South Shore - East Queens Co. Sector

Country/territory: Canada

IBA Criteria met: A4i (2008)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 5,100 ha

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description
This site encompasses sections of the southern coast of south-central Nova Scotia between the towns of Bridgewater and Liverpool. The site covers Cap Bay, Crescent, Green Bay, Broad Cove, Cherry Hill and Beach Meadows beaches, which are favoured sites for Piping Plovers. Some of these sandy beaches back onto tidal lagoons, which are dry at low tide. Rocky coastlines with steep headlands are located between the beaches, but most of these areas provide little shelter for wintering birds. These headlands enclose some small, and one large bay. The climate is maritime, and the tides range from 3 to 5 m.

Key biodiversity
This site supports significant numbers of breeding Piping Plovers, which are globally vulnerable and nationally endangered. In 1996, six birds, or just over 1% of the estimated Atlantic Canada population (estimated at 422 adults) were recorded at this site. In 1991, 14 birds, or about 3% of the estimated Atlantic Canada population at that time, were found on this stretch of the south shore.

During fall migration, thousands of shorebirds visit this piece of coastline. Maritimes Shorebird Survey (MSS) volunteers have surveyed Crescent Beach and Cherry Hill Beach since 1975. Volunteers count shorebirds every second weekend during the period of southward migration from late July to late October. MSS fall counts recorded a three-year average (1994,1996,1997) of 2,199 Semipalmated Plovers, which is more than 1% of this species global population. An average of 68 Willets (1994-1997) were recorded by fall MSS counts and 619 Sanderlings were recorded in 1980.

In the spring and fall, thousands of migrating waterfowl visit this site, but the numbers do not reach the national significance threshold of 10,000 birds. The occasional Harlequin Duck from the nationally endangered eastern population winters here.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: South Shore - East Queens Co. Sector. Downloaded from on 05/12/2021.