Eddie the Red-Tailed Hawk, Montreal Technoparc and wetlands' star
The West Island Blog had the opportunity to speak with Joël Coutu, a volunteer for an independent nature lovers group that has started making waves in the community, particularly the Montreal Technoparc and wetlands. The impetus for Joël to spring into action and give a voice to those who don't have one, that we can understand, was when he witnessed careless construction trucks hit and injure two birds in the area. From that moment on, he knew these souls needed justice, and that he needed to step up to the plate.
Joël painted a picture of Eddie the red-tailed hawk who began making appearances and captivating the hearts of bird-watchers and nature lovers alike since Eddie arrived at the Montreal Technoparc and wetlands about a month ago. He believes Eddie to be a juvenile hawk who's just begun curiously exploring the world.
Joël added that Eddie grew up among golfers, watching them from the trees above, which he believes has attributed to his level of comfort around humans. While many juvenile red-tailed hawks tend to be shy around humans, as they perceive them as a threat, Eddie is quite the opposite and enjoys putting on shows for his spectators. This is one of the reasons that Joël named Eddie, the current star, in honor of Eddie Van Halen's passing.
Eddie may be the star of the show, but the Montreal Technoparc and wetlands have far more to offer between the beautiful scenery and diversity of wildlife, each with their own distinct characters.
"It has the biggest concentration of birds on the Island of Montreal. Birds are the best indicators for a very rich biodiversity or ecosystem. So if you have a lot of different species of birds, that means your ecosystem is healthy," explains Joël Coutu on the importance of places like the Technoparc Montreal wetlands.
"It is the best spot in the province of Quebec to see a variety of owls. You can see up to 6 different species of owls in that area in the winter. The owls will use the Technoparc area as a wintering ground," added Joël. "For the last 4 years since we've discovered it, hundreds and hundreds of photographers and birders have been going into the Golf Dorval to see all these owls. It's an important stop for winter ground migration route. It shows you the value of the area."
The TechnoparcOiseaux movement includes a group of dedicated citizens demanding the protection and restoration of the Technoparc Montreal wetlands and adjacent areas in the St-Laurent borough of Montreal.
If you are a fan of the Technopark wetlands and its inhabitants, you can help protect it by donating to the Environmental Legacy Fund to help offset legal fees from the Technoparc case here (tax receipts will be issued for charitable donations over $25, per the website.)
Check out the gallery below to see some of the enchanting wildlife who calls the Montreal Technoparc and wetlands home. Or better yet, take advantage of this beautiful weather and take in the beauty for yourself, socially-distanced and masked up of course! (Click to enlarge images.)
The faces of Montreal Technoparc and wetlands' wildlife taken by a variety of local photographers.