www.reifelbirdsanctuary.com

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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

Hours:

9 am to 4 pm every day of the year including holidays.

The Sanctuary is not open in the evenings.

Most visitors spend 1 to 1.5 hours walking.

Admission:

 

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

Note that annual memberships are available.

Special Notices:

Last Updated: September 18, 2018

A machine has just recently been working around the tower and along the seaward dyke. Visitors are advised that walking conditions are a bit mucky there, and we will be working on some trail restoration projects there this fall.

After visitors recently created a significant mess and other hazards with bird seed and feeding activities, we have posted signs saying no more bird feeding on the tower or in bird blinds. This is not an appropriate use of these viewing facilities.

The 2018 Sandhill Crane chick or colt is flying now and exploring Westham Island farm fields with its parents and other cranes. We still ask all visitors to give this family lots of space and to not insist on trying to hand-feed the young bird. We have not had a chick grow to adulthood for seven years, so some visitors may not be aware that crane parents are extremely cautious about allowing any direct contact between people and their young at this age. It is also quite normal for the crane family to be absent from the Sanctuary off and on this month as they are wild birds and need to sociallize with the other cranes that gather locally at this time of year. You may be able to identify the juvenile in with other cranes by its rusty back, neck and shoulders.

Please call our office 604-946-6980 if you have questions.

Watch Your Time

At 4 pm, the Sanctuary closes for business, and late-arriving visitors are not allowed entry into the trails after that. Visitors in the trail system must leave the Sanctuary and be out on Robertson Road no later than 5 pm, when all the gates are locked.

Come Prepared For The Weather

Dress appropriate for walking outdoors on gravel and grassy trails. Check the local weather station in Ladner for a live report on weather conditions. Consider bringing refreshments, as the Gift Shop carries only basic snacks such as pop and chocolate bars. We do not serve hot drinks, so bring a thermos of something warm.

   

Rules

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.

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 try pick them up. Keep away from birds that are sleeping or nesting, and keep far away (2m) from all nests.

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.

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

Birdwatching

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 or consider booking one of our Programs..

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.

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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