Netitishi Point is located along the southwestern shore of James Bay, about 35 km east of the town of Moosonee. It is the point of land east of the Moose River, where the south coast of James Bay begins to turn noticeably southward. Associated coastline for about 5 km on either side of the point is also included within the site. To the west of the point, intertidal marshes and shoals extend 2 to 5 km into the bay, while to the east of the point, these marshes narrow to about 1 km in width. These marshes and shoals provide extensive feeding areas for staging waterfowl and shorebirds at low tide. A series of low gravelly beach ridges and supertidal marshes occur along the shoreline, although the extent of these marshes is relatively narrow with shrubby vegetation on the ridges reaching almost to the coast.
Netitishi Point is a major concentration point for waterfowl and shorebirds that are migrating south out of James Bay. Practically all of the birds using the Moose River Estuary and areas farther up the coast funnel by this point on their way to Hannah Bay, or locations farther south. A one-day total of 28,900 Brant was recorded at Netitishi Point during the 1981 fall migration, and over the entire season about 40,000 Brant were recorded. This total represents about 35 to 40% of the estimated mid-winter Atlantic coast Brant population during the early 1980s.
In addition to Brant, large numbers of Oldsquaw were also recorded at Netitishi Point: as many as 14,800 on a single day, and a season-total of 33,000 (greater than 1% of the estimated North American population). Dunlin also concentrate at this site, with the 1981 study recording a one-day count of 3,000 and a season-total of 8,500 (about 4 % of the estimated central Canadian population). Large numbers of other waterfowl were noted with peak one-day totals including 750 Mallard, 350 American Black Ducks, 600 Northern Pintail, and 750 American Wigeon.
Concentrations of landbirds were also recorded at the point with thousands of songbirds (Horned Lark, Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting) and several raptor species being observed during migration. For raptors, one-day totals included: 60 Gyrfalcons, 35 Rough-legged Hawks, and 11 Peregrine Falcons (50 over a two-week period). The Peregrine Falcons were primarily of the tundrius ssp. (nationally vulnerable), but may have included some anatum ssp. (nationally threatened).
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Netitishi Point. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/10/2020.