Watching the April 8 solar eclipse from the top of a mountain might seem like a good idea. In fact, outdoor enthusiasts should rather turn to wetlands and fields.

“Behavior occurs in open environments, especially in wetlands,” asserts SEPAQ biologist Marc-Andre Villars.

Visually speaking, the total solar eclipse on April 8 should be spectacular. However, the sound aspect of being in the great outdoors can be appealing. How will birds and amphibians react? Will there be a great silence? Or, on the contrary, should we expect a terrible uproar?

“The only problem is timing,” Villard says. Neither the date nor the time is ideal. Relatively few birds return to the forest, and song activity is usually very reduced by mid-afternoon. »

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So the idea was born to look to open environments such as fields and wetlands. Marc-Andre Villard explains that the spring peepers first appear in the spring when everything thaws. Anyway, spring is coming early this year.

“In high season, when it all melts and all the tree frogs in the swamp are buzzing all at once, it’s spectacular,” he says. It’s easy to tell if your tree frog has stopped chirping. »

Patrick Paré, a biologist and conservation research team leader at Granby Zoo, points out that wood frogs can be active as early as early April.

“In the middle of the afternoon, she might start singing more into the darkness,” he says. That will need to be confirmed. »

Marc-Andre Villard said some spring birds, such as loggerheads, agrackles and buntings, which prefer fields and wetlands, are starting to return. That’s good, they are particularly vocal birds. The long, high-pitched call of a blackbird is always one of the first signs of spring. It remains to be seen how he will react to the sudden darkness.

Many of the birds that prefer forest areas, such as thrushes and warblers, have not yet returned.

On the other hand, you can also hear the cries of nocturnal birds such as barred owls and eagle owls. Will they start hollering when darkness falls?

The fact remains that you must be in a clear area to clearly see all phases of the eclipse. Quebec’s nature, with its very deep forests, does not guarantee this. In early April, the deciduous trees are still bare, but their branches are thick enough to obscure the view.

You can look for empty peaks, but there aren’t many in the areas of Quebec that the eclipse will pass through: Montérégie, the Eastern Townships, and Chaudiere-Appalaches. They are expected to be exposed to storms. For example, Hereford Forest has organized a special eclipse viewing hike to the top of Mount Hereford, which is located right in the middle of the eclipse’s path. This special activity has been fully booked for several weeks now. This also applies to hiking at Bromont Summits Park.

It’s also impossible to visit Mont-Mégantic National Park if you haven’t already acquired the rare passes that are selling like hotcakes.

Also consider that mud season probably starts in early April.

Trails are especially vulnerable during snowmelt, so many managers close trail access to avoid undue damage.

Therefore, you should consult the websites and Facebook pages of various trail managers. If you need access to the site, please book now.

The Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York will also be in the path of the eclipse. Although there are plenty of bare mountains, Adirondack trails are known to be especially muddy at this time of year. Lake Placid’s tourism website strongly recommends against hiking into high mountains to view the eclipse.

“Spring weather can include snow, ice, or even a combination of the three,” one person wrote.

Parking lots at trailheads are already in short supply even in normal times and are at risk of being overflowing with cars.

Experienced paddlers may prefer to be located in the center of the body of water. The water freezes during this period, so be careful. Never fall backwards…


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Before cycling season, do some more skiing. These are the giants of Alaska.

This is the number of warbler species in the world. There are 29 nesting sites in Quebec.

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