George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Delta

Usually arriving during Spring and Fall migration, Sandhill Cranes at the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, British Columbia are an awe-inspiring sight with their tall bodies searching for food in the marshlands and curiously observing photographers and gawking visitors to the site. CREDIT: Venture Vancouver, SOURCE: www.venturevancouver.com

Sandhill Cranes are one of the Reifel Sanctuary's most beautiful birds, gracefully scanning the waters for fish and other delicacies.

STATS
HOURS
RATES

Type:

Bird Watching

Season:

All Seasons

Weather:

All Weather

Time:

3 hours

Cost:

Cost of George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

What to bring:

Camera, Binoculars, Sense of Curiosity, Hiking Boots, Bird Book

Located on the north western tip of Westham Island, where the Southern Arm of the Fraser River meets the Strait of Georgia lies the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. This 740 acre expanse of dikes, wetlands and marshlands which was once a prominent farm is home to hundreds of species of permanent and migratory birds and has become a mecca for birdwatchers and visitors to enjoy throughout the year since 1963.

Spanning over 740 acres of land, the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary is one of the crown jewels of the Delta region which sits on the southern arm of the Fraser River encompassing the north-westerly half of Westham Island alongside the Strait of Georgia.

Once owned by George C. Reifel and his family, the land was bought in 1927 and consisted of a successful brewery, real estate business but was also a large sugar beet farm. During the Reifel family's time on the farm many dykes and causeways were constructed creating new habitats for birds. In 1960 the family leased the property to the British Columbia Waterfowl Society as a bird sanctuary. In 1972 the land was sold to the government where it was permanently established as the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary and the site where the family's farm was once located was designated the Alaksen National Wildlife Area.

Today, the Sanctuary is a popular bird watching locale with hiking trails, bird blinds, lookouts and a gift shop with wide ranging habitats for hundreds of species of permanent and migratory birds. Species such as Sandhill Cranes, Bald Eagles and Owls nest and raise their young on the marshlands and dikes while birds such as Lesser Snow Geese, Chickadees, Western Sandpipers and Long-billed Dowitchers can be spotted during their migratory journeys.

As the area is a bird sanctuary, no pets or cycling is permitted. Also, be sure to buy a packet of birdseed (or bring your own) to feed the hundreds of ducks which line the pathways.

Different months of the year bring different migratory bird species:

  • Spring (March - May): Arrival of Swallows, Hummingbirds, Shorebirds and Warblers (nesting activities in April and May) and the departure of Snow Geese.
  • Summer (June - August): Arrival of shorebirds and ducklings and goslings are abundant during early June.
  • Fall (September - November): Snow Geese and Swans peak in November and Shorebirds, Warblers and Hawks are abundant.
  • Winter (December - February): Hawks, Eagles, Owls, Sparrows, Woodpeckers and Waterfowl are abundant.

The George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary is a popular birding site where bird enthusiasts, amateur photographers and visitors can enjoy views, the natural setting and the many birds and animals that call this sanctuary home.

Venture Vancouver Blog Feed Venture Vancouver Activity Feed Venture Vancouver Image Feed Follow Venture Vancouver on Twitter Venture Vancouver's YouTube Channel Venture Vancouver's Facebook Page


Photo and Image Gallery

Sandhill Cranes are but few of the over hundred species of bird that have been spotted on the shores or withing the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, British Columbia. These tall, beautiful birds can be seen during Spring and Fall and sporadically during the year.
During the winter at the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, British Columbia, visitors can spot dozens of different birds of prey who hunt for prey through the park's varied ecosystems. Coopers Hawks are smaller and can be spotted hunting for other birds such as pigeons.
Visitors to the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, British Columbia can walk along dykes and pathways through forests, fresh and salt water marshlands and enjoy thousands of birds. There are many year round and seasonal birds which make their way through the Sanctuary such as Saw Whet Owls - some of the smallest in the world.
There are dozens of waterfowl species to be viewed at the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, British Columbia such as Wood Ducks with their distinctive plumage are easy to see. Many ducks wander the pathways looking for visitors with bird seed filled packets to fill themselves up on throughout the year.
The Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, British Columbia is home to many interesting species of birds - one of the largest concentrations of unique species in the province due to its different ecosystems. Birds such as the Black-Crowned Night Heron can be spotted in the park, sleeping in the day and hunting for fish at night.
A large sign indicating the pathways and location of blinds and lookouts of the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, British Columbia can be seen at its entrance or visitors can ask for a map at admissions to help explore and identify the unique ecological niches found at the site.
The George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary located on Westham Island on the southern arm of the Fraser River in Delta, British Columbia offers visitors the opportunity to see rare and beautiful birds - both permanent and migratory - throughout the year.


Location of George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Use the interactive map below to locate and explore the areas around George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Sanctuary is located on Westham Island - from the 99 go north on 17, turn west on Ladner Truck Road and then onto River Road. Cross the bridge for the island and then to the end of the road which is the parking lot.


Map of Delta & Point Roberts

Click the brown GEMS on the map to navigate to the other activities within this region

Things to do in Delta and Point Roberts

HOME
 | 
TOP 10
 | 
ABOUT
 | 
BLOG
 | 
CONTACT
 | 
SITEMAP

Copyright © Venture Vancouver 2014. All rights reserved.
Delta Nature Reserve in the Burns Bog
George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Deas Island Regional Park | Delta, British Columbia
Delta Museum and Archives
OWL: Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
Boundary Bay Regional Park and Centennial Beach