Île Bicquette

Country/territory: Canada

IBA Criteria met: A4i, A4iii (2008)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 480 ha

Protection status:

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description
Île Bicquette is located along the south shore of the St. Lawrence estuary in Quebec, 7.7 km off Cap-à-l’Orignal (a spit of land that extends from Le Bic Provincial Park). The larger Île du Bic island lies one kilometre to the southeast. Île Bicquette is composed of shale, and is surrounded by two little grassy islets and several rocky reefs. A large lighthouse, surrounded by the keeper’s residence, is located on the western part of the main island. Approximately 75% of the island is covered by forests, with the dominant tree species being Balsam Fir. The forests have been described as dense and “over-mature” with little sign of regeneration in the sapling layer.

Key biodiversity
Île Bicquette supports the largest colony of Common Eiders in Canada. A peak count of 14,925 pairs was recorded in 1992, while the average for all five years (1991 to 1995) was 10,811 pairs. It should be noted that for three of these years (1991, 1993 and 1995) surveys were conducted by two different groups. Their numbers varied so, for those years, an average was calculated, and that average was used to calculate the five-year average. This colony represents about 5% of the North American population, and as much as 12.5% of the estimated Atlantic North American (ssp. dresseri) population. The average density of Common Eider nests on this island is exceedingly high at 813 nests per hectare.

An aerial survey of seaducks conducted in the St. Lawrence River in May 1995 recorded 6242 Commmon Eiders in the waters between St. Fabien and Pointe-au-Père. The vast majority of these birds were within 100 m of Île Bicquette and were clearly birds from this colony. In addition to Common Eiders, Herring Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, and Double-crested Cormorants and some landbird species have nested on the island.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Île Bicquette. Downloaded from on 07/08/2020.