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Winter home of the Snow Geese and one of Canada's top birdwatching sites.
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Planning Your Visit

Sanctuary Closure effective 4 pm Sunday March 15th, 2020
COVID 19 (Coronavirus) Community Notice

Last updated July 4, 2020

Dear Sanctuary visitors,
The Sanctuary has been closed since March 15th, 2020 due to Covid19 Coronavirus transmsission concerns. We would like to reassure everyone that we will be re-opening soon, although the exact date depends on contractor schedules to finish our gate project. This project has cause a considerable delay in the re-opening process. Although there might still be a glitch or two that delays us once again, we hope to open right after the work is done in early July.

We do still regard the possible transmission of the virus seriously, and have also adjusted some of our operation procedures to reduce the ongoing traffic and congestion issues of the past few years. Pllease check this website page or our Twitter account @ReifelSanctuary for an official re-opening date. We will be using a parking reservation system to regulate visitor numbers, and will be closed Mondays for maintenance activities.

Thank you for your understanding and our apologies for inconvenience as we navigate these challenging times.

When we re-open please review the information below before visiting and make note of any changes.



9 am to 4 pm
Closed Mondays (NEW)
The Sanctuary is not open in the evenings.

Most visitors spend 1 to 1.5 hours walking. All visitors must be out of the Sanctuary by 4 pm. (NEW)



Adults $5
Seniors (60+) $3
Children (2-14) $3

Annual memberships are available.

Covid19 Coronavirus Awareness

(NEW- Please Read Before Planning A VIsit)

The Sanctuary during its initial re-opening phase will not be operating at full capacity. The Picnic Area, Warming Hut and inside of the Gift Shop will be closed to visitors, and visitor numbers managed at about 50% capacity. Note the booking system (next section). Please avoid gathering in large groups or blocking trails for others. Picnicking is not allowed anywhere in the Sanctuary. Staff will have hand sanitizer available. Please consider wearing a mask. The washrooms are small so we have installed extra sinks in an nearby outdoor handwashing station.

Book Your Visit ( link will only be activated when re-opening)

(NEW- Please Read Before Planning A Visit)

We will be reducing traffic congestion and managing daily visitor numbers through a parking reservation and visitor quota system. Our on-line booking system will allow people to reserve either the morning or afternoon time slot a day before their planned visit. This is a free system for our customers. Admissions fees will then still need to be paid at the Gift Shop upon arrival. If people have not booked, they may run the risk of being turned away if the Sanctuary is already full. Vehicles are not allowed to idle or park along Robertson Road outside the gates. We will have people at the front gates to explain this.

Cyclists wanting to reserve a parking spot for their bikes while they visit the trails can call our office to do so the day before. There are only 10 spots to be reserved, as any more will create congestion by the washrooms.

Read The Rules Before Visiting

Check our Rules below before planning a trip here. Note that visitors are expected to follow instructions from staff and volunteers. Visitors are not allowed to bring in food for the birds. Only the Sanctuary bird food can be used to feed the birds. See the Bird Feeding Rules, effective January 1st, 2020. During this season, we need to remind all visitors that they may NOT pick anything including berries and flowers.

Come Prepared

Dress appropriate for walking outdoors on gravel and grassy trails. Seasonal weather makes for constantly changing conditions. Wear proper footwear and proceed with care and attention on our trails and on any of our structures. Visitors use these at their own risk. Please review our Disclaimer page.



Our Society manages the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary through a long-term agreement with the Government of Canada. Our rules reflect wildlife laws that protect birds and their habitats, and we also restrict activities which threaten the enjoyment and safety of others.

The habitat is protected here, so please stay on trails and do not pick flowers or fruit or other plants. What grows in the Sanctuary stays in the Sanctuary. To maintain the natural ecology, we also do not allow visitors to bring in plant or animal materials including bird seed from external sources. (see Bird Feeding Rules).

Trails are pedestrian walking paths for quiet birdwatching and nature appreciation.

  • No bicycles, tricycles, skateboards or other wheeled forms of locomotion except for wheelchairs and strollers;
  • No dogs or any other domestic or exotic animals;
  • No sports equipment, musical instruments, remote-controlled devices or devices with speakers. No drones, either, please.

Help us to keep this conservation area clean and safe for the birds and all visitors.

  • No smoking or littering
  • No cooking of any form on site
  • No picnic activities except at designated facilities at the entrance;
  • No climbing on or over fences, or tampering with bird feeders, nest boxes or other Sanctuary infrastructure.

Wildlife laws apply in this Migratory Bird Sanctuary (and National Wildlife Area).

  • No hunting or fishing;
  • No cutting, picking, damaging or removing vegetation, and no disturbing or removing soil, sand, gravel or other material;
  • No destroying or harrassing of any birds or wildlife, carcasses, nests or eggs;

It is illegal to harrass or harm birds here, so do not chase, pet or even try pick them up. Keep away from birds that are sleeping or nesting, and keep far away (2m) from all nests.

Visitors are expected to obey posted signs and instructions from staff and volunteers.


How To Get Here

The Sanctuary is 13 km west of Ladner in the Municipality of Delta. Ladner is west of the intersection of Highways 10 and 17A. From Ladner, follow Ladner Trunk Road (Highway 10) west to 47A Avenue and on to River Road. Follow River Road westward for 3 km and cross the bridge on your right onto Westham Island. Follow the main road to where it ends and there is a sign pointing left towards the driveway entrance gates of the Sanctuary. Follow the driveway 1 km to the Sanctuary parking lot and our facilities. (more detailed Google Maps driving instructions). NOTE: There is no public transit out to the Sanctuary.

What To Do


For the keen birdwatchers, we have a special Birding Page to outline how to get the most from your visit. For beginners this is a good place to learn, and you will find staff, volunteers and even other visitors quite willing to help you. Explore the Sanctuary on your own. We have some identification signs out along the trails. Be sure to take a trail map with you.

Book a program

Sign up your group for one of our Programs. We do educational tours for school classes, birding groups and others. Loaner binoculars are available at the Gift Shop.

Sightseeing & Photography

There are several kilometers of trails through diverse coastal habitats, many scenic lookouts and a constantly changing mix of bird life to observe here at the Sanctuary. Visit our What To See Page for an overview. Most of our visitors like the tower that overlooks the ocean marshes, the Vancouver area and Vancouver Island.

Kids & Nature

A trip to the Sanctuary to learn about the birds and watch all the wild things makes for an enjoyable family outing. Visit our Kids & Nature page for helpful hints for a good visit. Feeding the ducks in a long-standing popular activity for all ages, and Black-capped Chickadees will also take sunflower seeds from the hands of visitors.See our Bird Feeding Rules, though.

Quiet Zones

The quiet oceanside pathways of the Sanctuary are posted as No Feeding Areas, giving visitors opportunities to see shorebirds and more secretive wildlife such as rails with a minimum of noise and disturbance, and to reduce slope erosion caused by waterfowl.

Visit Our Shop

The Gift Shop is open from 9 am to 4 pm, and sells snacks, bird seed, binoculars, bird books, and many gift items, as well as an assortment of gently used books. This is where you can also borrow binoculars.

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