As part of the project to modernise the wharf and alumina unloading system (MQDA project or Modernisation des quais et du déchargement d’alumine), Warehouse 8 on Powell Wharf was to be dismantled in the spring of 2021. This is the very location where colonies of cliff swallows were nesting. The MQDA project team and the Port Facilities operations team worked together to protect the swallows, even though this was not an environmental requirement.
The goal was to relocate the swallows without disrupting their breeding. The teams consulted Jacques Ibarzabal, a professor at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi and vice-president of the Club des ornithologues amateurs du Saguenay (a bird-watchers’ club in Saguenay), who recommended installing nesting boxes near Warehouse 8.
So, three nesting boxes were built in 2019. In 2020, when the warehouse doors were removed, parts of them were placed at the nesting boxes. New clay nests, built by the students of the responsible citizenship program at Grandes-Marées de La Baie high school, were also added. The swallows are now expected in 2022 in their new condos!
We are proud to present the video summarising this beautiful environmental initiative that was carried out in collaboration with the community.