Carillon Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Carillon Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located west of Montreal island, in Québec. Many ducks species use the refuge to rest, feed and nest.

Importance of the sanctuary: migratory birds and other wildlife

Located in the town of Saint-André-d'Argenteuil, at the west end of Lac des Deux-Montagnes, the Carillon Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary was established in 1931 to safeguard the large number of ducks that nest in the area.

This sanctuary is a prime nesting, resting and feeding spot for a wide variety of waterfowl including mallards, American black ducks, Canada geese as well as blue-winged and green-winged teals. Also present, though in smaller numbers are wood ducks, northern shovelers, American wigeons and northern pintails. At one time, a large number of great blue herons were reported to nest within this sanctuary and in 1979, approximately 150 nests were reported on Carillon Island. This number declined drastically, likely due to raccoon predation on fledgling herons, during the subsequent years. By 1993, a survey of the birds on the island concluded that this colony had disappeared from the island. A second survey in 1997 concluded that the herons had not returned.

Photo of a Mallard
Mallard. Photo: Jean-François Rail

Did you know?

Mallard ducks are powerful fliers and during their migration they can travel at speeds of roughly 80 kilometres per hour.


This 455-hectare protected area encompasses Carillon and Paquin Islands, along with adjacent marshes and all waters within a 60-metre zone around the islands and marshes. Both of these islands are dominated by silver maple forests with several other species of trees found solely on Paquin Island including American elm, bur oak and trembling aspen.

Part of Carillon Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary in the spring. Photo: Christine Lepage

The riparian areas, support submerged aquatic vegetation such as tapegrass and Canada waterweed, over which emergent grass beds grow. These grass beds are made up of various species such as:

  • broadleaf arrowhead
  • river bulrush
  • tuberous waterlily
  • narrowleaf bur-reed
  • broadfruit bur-reed
  • northern water milfoil

The endangered false hop sedge also grew in this protected area at one point; however it has not been sighted here since 1992.

Map of the area

Map of Carillon Island MBS
  • Long description

    Map showing the location of the Carillon Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) in relation to Québec, Pointe-au-Sable, Saint-Placide, Carillon Island, Fer à Cheval Bay, Lac des Deux-Montagnes and the Ottawa River. The map shows the boundaries of the refuge, which enclose Carillon Island, Fer à Cheval Bay, and the surrounding waters. The MBS is located north of highway 40. The scale of the map is in kilometers. Permanent waters, roads and highways are shown on the map. An inset shows the location of the shelter in Canada.

Access to the sanctuary

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, such as Carillon Island, are established across the country to protect migratory birds during critical periods of their migration. Whether these areas are used for feeding, resting or nesting, they play an important role in the survival of many species. Please ensure that you are aware of how, as a visitor, you can help protect this sanctuary and, before accessing the site, please read the restrictions, including those on firearms and hunting, that are in place to conserve the wildlife that call it home. It is also important to remember that pets are not welcome inside Migratory Bird Sanctuaries.

If you would like further information on what is permitted in Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, please visit the Management and Activities section of the website. For more information on Carillon Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary in particular, please contact our regional office.

Key facts about Carillon Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Québec
Latitude/longitude 45° 31' N 74° 16' W
Size in hectares (ha) 455 ha
Date created (Gazetted) 1931
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management category Natural Monument or Feature (III)
Additional designations None
Main habitat type Freshwater marshes and forest
Key bird species Mallard, American black duck, blue-winged and green-winged teal
Other species Birds: Wood duck, northern shoveler, American wigeon, northern pintail, Canada goose
Mammals: Raccoon, muskrat and river otter
Plants: Silver maple, American elm, bur oak, trembling aspen, broadleaf arrowhead, river bulrush, tuberous waterlily, narrowleaf bur-reed, broadfruit bur-reed, water-shield, tapegrass and northern water milfoil, tapegrass and Canada waterweed.
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service, Quebec Region

Related links

Carillon Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary on Google Maps (Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name)

Contact information

Environment and Climate Change Canada – Quebec Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas Unit
801-1550, avenue d'Estimauville
Québec, Quebec G1J 0C3

Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: