Sutherland Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Photo of Black-capped Chickadee
Photo: © Guy Lamarre. Black-capped Chickadee.

The Sutherland Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) was established on May 5, 1924, and encompassed a Dominion Forestry Station that produced trees for farm shelterbelts. The Forestry Station continued to operate until 1965, when half was transferred to the City of Saskatoon for a park, and the other half became an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Station.

Sutherland MBS is situated in the City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The MBS includes a park and zoo, known locally as the Forestry Farm, and an Agricultural Crop Research Station within the city limits of Saskatoon. Minimal natural vegetation exists within the sanctuary. Except for about 7 ha of native grassland and shrubland within the zoo boundaries, most of the Forestry Farm Park landscape consists of manicured lawns with exotic trees and shrubs. Two artificial ponds are maintained in the zoo portion of the park. Islands within the ponds are vegetated with grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees. The Agriculture Research Station is mostly cultivated land with numerous field shelterbelts and trees along the perimeter, and several buildings. The City of Saskatoon has recently begun converting some Agricultural Research Station lands into a residential neighbourhood.

Importance of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

A variety of captive native and exotic species of ducks, geese and swans use the zoo ponds. A few wild species of waterfowl also use the MBS. Other birds observed in the sanctuary and vicinity include generalists common to urban areas in the prairie provinces: shorebirds, gulls, sparrows, swallows, kingbirds, warblers, blackbirds, woodpeckers, chickadees, grosbeaks, hawks and owls.

Access and Activities

MBSs are established for the protection and conservation of migratory birds. Activities that could harm migratory birds, their nests or their eggs are prohibited.

MBSs can be and have been established on private, provincial, territorial and federally owned lands. Access to each MBS varies by site and is at the discretion of the landowner and land manager.

Where MBSs are located on federal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the management and protection of migratory birds, nests, eggs and habitat. Where MBSs are located on provincial land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests, while the chief game officer of the province is responsible for the management of habitat. Where MBSs are located on private or municipal land, Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests. Habitat management is the responsibility of the landowner.

Public access to Sutherland MBS is at the discretion of the landowners. (City of Saskatoon, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and private). The standard prohibitions under the Migratory Bird Sanctuary Regulations apply to this site: hunting migratory birds is prohibited, and no person shall disturb, destroy or take the nest of a migratory bird or have in his or her possession a live migratory bird, or a carcass, skin, nest or egg of a migratory bird, except under the authority of a permit issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada or unless authorized by the Regulations. Possession of firearms or other hunting appliances is prohibited. Dogs and cats must not be allowed to run at large.

For more information on entry, activities and permits in MBSs, please visit the Management and Activities section of the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries website. For more information on protected areas managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada in Quebec, please contact the regional office.

For greater certainty, nothing in this document shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the protection provided for existing Aboriginal or treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada by the recognition and affirmation of those rights in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Map of the Area

  • Map of Sutherland Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Long description of the map

Map showing the location of Sutherland Migratory Bird Sanctuary relative to Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Forest Grove, Lawson Heights and the South Saskatchewan-River. The map shows the boundaries of the sanctuary, which covers a rectangular piece of land containing several small bodies of water. The scale of the map is in hundreds of meters.

This map is for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to define legal boundaries. Sutherland MBS can also be viewed using Google Maps. Please note that the Google map is a complementary source of information and does not represent the official map or site name.

Summary table

Summary table for Sutherland Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Category Information
Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Saskatchewan
Latitude/longitude 52°08' N, 106°36' W
Size in hectares (ha) 130 ha
Date created (Gazetted) 1924
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Management Category N/A
Additional designations None
Main habitat type City park and zoo (35%), cultivated land (60%), native grassland/trees/shrubs (5%)
Key bird species None
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service - Prairie and Northern Region
Landowners City of Saskatoon, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, and private

Contact Information

Environment and Climate Change Canada - Prairie and Northern Region
Canadian Wildlife Service
Protected Areas and Stewardship
115 Perimeter Road
Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X4
Toll Free: 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only)
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