Black Pond Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Black Pond Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located on the east coast of Prince Edward Island. It preserves important habitat for many waterfowl.

Importance of the sanctuary: migratory birds and other wildlife

Black Pond Migratory Bird Sanctuary, situated along Highway 16, 5 kilometres east of the town of Souris, is one of the most important waterfowl production and migration habitats in eastern Prince Edward Island. Waterfowl known to nest here include American black duck, American green-winged teal, blue-winged teal and ring-necked duck.

Did you know?

Blue-winged teal migrate long distances in order to winter in sunny South America.

During migration, the concentration of waterfowl in the sanctuary drastically increases with flocks of ducks numbering between several hundred to a thousand individuals on any given day. In the spring, small flocks of Canada geese and brant are commonly seen in the sanctuary. By contrast, during the month of September, large flocks of blue-winged teal, as well as lesser numbers of northern pintail and American wigeon make use of the site; these birds generally migrate by early October. Not all waterfowl leave the sanctuary this early in the fall however, and flocks of American green-winged teal and ring-necked duck often remain in the sanctuary well into November. Flocks of American black duck, numbering from 400 to 600, stay until Black Pond freezes in mid-December. During late fall and winter, a main inlet in Black Pond, which remains unfrozen, is frequented by a small number of common goldeneye, bufflehead and common merganser.


This 130-hectare site is an exceptional example of a barrier-beach pond ecosystem, as a 1-kilometer wide, sand beach separates the 50-hectare pond from the sea. Black Pond itself is a shallow, freshwater lake that is filled with thick beds of pondweed and bordered by spike rushes as well as scattered stands of cattail and bulrushes. The surrounding countryside is lowland with small white spruce woodlots and agricultural fields.

Black Pond: landscape

Did you know?

A barrier beach is, as its name suggests, a beach that acts as a barrier between a large body of water and a smaller body of water. These beaches often protect the mainland from thrashing ocean waves. In the case of Black Pond, the barrier beach protects the pond from weather and waves coming off of the Northumberland Strait.

Map of the area

Map of Black Pond Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  • Long description

    Map showing the location of the Black Pond Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) in relation to Prince Edward Island, Northumberland Strait and Little Harbor. The map shows the boundaries of the refuge, which runs along a portion of the Little Harbor shoreline and extends inland to Highway 16. The MBS includes part of Black Pond and is located at west of Highway 302. The scale of the map is in kilometers. Permanent waters, intertidal areas, roads and highways are shown on the map. An insert on the map shows the location of the shelter in Canada.

Access to the sanctuary

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, such as Black Pond, are established across the country to protect migratory birds during critical periods of their life cycle. Whether these areas are used for feeding, resting or nesting, they play an important role in the survival of many species. Access to each migratory bird sanctuary varies by site and is at the discretion of the landowner and land manager. Please ensure that you are aware of how you can help protect this sanctuary and please read the restrictions, including those on firearms and hunting, which are in place to conserve the wildlife that call it home. It is also important to remember that dogs and cats must not be allowed to run at large inside Migratory Bird Sanctuaries.

Blue-winged Teal
Blue-winged teal. Photo: Simon Pierre Barrette, alias Cephas CC BY-SA

If you would like further information on what is permitted in Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, please visit the Management and Activities section of the website. It’s also important to remember that pets are not welcome inside Migratory Bird Sanctuaries. For more information on Black Pond Migratory Bird Sanctuary in particular, please contact our regional office.

Key facts about Black Pond Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Prince Edward Island
Latitude/longitude 46°22' N, 62°10' W
Size 130 hectares
Date created (Gazetted) 1936
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management category N/A
Additional designations None
Main habitat type Sand dunes (31%), beach (5%), open water and marsh (20%), spruce forest (29%), open fields (14%), residential (1%)
Key bird species American black duck, green-winged teal, blue‑winged teal, ring-necked duck, common goldeneye, northern pintail, American wigeon, Canada goose, brant, bufflehead, piping plover and common merganser
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) Piping plover
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service, Atlantic Region
Landowners Private

Related links

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)

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