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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.

Please read
Guidelines for participants on field trips


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.

All outings

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.

Trip waiver

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.

Monthly meetings

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.


Saturday, July 22, 10 a.m. to noon
MISSION MONARCH - LEARN AND HELP
Leader: Daphné Laurier Montpetit, Mission Monarch coordinator
Location: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretive Centre

You can help save the Monarch butterfly! The Montréal Insectarium is training people to help in its Monarch conservation efforts, and experts will be at the FWG on Saturday to teach us everything about Monarchs.

The two-hour training session will focus on:

  • Monarch biology
  • The current situation and threats to Monarchs
  • What we can do to help Monarchs
  • How to become an ambassador for Monarchs

It will also include a practical field mission.

Trained “heads of mission” are invited to participate in the Insectarium's annual blitz, from July 29 to August 6, 2017. The goal is to assist scientists dedicated to monarch conservation by conducting field observation missions.

Many of us are seeing Monarchs this year - after two years of their near absence from our area. Come and learn how we can help them survive and rebuild the eastern population.


Sunday, July 30, 9 a.m. to noon (also August 20)
BIRDING FOR BEGINNERS
Leader: Dave Moore
Location: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretive Centre

Join Dave Moore for an introduction to birding. We will meet at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden visitor centre at 9 a.m. for a brief look at books and equipment, and then head out into the various gardens of the FWG to see what we can see. A good number of species have been recorded here - 150 species in all - and with any luck we should see some of them.

The walk will go on, light rain or shine - but not during a downpour. Contact Dave the day before if you're not sure. Bring binoculars if you have them, but not your dog please. Water and a light snack as well.

Info sheets: INFO FOR BEGINNERS | ABOUT BINOCULARS

Birds seen during this event on 11 June:

FamilySpecies
DUCKS, GEESE, AND WATERFOWLMallard - pair in pond
Black Duck
CORMORANTS AND SHAGSDouble-crested Cormorant - flew over before walk
HAWKS, EAGLES, AND KITESRed-tailed Hawk
GULLS, TERNS, AND SKIMMERSRing-billed Gull
PIGEONS AND DOVESMourning Dove - at backyard feeder before walk
WOODPECKERSDowny Woodpecker
VIREOS, SHRIKE-BABBLERS, ERPORNISWarbling Vireo
CROWS, JAYS, AND MAGPIESAmerican Crow
Common Raven
SWALLOWSTree Swallow
TITS, CHICKADEES, AND TITMICEBlack-capped Chickadee
NUTHATCHESWhite-breasted Nuthatch
THRUSHES AND ALLIESAmerican Robin
STARLINGSEuropean Starling
WAXWINGSCedar Waxwing
NEW WORLD WARBLERSCommon Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Yellow Warbler
BUNTINGS AND NEW WORLD SPARROWSSong Sparrow
CARDINALS AND ALLIESNorthern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
TROUPIALS AND ALLIESRed-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
FINCHES, EUPHONIAS, AND ALLIESHouse Finch
American Goldfinch - flew over before walk

Saturday, August 12, 7 am (all day)
SHAW WOODS
Leader: Jakob Mueller
Meet: 7 am at Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre (northeast corner of parking lot, Richmond Road at Assaly Road, near Pizza Pizza)

Shaw Woods is one of eastern Canada's premier examples of an old growth maple/beech/hemlock forest, carefully protected for generations. Hikes will cover some moderately rugged ground, with numerous observation stops; it should not be overly strenuous for most active people. People may also choose a shorter trail, or just sit at the lookout and watch the eagles. Admission and parking on site are free. Visitor Guides that describe various trails can be purchased on site for $2 each or printed for free from www.shawwoods.ca or from Shaw Woods Facebook. Shaw Woods is a volunteer run, not-for-profit, charitable organization. Visitors are invited to make a small donation toward Shaw Woods Outdoor Education Centre for guided educational outings. Pack a lunch and everything you need for a full day; we will probably be back in Ottawa around 5:30 pm.

Registration: Please register for this event with Jakob Mueller by emailing jm890_7[at]hotmail.com or calling (613) 314-1495.


Sunday August 13, 7 am to 5 pm
BIRDING KENAUK
Leader: Rob Alvo
Location: Kenauk Private Game Reserve, 1000 Chemin Kenauk, Montebello, QC J0V 1L0. Meet in the parking lot at the main office.

This mammoth game reserve located just over an hour’s drive from Ottawa, 9 km north of Montebello, Quebec. It is 21 km long x 16 wide, the largest protection project ever undertaken by the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Quebec. It contains more than 60 lakes, many of them with Common Loons breeding on them. For birding, Kenauk’s main attractions are its natural state, despite some logging that actually provides more habitats (e.g., for the Canada Warbler), its large size, its proximity to Montreal and Ottawa, the fact that you can stay comfortably there, and the presence of gravel roads without public traffic. Kenauk-Nature has offered the OFNC free access on this date. The gravel roads can be used by cars, but if you have access to a vehicle with higher clearance and perhaps 4WD, this is the time to bring it for the less-accessible areas. A Cerulean Warbler (Paruline azurée) was seen at Kenauk in June 2015. We will provide our birding data to the Conservancy. Please bring a clipboard and pens or pencils, and pick up a map of Kenauk in the office (on the back of some of the pamphlets at the office entrance). Registrants will receive an email with details closer to the event, and carpooling will be arranged if possible. Rain or shine.

Registration: Please register for this event by emailing ofnc@ofnc.ca.


Sunday, August 20, 9 a.m. to noon
BIRDING FOR BEGINNERS
Leader: Dave Moore
Location: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretive Centre

Join Dave Moore for an introduction to birding. We will meet at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden visitor centre at 9 a.m. for a brief look at books and equipment, and then head out into the various gardens of the FWG to see what we can see. A good number of species have been recorded here - 150 species in all - and with any luck we should see some of them.

The walk will go on, light rain or shine - but not during a downpour. Contact Dave the day before if you're not sure. Bring binoculars if you have them, but not your dog please. Water and a light snack as well.


Saturday, September 9, 9 am to 4 pm
BUG DAY!
Leader: Sophie Cardinal
Location: Salons A and B of the K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

Bug Day is coordinated by the Entomological Society of Ontario in partnership with OFNC and AAFC. Visitors are invited to learn all about the fascinating world of insects, from expert entomologists on hand. Activities will include: a live insect zoo, guided insect nature walks, seminars on insects, cockroach races, kid's insect crafts, ask a bug expert, building insect collections, cooking with insects and more. This event will happen rain or shine in conjunction with the Central Experimental Farm Research Open House.


Tuesday, September 12, 7 p.m. social; 7:30 p.m. presentation

THE 100-MILE GARDEN: MOVING BEYOND THE PURPLE CONEFLOWER
Speaker: Grant Dobson
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

Grant's presentation will inspire you to create your own garden of "Ottawa Valley Native Plants" and cover topics including the benefits of gardening with native species and the planning, design, plant selection and cultural requirements to ensure a successful outcome.

Monthly meetings are open to the general public.


Saturday September 16, 9 am to 5:30 pm
SNAIL ID AND COLLECTING WORKSHOP IN GATINEAU PARK
Leader: Paul Catling
Location: Gatineau Park Visitor Centre, 33 Scott Road, Chelsea, QC

A diversity of snail species are found in the Ottawa area, this fascinating group of gastropods is under-sampled and poorly studied. This full day workshop will begin with both classroom and field activities to familiarize participants with snail identification and the collection of specimens. The afternoon will include dividing participants into groups that will collect snails at different locations throughout Gatineau Park. We have a permit to collect a few snails of each kind that we find, and all specimens from the workshop will become part of the research collection of the Canadian Museum of Nature. Registrants will receive an email with more details and the schedule closer to the event. No previous experience is necessary.

Pre-registration is required as space is limited. Please register for this event by emailing ofnc@ofnc.ca.
Tuesday, October 10, 7 p.m. social; 7:30 p.m. presentation

MY "TRAMP" WITH DR. VAN: A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY WITH OTTAWA'S PIONEER NATURALIST
Speaker: Randy Boswell
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

Dr. Edward Van Cortlandt was a 19th-century physician best known to Ottawa history as a hard-working, eccentric medical man with a peculiar interest in collecting objects for his widely admired "cabinet of curiosities". All true, but there is much more. At a time when Victorian science was coalescing into a vital nation-building force in Canadian society, Van Cortlandt's diverse and energetic explorations in the broadly defined realm of "natural history "- from geology and archaeology to botany and zoology - helped shape the intellectual culture of a new country and its burgeoning, backwoods capital. Recent research into Van Cortlandt's activities has shed fresh light on his significant contributions to Canadian environmental history, including the formative phase of what became the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club.

Monthly meetings are open to the general public.

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© Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club
This page was revised on 22 July 2017
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