Trois-Saumons Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Trois-Saumons Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) is located north-east of Québec city, in Québec. The MBS is a resting area for many migratory birds species.

Importance of the sanctuary: migratory birds and other wildlife

The Trois-Saumons Migratory Bird Sanctuary lies on the south shore of the St. Lawrence Estuary, southwest of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. This 157-hectare protected area was established in 1986 to safeguard the greater snow goose in a place used for eating and resting. This sanctuary is recognized as an important location due to the fact that migratory birds, including greater snow goose, Canada goose and dozens of species of ducks gather here in large numbers.

Image of a Mallard
Mallard. Photo: Simon Pierre Barrette

Inventories carried out during fall migrations have recorded numbers of nearly 60, 000 greater snow geese and over 1000 Canada geese.

Image of a flock of Greater Snow Geese
Greater Snow Geese. Photo: Chantal Lepire

Several species of shorebirds can also be observed within the boundaries of the sanctuary in groups of over 2500 birds including the semipalmated sandpiper. Although species like the double-crested cormorant, ring-billed gull, herring gull, great black-backed gull can be observed during the summer months, the spotted sandpiper remains the only species likely to nest in the sanctuary.

Did you know?

Spotted sandpipers practice polyandry wherein a single female will lay eggs for up to four males at a time. Unusually, the male birds of this species are the ones to care for the eggs, while the female defends the territory.


As it is located near the hamlet of Trois-Saumons, in the St. Lawrence River's flood zone, the tides have a major impact on shorelines and the vegetation within the sanctuary and its boundaries are defined by the high and low water lines. Much of the landscape within the sanctuary is composed of brackish (slightly salty) wetlands formed mostly of muddy deposits and rocky outcrops. Herbaceous meadows, composed mainly of American Bulrush, cover approximately half of the site. A number of trees, including Red Maples, also grow within the boundaries of this protected area.

Map of the area

Map of Trois-Saumons MBS
Map of Trois-Saumons Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Longue description

Map showing the location of the Trois-Saumons Migratory Bird Sanctuary (MBS) in relation to Québec, Trois-Saumons Cove, Trois-Saumons River, Talbot River, Tortue River and Saint-Lawrence River. The MBS is located west of road132 and highway 20. The map shows the refuge boundaries, which follow the shore and spreads in the intertidal waters near Trois-Saumons. Permanent waters, intertidal water, 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 Trois-Saumons, 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 Trois-Saumons Migratory Bird Sanctuary in particular, please contact our regional office.

Key facts about Trois-Saumons Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Summary table
Category Information
Protected Area designation Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Province or territory Quebec
Latitude/longitude 47° 09' 30" N 70° 20' 00" W
Size 157 hectares
Date created (Gazetted) 1986
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management category Natural Monument or Feature (III)
Additional designations None
Main habitat type Herbaceous meadows
Key bird species Greater snow goose and semipalmated sandpiper
Other species Birds: Canada goosespotted sandpiperAmerican black duck, mallard and green-winged teal
Plants:  American bulrush, wild rice
Listed species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) None
Management agency Canadian Wildlife Service, Quebec Region

Related links

Trois-Saumons 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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