+1 418 828-2048

A Chat with Bird Watcher Vincent L'etourneau

start your bird watching adventure

Île d’Orléans has surprises on every corner of the island. It could be some awesome boutiques, beautiful trees, landscapes or views, unforgettable foods – but what about the wildlife? We caught up with Vincent L’Étourneau – biologist and ornithologist while he was staying in Motel Île d’Orléans to chat about birds that can be seen on the island and in Quebec.

L’Étourneau – which coincidentally translates to the bird Starling in English – started to observe birds and nature around him when he was a teenager. A friend of his in the Eastern Townships showed him the beauty of some of the birds of his area and from there, his interest grew. He invested in some bird books and binoculars and he began to teach himself about birds and habitats.

He became fascinated at the diversity of birds that could be seen in the Quebec region, from birds of prey to colorful birds you may only expect to see in the tropics. Through his studies and dedication he became a specialist in his field and with his expertise then he has had the chance to travel Quebec, various other parts of Canada and sometimes even further afield to the likes of Africa.

But what brings him to the island? He is currently interested in some aquatic birds that are situated around the island and in the St. Lawrence River. However, he has often extended his studies beyond birds to include bats, snakes, and frogs so when he is observing he is always having an eye out for all kinds wildlife surrounding him.

The best spot he has found for bird watching is right after the bridge. With a view over both the river, the landscape, and the muddy prairies then he said the variety of birds that is possible to see is breathtaking. Of course, there are no guarantees with nature but chances are increased during the spring (April/May) and autumn (end September/October) migration periods.

From this point on the island then you may catch a glimpse of Snow Geese or Canadian Geese, lots of variety of ducks and he often sees groups of bald eagles gliding over the rocks. One of his favorite birds he has also observed here, the Northern Harrier. A bird of prey, L’Étourneau admired its effortlessly beautiful flight and search for prey in the prairies or the St. Lawrence River. He cannot pin down why exactly it is one of the most spectacular birds he observes but the passion on his face is enough for us to want to catch a glimpse.

If you are a new birdwatcher or just want to start your bird watching adventure then he recommended starting with basic binoculars, a book or using the app and website From this database of information, you can find the hotspots to catch some views of birds on Île d’Orléans, Quebec region and much further afield. With pictures, examples of their sound and information on the bird then it’s a perfect information center for experienced birdwatchers and newbies alike. L’Étourneau checks in his bird accounts to this site along with the other enthusiasts.

From his viewing point beside the bridge then the app reports around 160 different species of birds have been spotted from there. However, if you move up a little further to Saint-Petronille then 260 types of birds have been spotted from the famous Rue Horatio Walker.

It seems no matter what area of the island you explore then you are sure to see some unique and beautiful birds along the way. From the surrounding river to the farmlands in the middle – from ducks to birds of prey – the island has some hidden treats for you. Grab a pair of binoculars and find out for yourself!

Most Popular Posts

What to do in Sainte-Pétronille, Quebec

Sainte-Pétronille is somewhat alternative from the rest of the island. Since the 1800’s it has been a popular spot for the Anglophone community who built their villas and gardens at this tip. The land in Sainte-Pétronille was not suitable for farming and thus...

What to do in Saint-Laurent-de-l’Île-d’Orléans, Quebec City

 Quebec City is the city that keeps on giving. From urban villages to days out in the countryside the city centre and close by region has something for all. Just 15 minutes from the centre of the city is the village of Saint-Laurent-de-l’Île-d’Orléans. Be it the views...

How to Reach Orleans Island from Quebec City Without A Car

How to Reach Orleans Island from Quebec City without a carHey there, fellow explorers! If Orleans Island is calling your name, and you're wondering how to hop from the vibrant streets of Quebec City to this idyllic haven, you're in for a treat. Let's dive into the ...

Top 5 Things to do in Quebec City

Quebec is a city of great history. Unique to North America it has all the wonderfully European flairs of a city from that corner of the world however, it is surrounded by the beautiful nature and charm of Canada. What’s not to love! Spending a couple of days in Quebec...

Play at the Oldest Golf Club in North America!

  Hidden in a beautiful deciduous forest is the 9-hole golf course of the island. Its 150-year-old heritage makes it the oldest golf course in North America. Still partly owned by the original Dunn family of the island, the course began as a private 3-hole course...

4-hour Bike Tour on Orleans Island

Experience the Orleans Island on a half-day bike rideWhen you get to the Orleans Island there are options for all sporty and outdoor types. Whether you want to tour the island via the classic bike, double your power with a tandem team, go half and half with an...

Saint-Jean-de-l’Île-d’Orléans, Quebec City

Like the whole of the island, the village of Saint-Jean is a hidden treasure. Historically then this was the village of the captains. In the center of town in front of the Catholic church of Saint-Jean, there is the cemetery which holds the remains of many great...

La Vinaigrerie Cass’Isle d’Orléans

Du Captaine’ vinegar of St-Jean-de-l'Île-d'Orléans gives the world-famous Balsamic of Modena DOP a good competition on the best kinds of vinegar of the world. La Vinaigrerie Cass’Isle d'Orléans is based in the village of the island’s captains in Saint-Jean. Fittingly...

Cheeses of ile d’Orleans

There is nothing like a locally made speciality cheese that has been made with love and passion. The cheese from Ile d’Orléans is exactly that.  A recipe dating back to 1635 when some of the first settlements in Quebec arrived. The French brought many a tradition,...

Sweet-tooth heaven!

Île d’Orleans is always bigger than visitors expect. When you think of an island off of a city then you think it is going to be just a small hour-long detour. However, thankfully that is not the case here. The island is around 70km around the main route. With so many...

Réservez l'esprit tranquille / Book with peace of mind


Politique d'annulation des activités en cas de pluie / Cancellation policy for activities in the event of rain
En cas de pluie le jour de votre activité, vous serez remboursé à 100%
In case of rain on the day of your activity, you will get a 100% refund

This will close in 0 seconds