Orwell Bay

Country/territory: Canada

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

Area: 20 ha

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description (baseline)
Orwell Bay is located on the southern shore of Prince Edward Island near the town of Belfast. It is part of the much larger Hillsborough Bay to the west, which opens to the Northumberland Strait. The site is centred in the upper reaches of Orwell Bay where the Vernon and Orwell rivers flow into the ocean. The shallow rivers and three metre tides produce mud and sand tidal flats. The surrounding countryside, situated on Permian sandstone, is composed of grassy fields, cultivated croplands, and farm buildings. Although the climate is maritime, the area is not especially notable for fog or wind.

Key biodiversity
Orwell Bay is most notable for the number of Canada Geese that feed and stage in the area during both spring and fall migration. About 2,500 Canada Geese of the Labrador and Newfoundland population are seen here regularly (about 2% of the estimated population). Other waterfowl also use this area during spring and fall migration with up to 2,000 being present (mostly American Black Ducks).

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