Senneville Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Senneville Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located south-west of Montréal Island, in Québec. It holds important habitats for birds.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Senneville Migratory Bird Sanctuary is located at the western tip of the Island of Montreal and overlaps with the village of Senneville as well as the city of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. Established in 1936 in order to protect the large variety of birds found in this area during both the breeding and migration seasons, this sanctuary encompasses an array of habitats including a large forested area.

Image of an American woodcock nesting eggs
American woodcock

Several species of birds have been reported to nest within the Senneville sanctuary such as:

  • pileated woodpecker
  • spotted sandpiper
  • Wilson’s snipe
  • American woodcock
  • northern harrier
  • screech owl
  • great Horned Owl
Image of a Pileated woodpecker in a tree
Pileated woodpecker. Photo: Benoit Audet

Many other species have been spotted within the boundaries of this protected area including several species of swallows, large numbers of songbirds (passerines) and an assortment of woodpeckers. This sheer variety of birdlife and the fact that species at risk, like the Bobolink, have also been spotted within the sanctuary is testament to its importance within the region.


This 555-hectare protected area consists mostly of a forested landscape composed of a great variety of tree species including red maple, sugar maple, red ash, American elm, trembling aspen, crack willow, black willow, swamp white oak, common hackberry and American basswood. The scrubland area within the sanctuary is more limited and is mostly made up of speckled alder and numerous herbaceous plants, including broad-leaved meadowsweet, leatherleaf and Buttonbush. The diversity of habitats found within the sanctuary is rounded out by the presence of fields and pastures, which make up approximately 10% of the landscape.

Did you know?

Bobolinks travel an impressive distance each year during their migration. At approximately 20 000 kilometers, their travel to and from South America is one of the longest distances traveled yearly by a songbird (passerine). During its lifetime, the distance that a bobolink may travel can be the equivalent to traveling around the earth’s circumference four or five times!

Map of area

Map of Senneville MBS
Map of Senneville MBS
Long description

Map showing the location of the Senneville Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) in relation to Québec, Sennevile, Ile-aux-Tourtes Bridge, Saint-Louis Lake, Vaudreuil Bay, Deux-Montagnes Lake. The MBS is crossed by highway 40 and is located north of highway 20. The map show the boundaries of the refuge, which enclose a land plot near Senneville. Permanent waters, roads and highways are shown on the map. An inset shows the location of the refuge in Canada.

Access to the sanctuary

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

Key facts about Senneville Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Summary table
Category Information
Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Quebec
Latitude/longitude 45° 26' 00" N 73° 57' 00" W
Size 555 hectares
Date created (Gazetted)  1936
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management category Natural Monument or Feature (III)
Additional designations Nature Reserve on private lands (in part)
Main habitat type Deciduous forest
Key bird species Pileated woodpecker
Other species

Birds: Spotted sandpiperWilson’s snipenorthern harrierscreech owl, and great horned owl 

Plants: Swamp white oak, common hackberry, red maple, red ash, American elm, trembling aspen, crack willow, black willow, swamp white oak, sugar maple, American basswood, speckled alder, broad-leaved meadowsweet and purple twayblade

Amphibians and reptiles: Milk snake and grey treefrog

Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) Bobolink
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service, Quebec Region

Related links

Senneville 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 QC G1J 0C3

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

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