Quaco Bay

Country/territory: Canada

IBA criteria met: A4i (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 1,900 ha

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description (baseline)
Quaco Bay is located along the northern coast of the Bay of Fundy, southwest of the city of Saint John, and near the mouth of the Saint John River. The marine areas contain intertidal reef ledges bordered by mud flats, and a few shallow inlets. The shoreline is low and rises gradually, with low cliffs and reefs exposed at low tide. The tidal range is six to eight metres (not as dramatic as the tides of the upper bay).

Key biodiversity
Data collected during the late 1970s and early 1980s suggests that Quaco Bay is especially important for Semipalmated Plovers. During fall migration, the average peak one-day count of this species was 731 birds, or over 1% of the global population. Generally, migration of Semipalmated Plovers in this area commences in fall around July 15 to 19, and ends in late October. The peak numbers are usually between August 19 to 23. It is interesting to note that, of the many other sites in the Bay of Fundy that host much larger (and more famous) concentrations of Semipalmated Sandpipers than this site, Quaco Bay has one of the largest concentrations of Semipalmated Plovers (along with other sites near the mouth of the Saint John River).

Another shorebird that concentrates at this site during fall migration is the Least Sandpiper; the average one-day peak during the fall is 544 birds. In some years peak numbers may equal 1% of the Canadian population of the species. Average one-day peaks of Semipalmated Sandpiper (1067 birds) and Sanderling (527 birds) area also high during the fall. Black-bellied Plovers, White-rumped Sandpipers and Short-billed Dowitchers are seen annually in smaller numbers. In some years, the one-day peak total of all shorebirds species can approach nationally significant levels, such as the 9,000 birds tallied in the fall of 1974.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Quaco Bay. Downloaded from on 06/06/2023.