This low-lying area near the village of Saint-Barthélemy is on the northwest shore of Lac Saint-Pierre (a widening of the St. Lawrence River), and is about 75 km east of Montreal. The site encompasses 11 km of shoreline and is limited to the north by the railway, 3.5 km away. The fields are flooded in most springs and cultivated in summer. In some areas, Ducks Unlimited Canada has built dams and channels to control water levels, and to create three staging areas, two marshes and a fish management area. Nineteen fish species are found at this site, including Pickerel, a species at risk.
During spring migration, this site is an important staging area for Greater Snow Geese, Canada Geese, and Northern Pintail. As many as 55,000 Greater Snow Geese – 1% of this species North American population – occur at this site. In 1999, 60,000 Canada Geese used Plaine de Saint-Barthélemy as a spring staging ground, which is over 1% of the Canada Goose world population. In addition, 1% of the Atlantic Flyway population of American Black Ducks (2,000 birds) occurs at this site during fall migration, and nationally significant numbers of Northern Pintail (10,000 birds) occur on spring migration.
In summer and fall, the abundance and diversity of bird species declines, presumably due in part to agricultural activities.
In spring and fall, Rough-legged Hawks and Red-tailed Hawks use the fields for hunting and approximately 12 Snowy Owls winter on the site. In early spring, large flocks of Snow Buntings (with as many as 15,000 individuals) have been recorded.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Plaine inondable de Saint-Barthélemy. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/05/2019.