Site description (2001 baseline)
Miscou Island is located off the tip of northeastern New Brunswick, between the Baie des Chaleurs (to west) and the Gulf of St. Lawrence (to east). The island is approximately 18 by 7 km in dimension, with the coastline being characterized by a series of sandy coastal beaches and enclosed lagoons. The main beaches include: Grande Plaine, Lac Frye, Miscou Beach, Middle Miscou Beach, Wilson Point Beach North, Wilson Point Beach South and the Pigeon Hill Sandspit. Most of the islands interior is comprised of raised peat bogs and stunted forests. Three small settlements are located on the island.
On the Miscou Island Beaches, 17 Piping Plovers were recorded in 1991, representing 3.3% of the Atlantic Canada population (509 birds). In 1996, the Atlantic Canada Piping Plover population was estimated to be 422, of which 22 (5.2%) were recorded on the beaches of Miscou Island. Over the last ten years, the main Piping Plover nesting areas on the Island have been Grande Plaine, Lac Frye and Wilson Point North. Nesting also occurs on the islands other beaches, and given the proximity of these beaches and the tendency for Piping Plovers to shift nesting areas depending on local conditions, all should be considered significant.
Relatively large numbers of shorebirds and waterfowl also use the beaches and lagoons on Miscou Island during the fall migration. About 1% of the Atlantic Flyway population of American Black Ducks has been recorded in the lagoons, and at least five species of shorebirds have been recorded in large numbers: Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Red Knot, Least Sandpiper and Pectoral Sandpiper. Northern Gannets are also known to feed off the northern regions of the island in large numbers (up to 1000).
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Miscou Island. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/miscou-island-iba-canada on 02/12/2023.