Sutton Mountain Hikers Invited to Look Out for the Bicknell’s Thrush

Bicknell’s Thrush is a species designated as threatened in Canada and vulnerable in Quebec. It is found only at high elevations in the mountains of the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. A small population lives in our region, in the Sutton Mountains. This is the only known site where the species is found within the Appalachian Corridor action territory.

This thrush needs a very special habitat for its reproduction. It needs very dense softwood forests or regenerating sites located at an altitude of more than 600 m.

In the Sutton Mountains, the thrush’s nesting habitat is concentrated on the Round Top where hiking trails are located.

The main threats to Bicknell’s Thrush are habitat loss and modification. In the Sutton Mountains in particular, the degradation of nesting habitat by hikers and the disturbance they cause is putting a lot of pressure on the small thrush population.

Appalachian Corridor’s biologists hope to maintain the Bicknell’s Thrush population on the Round Summit. To achieve this, the presence of the species must be validated, and regular monitoring of this small population must be carried out.

During the month of June, biologists went to the top of the Round Summit in the early morning and carried out listening points to locate and count the thrushes. These follow-ups have been conducted since 2006. They are essential to validate the effectiveness of the protection measures currently in place and, if necessary, make adjustments to mitigate human impact on the thrush.

Photo: Richard Guillet