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Winter home of the Snow Geese and one of Canada's top birdwatching sites.
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Birding at the Sanctuary

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The British Columbia Waterfowl Society manages the Sanctuary. In addition to providing facilities for people, we conduct regular counts, and monitor species of management concern. We regulate visitor activities so that liability, site security, the well-being of the birds and the appropriate sharing of bird data are all addressed. If you are interested in helping collect data, please email us, as you might be a suitable candidate for some of our volunteer projects such as our bird surveys.

Birding Services

Upon your arrival, ask about the following:

The weekly species list, (posted on the Gift Shop window by the front door).(go to our Weekly Species page for the on-line version)

A communal birder's log book for visitors to record observations made during their visit.

A one-page handout showing trails and facilities.

(for $2) The updated species checklist. 298 bird species have been recorded here since the Sanctuary began in 1963.

A tour guide (usually the Sanctuary manager) if required. Book a minimum of one week in advance and a group size of at least 15 people to organize this.

The weekly drop-in 10 am Sunday birding walk for all levels of birdwatchers. Meet at the Gift Shop.


Visitors now need to reserve times for their visit. See our Planning Your Visit page for details. The gates open every day by 9 am and are locked for the evening no later than 4 pm. The Sanctuary is not open to the public for early morning or evening birdwatching or photography. Unauthorized access outside of business hours is regarded as illegal trespass. Note there are gate closures during the day.

Studies involving off-trail habitats, handling or capturing birds, or getting close enough to nests to count eggs and young need approval of the Sanctuary manager and need permits from Environment Canada.

Christmas Bird Counts

The Sanctuary falls within the Ladner Christmas count area. Adjacent count areas are Vancouver, White Rock and Victoria. To see the results of North American Audubon Christmas count records, go to the Audubon Society's website

Birding Forums

Birding in British Columbia provides an overview of birding in BC and a forum and newsletters for birders.

Rare Bird Alerts

Visit the BC Rare Bird Alert, and the local Rare Bird Alert for the Vancouver and Area, Fraser Valley and Sea to Sky.

Local Birding

Consider joining a local natural history society. The Greater Vancouver area has many active clubs, and some have regular birding activities. Visit the Federation of BC Naturalists (BC Nature) for clubs in the region.

Popular birding spots near the Sanctuary include Ladner Marsh, Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, Boundary Bay and Brunswick Point.

Bird Data

The Sanctuary is one of the hotspots on the eBird program run by Bird Studies Canada. You can see (and contribute to) the bird data collected and browse by date to see what might be expected during your visit.

Our recent species checklist is on our Birds page, along with links to some species profiles. Some of our bird highlights for the past decade will soon be provided online or our Archives page, along with past editions of our newsletter Marshnotes.

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