Kentville Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary | Access and Activities | Map of the Area | Summary Table | Contact Information

Kentville Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Photo: Colin MacKinnon © Environment and Climate Change Canada. Kentville Migratory Bird Sanctuary: landscape.

Kentville Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) lies just west of the town of Kentville, in Kings County, Nova Scotia, and a portion of the MBS lies within the town boundaries. This 506-ha wetland is a floodplain marsh with numerous small shallow ponds and backwaters along the meandering course of the Cornwallis River. The river varies in depth from one to three metres and is slightly brackish at the eastern end of the sanctuary, where there is a slight tidal influence. The wetland is dominated by reed-canary grass. Blue-joint, spike rush, and a wide variety of pondweeds and other aquatic plants occur within this fertile wetland. The main feature of the Kentville MBS is a 100-ha flood plain tussock marsh with numerous small shallow ponds and backwaters along the meandering course of the Cornwallis River.

The MBS is bounded on the north by Melvern Square Road and Brooklyn Street and includes a section of Canadian Forces Base Aldershot. To the south, it borders on the former main line of the Dominion Atlantic Railway, now a community walking trail. Since the establishment of the MBS, the town of Kentville has expanded. The entire southern half of the sanctuary (the portion south of the Cornwallis River) is within the town limits of Kentville and includes some small housing subdivisions and industrial facilities.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

This MBS is of local significance for regional waterfowl populations. Broods of American Black Duck, Blue-winged Teal and Green-winged Teal have been observed in the sanctuary marsh. The slowly meandering river and adjacent shallow ponds support an abundance of plant and animal life. Red-tailed Hawks and Northern Harriers are frequently seen foraging over the open meadow, and the woodlands adjacent to the walking trail are a favourite haunt of local bird watchers. During late summer and early fall, the MBS serves as a concentration area for waterfowl during migration, with numbers reaching several hundred on an average day.

Access and Activities

MBSs are established for the protection and conservation of migratory birds. Activities that could harm migratory birds, their nests or their eggs are prohibited.

MBSs can be and have been established on private, provincial, territorial and federally owned lands. Access to each MBS varies by site and is at the discretion of the landowner and land manager.

Where MBSs are located on federal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the management and protection of migratory birds, nests, eggs and habitat. Where MBSs are located on provincial land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests, while the chief game officer of the province is responsible for the management of habitat. Where MBSs are located on private or municipal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests. Habitat management is the responsibility of the landowner.

The standard prohibitions under the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations apply to Kentville MBS: hunting migratory birds is prohibited, and no person shall disturb, destroy or take the nest of a migratory bird or have in his or her possession a live migratory bird, or a carcass, skin, nest or egg of a migratory bird, except under the authority of a permit issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada or unless authorized by the Regulations. Possession of firearms or other hunting appliances is prohibited. Dogs and cats must not be allowed to run at large.

Access prohibitions or restrictions by the MBS landowners (Department of National Defence, Province of Nova Scotia and private) may also apply.

For more information on entry, activities and permits in MBSs, please visit the Management and Activities section of the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries website. For more information on Environment and Climate Change Canada's protected areas, please contact the regional office.

For greater certainty, nothing in this document shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the protection provided for existing Aboriginal or treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada by the recognition and affirmation of those rights in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Map of the Area

Long description for the Map

Map showing the location of Kentville Migratory Bird Sanctuary in relation to Nova Scotia and Kentville. The map shows the boundaries of the sanctuary. The scale of the map is in hundreds of meters.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries. Kentville MBS can also be viewed using Google Maps.Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name.

Summary Table

Summary Table for Kentville Migratory Bird Sanctuary
CategoryInformation
Protected Area designationMigratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territoryNova Scotia
Latitude/longitude45°05' N, 64°32' W
Size in hectares (ha)506 ha
Date created (Gazetted)1939
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management categoryN/A
Additional designationsNone
Main habitat typeMarsh and river channel (37%), old fields (10%), open pine forest (19%), deciduous woodlands (21%), residential and industrial areas (13%)
Key bird speciesAmerican Black Duck, Blue-winged Teal and Green‑winged Teal, Red-tailed Hawk, and Northern Harrier
Other speciesPlants: Blue-joint and Spike Rush
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act(SARA)None
Management agencyCanadian Wildlife Service, Atlantic Region
LandownersDepartment of National Defence, Province of Nova Scotia and private

Contact Information

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Atlantic Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas Program
17 Waterfowl Lane
Sackville NB E4L 1G6
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
Email: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca
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