Christie Islet Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Christie Islet Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located south of Anvil Island, in British Columbia. It preserves quality habitat for many seabirds in close proximity to Vancouver.

Importance of the sanctuary: migratory birds and other wildlife

Christie Islet Migratory Bird Sanctuary is located approximately 30 km north of Vancouver, British Columbia, south of Anvil Island in Howe Sound. At first glance, Christie Islet appears to be a tree-less and barren mass of rocks jutting nearly 20 m above the water in the Strait of Georgia. Closer inspection reveals that the weathered and creviced rock surfaces are home to grasses and serviceberry.

Christie Islet Migratory Bird Sanctuary: landscape. Photo: R. Butler

This small islet is the only site in the Vancouver area where large numbers of seabirds nest. These include pelagic cormorants, glaucous-winged gulls and double–crested cormorants.

Young glaucous-winged gulls
Young glaucous-winged gulls. Photo: Ingrid Taylar

Did you know?

The word glaucous is used to describe a light-gray or bluish-white colour. The glaucous-winged gull is named for the unique colouring of its wingtips. While most gulls have either black or white wingtips, the glaucous-winged gull’s wingtips are a light grey; a colour similar to that of its back. 

Other birds, such as black oystercatchers, pigeon guillemot, northwestern crow, surf scoters, harlequin ducks, Canada geese and bald eagles can be observed either frequenting the islet or in the surrounding area. Harbour seals can also be observed swimming in the waters around the Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

Map of the area

Map of Christie Islet Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  • Long description

    Map showing the location of the Christie Islet Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) in relation to British Columbia, to Georgia Strait, Anvil Island, Christie Islet and Gambier Island. The map shows the refuge boundaries, which enclose Christie Islet. The scale of the map is in half-kilometers. Permanent waters and roads are shown on the map. An inset on the map shows the location of the shelter in Canada.

Access to the sanctuary

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, such as Christie Islet, are established for the protection and conservation of migratory birds. Whether these areas are used for feeding, resting or nesting, they play an important role in the survival of many bird species. Activities that could harm migratory birds, their nests or their eggs are prohibited. Please note that landing on Christie Islet and entrance into this Migratory Bird Sanctuary are forbidden. Birds may be viewed from boats but to avoid disturbance it is recommended that they keep 300 m from Christie Islet. Aircraft should not fly below 300 m (1000 feet) over the sanctuary. 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. Dogs and cats must not be allowed to run at large 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 Christie Islet Migratory Bird Sanctuary in particular, please contact our regional office.

Key facts about Christie Islet Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory British Columbia
Latitude/longitude 49°30' N, 123°18' W
Size 0.81 hectare
Date created (Gazetted) 1962
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category N/A
Additional designations None
Main habitat type Barren rock (75%) and shrub (25%)
Key bird species Pelagic cormorant, glaucous-winged gull, double‑crested cormorant, pigeon guillemot, northwestern crow, American black oystercatcher, surf scoter, harlequin duck, Canada goose and bald eagle
Other species Mammals: Harbour seal
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service, Pacific Region
Landowner Private

Related link

Christie Islet on Google Maps (Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information that can help locate the migratory bird sanctuary and does not represent the official map or site name)

Contact information

Environment and Climate Change Canada – Pacific and Yukon Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Ecosystem Conservation
5421 Robertson Road
Delta, BC V4K 3N2

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: