Mount Royal, A Territory to Discover

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Westmount summit aerial view

Westmount Summit: 201 m above sea level

The Westmount summit, historically known as the petite montagne, or the little mountain, lies within the boundaries of the City of Westmount and the Côte-des Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the southwest slope of the summit was becoming a very desirable place to live, with green spaces close to the industrial city. McGill University owned a botanical garden on the summit and, at the turn of the twentieth century, it decided to bequeath the land to the City of Westmount, on the condition that it become a bird and flower sanctuary.

This action protected the 20 hectares of Summit Park from residential development. The summit is located within the woods of Summit Park. Just outside the park, a viewpoint provides a very beautiful view over the west of the city.


Credit photo:

Westmount, Summit Park and the summit of Mount Royal
Photos:Ville de Montréal




Questions :

(1) It's possible to observe about 180 species of birds on the mountain.

Answer True

(2) Westmount Summit, at 201 metres, is the highest of the 3 summits of Mount Royal.

Answer False

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Sphyrapicus varius
Photographer : Pierre Banon
© Les amis de la montagne Collection


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Sphyrapicus varius
Photographer: Pierre Banon
© Collection Les amis de la montagne

Indigo Bunting
Passerina cyanea
Photographer: Pierre Bannon
© Pierre Bannon

Evening Grosbeak
Coccothraustes vespertinus
© Collection Les amis de la montagne


Anas platyrhynchos
Photographer: Andrew Dobrowolskyj
© Collection Les amis de la montagne

Bohemian Waxwing
Bombycilla garrulus
Photographer: Arianne Ouelette
© Arianne Ouelette

Ring-billed Gull
Larus delawarensis
Photographe : Jean-Michel Villanove
© Collection Les amis de la montagne

Pileated Woodpecker
Dryocopus pileatus
Photographe Pierre Bannon
© Pierre Bannon

Pileated Woodpecker
Dryocopus pileatus
Photographe Pierre Bannon
© Pierre Bannon

American Goldfinch (female)
Carduelis tristis
Photographer : Karine Gagné
© Collection Les amis de la montagne


American Kestrel
Falco sparverius
Photographe : Normand Porlier
© Normand Porlier


Common Redpoll
Carduelis flammea
© Collection Les amis de la montagne

Great Horned Owl
Bubo virginianus
Photographe : Normand Porlier
© Normand Porlier


Northern Cardinal
Cardinalis cardinalis
Photographer : Karine Gagné
© Karine Gagné

Great Gray Owl
Strix nebulosa
Photographe : Normand Poirier
© Normand Poirier



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Mission woodpecker

A pair of binoculars, a field guide and a camera.
Direction Mount Royal. I’m off in search of the pileated woodpecker.

Here’s a path through the forest… I lean against a hundred year old oak tree, far from the noise of the city.
There, on a branch, a black capped chickadee, and in a bush, a winter wren.
I hear him, but where is he?
There, in the tree, a black and white woodpecker, with a short beak… it’s a downy woodpecker, a female, because she doesn’t have a red patch at the back of her head. She’s just found a bug under the bark.

A bit further on, there’s the trunk of a mountain ash with orderly parallel lines of holes. A yellow-bellied sapsucker drilled them to get at the sap.

A noise over there. It can’t be a woodpecker. No, it’s a raccoon climbing out of a hollow tree.
And there’s a nice shelter in a nearby tree. Oh, there’s a screech owl inside.

I’m going to get closer

I see him! There he is, the pileated woodpecker, with his handsome red crest.
He’s starting a hole. Is it to feed himself or to make a nest?
Maybe I’ll stick around a while and watch him work.