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Port of Halifax and Port of Sydney Water Bird Surveys

Port of Halifax and Port of Sydney Water Bird Survey.

About The Project

The Migratory Birds Regulations make it illegal to harm migratory birds in Canada. However, marine birds face dangers in coastal waters, especially from oil spills. Places like Halifax Harbour and the Port of Sydney have a lot of ship traffic and oil facilities, putting birds at risk. The Ocean Protection Plan is working to improve our understanding of where these birds are and when they’re there, so we can better protect them during oil spills. 

This project aims to gather data on bird populations in Nova Scotia’s high-risk ports, using methods similar to those in New Brunswick. This information is crucial for the Canadian Wildlife Service to assess and protect birds during oil spills.

Project Goals

About The Survey

Each site is surveyed four or five times a year during Winter, Spring, Summer , and Early Fall Migration. Sites can be surveyed at any time during each season, but we encourage you to survey during ideal weather conditions. Each survey is at least 30-minutes of continuous surveying. Some sites are surveyed from a single point while others can be surveyed from multiple points. During a survey, all birds within a site are to be documented including birds flying over the site and birds surrounding the site. Remember that bird abundance and diversity will change with the seasons. We are surveying year-round to incorporate seasonal variations within sites.


Sign Up to be a volunteer surveyor by emailing or by completing the below google forms!

Port Halifax Water Bird Survey Volunteer Sign Up

Port of Sydney, Cape Breton Water Bird Survey Volunteer Sign Up

Volunteers will head into the field during the follow time frames to monitor for the presence of waterbirds:

Winter: December 18th and February 28th.
Spring: April 14th and May 28th.
Summer: June 15th and July 31st.
Early Fall: August 1st and October 15th.
Late Fall: November 1st and December 15th.


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