Johnson's Mills, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Johnson's Mills, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Johnson's Mills Shorebird Reserve and Interpretive Centre

As a result of the current impact of COVID-19, NCC urges you to follow public health advisories. NCC’s Johnson’s Mills Interpretive Centre is now closed for the remainder of 2020, but the reserve remains open. Please respect physical distancing when visiting our natural areas, and consult our website for site-specific updates. 

Help the shorebirds' maritime stopover.

Help the shorebirds' maritime stopover.

Help protect shorebirds and their habitat in New Brunswick

Johnson’s Mills is an example of a critical stop-over for migrating shorebirds. Every summer, massive flocks of shorebirds journey through the Bay of Fundy from the Canadian Arctic before heading to South America. Johnson's Mills becomes the stage for one of nature's great migrations, as its mudflats and beaches serve as a temporary stopover for flocks of shorebirds numbering up to a quarter of a million individual birds.

This summer, the shorebirds will still arrive in this special place. However, due to health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak, we will not be able to invite you into Nature Conservancy of Canada’s interpretive centre.

Important work still needs to be done. Staff and researchers will be onsite at the Johnson’s Mills Shorebird Reserve to make sure that the habitat and the birds are protected.

Your gift can help to advance conservation efforts for shorebirds in New Brunswick.

The birds need you now more than ever. Please donate today!

Conservation values

More than 30 per cent of the world's population of semipalmated sandpipers stop at the Upper Bay of Fundy to feed and rest. In just a few weeks, the birds double their weight by eating mud-dwelling invertebrates exposed at low tide before departing for South America.

Other shorebirds commonly observed include:

  • semipalmated plover
  • least sandpiper
  • sanderlings
  • black-bellied plover
  • white-rumped sandpiper
  • ruddy turnstone

Check out a time-lapse of the shorebirds in action, below:


NCC, with the help of Conservation Volunteers, has planted native trees and strategically placed shrubs that will further develop the protected area. This is in addition to purchasing the land surrounding the beach.

NCC aims to ensure that the shorebirds have a successful respite with minimal stress before making their non-stop 4,300-kilometre flight to South America.

NCC staff will be monitoring the high tide by bike.

Our vision for Johnson's Mills

NCC is currently responsible for 26 properties here and wishes to secure additional lands at Johnson's Mills. Since 1994, NCC has worked with partners and willing landowners to obtain critical shoreline areas. Stewardship remains a key focus and NCC is currently raising money for an endowment fund and for future land securement. This fund will provide for the ongoing management of all of the area properties, as well as for the interpretive centre.


Help the shorebirds' maritime stopover. Please donate today!

The Nature Conservancy of Canada wishes to recognize and thank the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund (NBWTF), the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund, Canada Student Jobs, the Jack Iwanicki Fund and donations from the public for its generous and ongoing support of our work at Johnson's Mills. Financial contributions from NBWTF for NCC projects over many years have been instrumental in helping us carry out our conservation and stewardship efforts. For more information on the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, visit

Johnson's Mills at a glance

  • It earned international prominence when it was added to the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance.
  • It was also designated as Canada's first Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve.
  • The pebble beach and mudflats make the area the perfect resting place for migratory shorebirds.
  • Bird Studies Canada named Johnson's Mills an Important Bird Area (IBA).

Want to read more about Johnson's Mills?

Top 10 facts about why Johnson's Mills is a perfect stop for shorebirds >

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