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Québec Nocturnal Owl Surveys

In the province of Québec, owls have been studied by a number of individuals, organizations, and agencies in recent decades. However, no systematic nocturnal owl surveys run by volunteers have ever been done on a large scale. With financial support from Bird Protection Quebec's Kelly Fund and in-kind support from Environment Canada, Bird Studies Canada will launch a first season of surveys in spring 2008. The survey protocols are similar to other roadside surveys, using playback calls and following North American guidelines for Nocturnal Owl Monitoring. Each route consists of 10 stops positioned 2 km apart. Citizen scientists are asked to survey their route during one evening in April by identifying all owls heard or seen. Broadcasts of Boreal and Barred owl calls, interspersed with silent periods, are used to invoke vocal responses from owls. It is hoped that the survey will be done annually . After many years of data collection, we will be able to better assess:

  1. the distribution and abundance of owl species,
  2. species' associations in respect to habitat, and
  3. long-term population fluctuations for the most abundant species.

Each owl surveyor will receive a kit that includes survey instructions, data forms, a training CD, a broadcast CD, and the annual newsletter presenting owl results. To register for this exciting survey, or to receive more information, please contact:


Andrew Coughlan
Québec Program Manager
Bird Studies Canada
801-1550, avenue d'Estimauville
Québec (Québec) G1J 0C3
1-866-518-0212 or 418-649-6062

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