Geese and snow geese begin to arrive in Saint-Fulgence, a prime stop for these migratory birds each spring. To celebrate their arrival, the Saint-Fulgence Goose Festival will take flight on May 3, during three days of festivities for lovers of birdlife and the environment.
In the past two years, the festival, now in its 32nd year, has embarked on an environmental shift. “We rely heavily on nature and the environmental cause. In fact, we are very proud to welcome Aboriginal and multidisciplinary artist Samian on Friday night. He is a very committed artist and we are very happy that he is with us for the launch of the event, “explained Mélanie Bouchard, Project Manager at the Anse aux hay. Born in Amos, Samian is a rapper from the Abitibiwinni First Nation. He raps in both French and Algonquian. He will perform in Saint-Fulgence Friday, May 3 at 8:30 pm. The evening will end in the early hours of the morning, since DJ Rydu will take over.
During the weekend, several conferences are on the program, including Christine Fortin, an itinerant veterinarian who treats animals all over the region. She works at the Falardeau Zoo. Another conference on the language of birds, birds of prey, an introduction to sea kayaking and a do-it-yourself with children are featured in the event’s programming.
Festival-goers will also have the opportunity to become aware of the development of a riparian strip. On Saturday evenings, people will be able to participate in an immersive story in the forest, inspired by the Innu legend. Of course, visitors will be able to observe migratory birds throughout the weekend.
“We really have great activities for young people and adults. Of course, birders will be at the festival sites throughout the weekend, just to answer questions from birdwatchers, “added Mélanie Bouchard.
The geese should be at the rendezvous all weekend, since the first were seen last Thursday on the banks of the Saguenay. Some deer were also present, along with the birds. It is not known, however, whether they will still be there during the event.
For more information on the festival’s programming, visit www.ville.st-fulgence.qc.ca/tourisme/festivals or the Facebook page of the event.
Nadia Potvin is a great lover of birds of prey. Two years ago, she adopted Spirit, a baby gyrfalcon born in captivity. A loving and endearing bird that she trains daily.
“I have always loved animals and I have always had a fondness for birds. I sometimes observed birds of prey at my cottage and it fascinated me a lot. I went for training and became a falconer. For the last two years, I’ve been raising Spirit and I love it, “says Nadia Potvin, who will be giving a lecture on the birds of prey of Saint-Fulgence during the Bernese Goose Festival on Sunday, May 5 at 11 am .
Spirit lives in an aviary, behind the house of Nadia Potvin. Since he was born to a breeder, he would have difficulty integrating with nature and may not survive because he never learned to feed himself.
“Every day, I train for an hour with food on my glove. I also train him on the flight so he can fly free. I like talking to him and raising awareness by giving lectures. People are often afraid of birds of prey, but they are much more afraid of us than the other way around. They are very intelligent and fascinating birds, “said Nadia Potvin, who was accompanied by Spirit for the interview.
On arriving at the newspaper, the bird of a little less than two pounds wore a small leather helmet, so that it was less frightened by the environment surrounding it and by the movements. The helmet prevents him from seeing and secures him. However, he was released quickly.
The bird was calm throughout the interview, still curious about what was around.
In the Saguenay, some peregrine falcons have been seen on the walls of the fjord in recent years. Gyrfalcons are often seen further north of Quebec.