 Species of Birds

It’s a plane, it’s a bird… yes it’s a bird! Have you ever headed outside to listen to the sweet sounds of birds chirping? Yes! Then Magladen Islands may be your new favourite spot, with over 300 recorded species of bird that use the islands as a migratory stopover and nesting ground, you will be sure to spot several unique species not normally found across Canada.

You can download Merlin Bird ID as an app on your phone which can identify birds by sound, by images or give you suggestions based on the size, colour and location of the bird you saw. This app is a donation-based platform run by Cornell University for its Ornithology program. There are also several great bird identification books that can be easily picked up at any bookstore near you.

To Bring: Binoculars

If you are going birding you will definitely need a good pair of binoculars (and maybe a camera), this pair of binoculars by MEC is waterproof and filled with nitrogen to prevent fogging. They have a multi-coated lens that helps to brighten what you are seeing and increase the colour contrast to help birds stand out. They even boast the ability to be used while wearing glasses! At only 18 centimeters at it’s largest, these binoculars are the favourite of birders everywhere!

To Explore: The Many Magdalen Islands Beaches and Sand Dunes

Because of the unique marshes and ponds created by tidal zones, its beaches and sand dunes, les Isles de la Madeleine is one of the best places to see birds. Their unique dunes and beach grasses hide nests of endangered plovers, while their cliff faces shelter puffins and other sea birds.

While you are in the area, you can do some great bird watching at;

- La Martinique, between Dune de l'Ouest (Chemin Coulombe in L'Étang-du-Nord) and La Martinique Beach (along Route 199)

- East Point National Wildlife Reserve on Échouerie and Marais salés trails

- The Île aux Goélands in L'Étang-du-Nord (Chemin Delaney)

- The Île Paquet, aka Île aux Cochons, near the Havre-aux-Maisons' marina

- The Île Rouge close to the bridge linking Cap aux Meules and Havre aux Maisons Islands

- Entry Island cliffs

- Parc des Buck's trails to observe woodland birds

Without these unique spots, we wouldn’t be able to see endangered birds like the Piping Plover, Horned Grebe, Chimney Swift and Atlantic Puffin or rare birds such as Evening Grosbeak, Brant, Greater Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plovers, Lesser Golden Plovers, Pied-billed Grebes and Belted Kingfishers.

To Wear: Pack these for your next Magdalen Islands adventure!

Have you ever thought about grabbing yourself a pair of birding boots? You may be asking yourself “What in the heck are Birding Boots?!” Does this sound like you? Us too! So we took a quick dive into what makes a Birding boot so special.

Birding boots are a type of footwear specifically designed for birdwatching. They are typically a high-top or mid-cut boot with good ankle support that is made with rugged, durable materials that can withstand rough terrain and provide good traction and support. The soles of birding boots are usually made with a non-slip rubber material to provide good traction on slippery or muddy surfaces. This is important for birdwatching as many birding spots are near water. They are often waterproof and equipped with special features like reinforced toes or extra padding to protect your feet from rocks, sticks and other debris.

Birding boots are designed to be as stealthy as possible, to avoid spooking the birds. They are often made with a natural, neutral color, and the materials used are selected to reduce the noise when walking. They are designed to be lightweight and comfortable, so you can wear them for extended periods of time.

The profits from these boots are spent on research and projects to protect birds in Japan, China, Russia and Taiwan.

To Relax: Studies Show Birdsong Relieves Stress

Birding is a great way to boost your mental health and wellness while being mindful of the natural environment. On Magdalen Island's, birders can appreciate stunning views, and gain the benefits of the blue mind/water connection, all while listing to birds. As Louiselle Hardy said, “If your eyes sparkle while you're watching a special bird species, Les Îles is just the place for you." Get lost in nature and join us for an unforgettable adventure!

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