Indian Head Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Indian Head Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located east of Regina, in Saskatchewan. It offers a protected habitat for birds like geese.

Importance of the sanctuary: migratory birds and other wildlife

The Indian Head Migratory Bird Sanctuary is located 2 kilometers south of Indian Head and lies in the Mixed Grassland ecoregion of Saskatchewan. This sanctuary was established on May 5, 1924, with the intent of stopping the indiscriminate shooting of migratory birds. Covering part of the former Agriculture Canada Experimental Farm and Tree Nursery, established in 1902, the sanctuary encompasses two of the three wetlands present in the Tree Nursery.

Dams on Indian Head Creek created the three wetlands and a few species of migratory birds including shorebirds and songbirds, known as passerines, use this site. Small numbers of waterfowl, such as Canada geese, are also known to use the sanctuary, although their numbers remain low due to the high level of human disturbance making the habitat less desirable.

Canada Goose
Canada goose


The reservoir wetlands in the sanctuary have little emergent plant life and their aquatic vegetation consists mostly of pondweed and water crowfoot. A small band of mud flat and wet meadow exists around the edge of the reservoirs, while the shorelines themselves are moderately steep and vegetated largely by aspen, maple and willow. One of the reservoirs contains a small, man-made island. The lands surrounding the sanctuary are under private cultivation.

Did you know?

Canada geese generally lay 5 or 6 eggs per year. The process of laying an egg is not a quick one for these geese and each egg usually takes just over a day to lay.

Canada goose and goslings
Canada goose and goslings

Map of the area

Map of Indian Head Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  • Long description
    Map showing the location of the Indian Head Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) in relation to Saskatchewan, Indian Head, and Indian Head Creek. The map shows the boundaries of the refuge, which cover water and earth pieces south of highway 1 and 56. The scale of the map is in kilometers. Permanent and intermittent waters are shown on the map, as are roads and highways. An inset on the map shows the location of the shelter in Canada.

Access to the sanctuary

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, such as Indian Head, 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. 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 Indian Head Migratory Bird Sanctuary in particular, please contact our regional office.

Key facts about Indian Head Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Saskatchewan
Latitude/longitude 50°30' N, 103°42' W
Size 32 hectares
Date created (Gazetted) 1924
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category N/A
Additional designations None
Main habitat type Wetland (8%), tree nursery (92%)
Key bird species Canada goose
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service
Landowners Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and private

Related links

Indian Head Migratory Bird Sanctuary 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
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas – Prairie Region
115 Perimeter Road
Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X4

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

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