The western end of Montreal island (The West Island – what else?) is a moderately densely populated area of suburbia with major highways, rail tracks and areas of light industry – but it also holds the largest areas of green space and forest in the region, quite extensive shoreline and is, in fact, surprisingly wildlife rich. Simply because a lot of people live here doesn’t mean that the birds do not live beside them. In any one year, with a little effort and a touch of fortune, a birder might easily see in excess of 150 species of birds on the West Island and conceivably 200 or more. Not at all bad for a well populated peri-urban and suburban part of a major city.
Many people who live here enjoy watching birds, but not all of them are aware of the riches that they live amongst and visitors or new residents are certainly in need of some information when they arrive. The standard, indeed the only, serious source of information about birding sites in the wider area for many years has been the guide entitled “Bird Finding in the Montreal Area” written by Pierre Bannon and published in 1991. It is an excellent and extremely useful guidebook that most local birders still refer to regularly, but it was written a quarter century ago and some things have changed in the intervening years. It also covers a much greater area than just the West Island and so cannot cover many of the smaller locations in the following pages.
This new guide has been written with a more focussed view, concentrating on just the West Island plus a few immediately adjacent birding sites. It is also only available as an electronic book – cheaper for everyone, highly portable and capable of almost instant updating if something important needs to be revised in the future. The reader can print o? pages as required.