|The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club|
PLEASE NOTE: This web page contains the most up-to-date information on events. Please check it regularly for changes or additions to events. The Club's Facebook group and Twitter account (@OttawaFieldNat) will also be used to announce last-minute changes to events.
We expect to hold several weather- and year-dependent events that are not included in Trail & Landscape and will only be announced at the last minute via our website, Facebook and Twitter. These include seasonal events such as Snowy Owl viewing, the spring Snow Goose spectacle, Eardley Eagles and Mudpuppy Night.
Check out the web site of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists for more local events.
The OFNC's Events Committee plans an extensive program of monthly meetings, workshops, day trips, and longer excursions for the education and interest of our members.
Almost every weekend all year round, you can join a knowledgeable nature buff on an excursion to one of the many conservation areas in our region. Learn to identify some of the hundreds of birds that frequent our lakes, fields, and forests; wade through a marsh searching for amphibians; or take a leisurely stroll with fellow nature lovers.
Complete details of all the activities can be found in our quarterly newsletter Trail & Landscape, which is free to members.
Field trips to natural areas in our region and beyond take place all year round. OFNC events are for members only. Prospective members interested in attending should contact the trip leader in advance. For some events, participation is limited and members will be given priority. Times given for events are departure times. Please arrive earlier, as leaders start promptly. If you need a ride, please contact the leader.
Please bring a lunch on full-day trips and dress according to the weather forecast and activity. Binoculars and/or spotting scopes are essential on all birding trips. Unless otherwise stated, transportation will be by car pool.
There can be risks associated with any recreational pursuit. Before you participate in nature walks and similar outdoor activities, we will ask you to read and sign a statement in which you assume the risk of the activity and release the OFNC from liability for any loss, damage or injury, however caused and whether or not contributed to by the OFNC’s negligence. This assumption of risk and release includes any minors accompanying you.
Our monthly meetings are be held on the second Tuesday of every month except July and August in the K.W. Neatby Building, Salon B, at 960 Carling Avenue. There is ample free parking in the lot on the west side of Maple Drive by Carling Ave., immediately to the east of the main entrance to the Neatby Building. Details below.
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Events oriented to all ages
Kids are welcome on all of our trips. We have highlighted particular hikes as "oriented to all ages" as these are most likely to be enjoyed by typical children. Depending on your child(ren)'s interests and stamina, please feel free to bring them along on any events. For events tailored to kids, check out the Macoun Field Club.
Sunday, 22 January, 10 a.m. to noon
Celebrate the depths of winter with an energetic and botany-themed hike in the old forest of J. Henry Tweed Conservation Area, adjacent to the town of Russell. You'll stay warm due to constant motion and discussion, even without a January Thaw. This ~16-acre forest contains a remnant climax community at its core with many impressive/old tree specimens (e.g. Basswood, Hemlock, Beech, Red Maple), and high plant biodiversity. If the weather is particularly good, we may continue a bit past noon if there is interest. Website
Sunday, 5 February, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Get some exercise and explore nature in winter in Ottawa's Greenbelt. We will look for wildlife activity and take in winter landscapes and fresh air. Snowshoes are a convenient way to explore NCC trails in winter - bring your own, or rent from one of the many sporting goods suppliers in Ottawa. Pack a lunch, a drink, and dress in layers. In the unlikely event that there is no snow pack, this event will be cancelled.
Saturday, 18 February, 7-10 p.m.
Come out for an indoor presentation on the Mudpuppy, Canada's largest salamander. Then head outside to count, catch live, touch, and examine wild Mudpuppies - amphibians in the middle of winter! Often mistaken by ice-fishers as a missing link in evolution, the Oxford Mills dam seems to be the best place in this species' global range for observing it during its period of winter activity. Bring your brightest handheld light or headlamp, and your tallest rubber boots to wade in the stream, or your warmest winter boots to keep warm next to the stream. Dress very warmly, as you will spend time outdoors. If the weather creates dangerous driving conditions, this outing will be postponed. If in doubt, please call Fred at 613-258-3107 or e-mail him at email@example.com. More information
Saturday, 25 February, 7 p.m.
Thursday, 2 March, 8 a.m. to
This event is a guided bird walk for beginners to birding. Ottawa's Greenbelt trails are alive with birds in winter, especially where bird feeders supply a reliable source of bird food. At Jack Pine Trail we can expect to find many species of birds on which to practice basic ID skills. Your leaders will discuss how to apply the FOUR KEYS to BIRD IDENTIFICATION to the birds we find: size & shape, colour pattern, habitat and behaviour. After exploring the forest trails we will drive to the nearby landfill or fields to seek winter gulls, and perhaps a few raptors. Bring your binoculars, a snack, warm drink, and dress for the weather. Note that trip leaders may not be able to attend in the event of hazardous driving conditions or extreme weather and the event will not take place.
Friday, April 28, 8-11 a.m.
This will be an introductory guided walk for beginners to birding. Building on the four keys to bird identification (size and shape, colour pattern, habitat and behaviour) you will also be encouraged to tune in to the sounds of the natural world around us. Come out and learn about bird song as well as tricksters like red squirrels, cicadas and tree frogs. We will tour the area around Mud Lake focusing on land birds, both year-round residents and early migrants. Bring a snack, beverage, notebook and binoculars if possible. Open your eyes and ears to a whole new world but beware - you may get bitten by the birding bug! Outing will be postponed in the event of rain. Rain date is Friday, May 12.