Country/territory: Canada

IBA criteria met: -
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 3,000 ha

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description (baseline)
This site is located at the seaward end of Musquodoboit Harbour on the Atlantic Ocean coast of south-central Nova Scotia, about 35 km east of downtown Dartmouth. Musquodoboit is a tidal inlet, largely enclosed by a barrier sand beach and many wooded islands. Sand and mud flats appear during periods of low water. The tidal range at this site is about 2 m. The adjoining land rises to 50 m within 1 km of the harbour.

Key biodiversity
Musquodoboit supports huge congregations of Canada Geese from the breeding population in Newfoundland and Labrador. Throughout most of the year, high numbers of geese have been recorded at this site: during spring migration (8,000 geese representing 7% of the estimated population); during fall migration (2,000 geese about 2%); and during the winter (5,000 geese 4.%). Since the 1960s, waterfowl surveys have been generally conducted several times per year. As more open water has appeared in the mid-1970s, geese have become increasingly more common in winter. Numbers of the Newfoundland/Labrador-breeding geese are now supplemented by local Nova Scotia-breeding birds.

American Black Ducks are also found in Musquodoboit Harbour in winter and can number as high as 2,000 to 3,000 birds. This represents 1% of the global population of the species. These numbers are peak numbers, while typical numbers are somewhat lower. Piping Plovers (globally vulnerable, nationally endangered) are also found at this site in breeding season. In many years (e.g. 1994, 1997), two birds have been recorded at this site.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Musquodoboit. Downloaded from on 31/05/2023.