Inglewood Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Inglewood Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located in Calgary, Alberta. It offers a quality habitat for many waterfowl species and songbirds.

Importance of the sanctuary: migratory birds and other wildlife

Designated to protect waterfowl in their breeding area, the Inglewood Migratory Bird Sanctuary is located in the heart of the city of Calgary, Alberta. Over 225 species of birds have been recorded in this sanctuary with the vast majority of them making use of it during the spring and fall months.

Red-eyed vireo
Red-eyed vireo

The majority of the birds that nest in this sanctuary are songbirds, known as passerines, however many other species nest here including:

  • mallard
  • northern pintail
  • common merganser
  • Canada goose
  • killdeer
  • spotted sandpiper
  • gray partridge
  • American kestrel
Northern pintail
Northern pintail

In the late summer, from mid-August to mid-September, the forests that border the Bow River attract large numbers of mixed-flocks that include:

  • warblers
  • vireos
  • chickadees
  • kinglets
  • nuthatches
  • woodpeckers

In the winter, the open water is used by over 5000 mallards as well as smaller numbers of:

  • common goldeneye
  • common merganser
  • lesser scaup
  • bufflehead
  • Wilson’s snipe
  • killdeer
  • bald eagle
  • belted kingfisher

Did you know?

The average bald eagle has a wingspan of 6.5 to 7.5 feet with females having larger wingspans than males.


The sanctuary is split into two areas divided by the Bow River. The riverbanks and adjacent land are covered in trees, shrubs, mixed grasses and herbaceous plants. Along the western bank of the river, these native trees and shrubs create a nice dense habitat. The portion of the sanctuary located to the east of the river is largely composed of a golf course and Canadian Pacific Railway property, with little natural habitat remaining. This area was severely impacted by widespread flooding that occurred in 2013 and the sanctuary was not spared. The high water levels had profound impacts upon this protected area; changing the river channel, depositing silt and causing extensive tree and vegetation damage. Recovery efforts are still underway.

Map of the area

Map of Inglewood Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  • Long description

    Map showing the Inglewood Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) in relation to Alberta, Calgary and Bow River. The map shows the boundaries of the refuge, which is divided in two terrestrial parts, each on both side of the Bow River. Located in the middle of Calgary, the MBS is south of highway 1A and is partly crossed by highway 2. The scale of the map is in kilometers. Permanent waters, roads and highways are shown on the map. An inset on the map shows the location of the shelter in Canada.

Planning your visit

Activities within the sanctuary include the Nature Centre, hiking trails, school programs, birding adventure courses and summer day camps.

For further information about activities offered, general hours, location and trail closures please visit the City of Calgary webpage.

Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, such as Inglewood 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. The City of Calgary, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Inglewood Golf and Curling Club own the lands where the sanctuary is established. Please respect that these landowners may restrict public access. 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 Inglewood Migratory Bird Sanctuary in particular, please contact our regional office.

Key facts about Inglewood Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Alberta
Latitude/longitude 51°02' N, 141°00' W
Size 160 hectares
Date created (Gazetted) 1929
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management category N/A
Additional designations None
Main habitat type Riverine forest (9%), grassland/shrub (3%), stream (1%) and park/golf course (87%)
Key bird species Warblers, vireos, chickadees, kinglets, nuthatches, woodpeckers, mallard, common goldeneye, common merganser, lesser scaup, bufflehead, Wilson’s snipe, killdeer, bald eagle and belted kingfisher
Other species Birds: Northern pintail, Canada goose, spotted sandpiper, gray partridge and American kestrel
Plants: Canadian thistle
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service, Prairie and Northern Region
Landowner City of Calgary and private

Related links

Contact information

Environment and Climate Change Canada – Prairie and Northern Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas and Stewardship Unit
Eastgate Offices
9250 – 49th Street
Edmonton AB T6B 1K5

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

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