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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.


CANCELLED

Saturday, October 21, 10-12 a.m.
SEED COLLECTION FOR MEADOW RESTORATION
Location: Meet at the end of Tauvette Street on the western side of Blackburn Hamlet. See Google maps

Save the date! The Canadian Wildlife Federation is looking for volunteers to help with native seed collection, in preparation for spring 2018 restoration plantings of wildflower meadows in the local area. We will collect milkweed pods and strip the seeds away from the pappus (fluff), and possibly seeds of other native plants, in preparation for cold storage over the winter. Wear warm clothes that can get dirty, and bring garden gloves and clippers if you have them. Rain or recent wet weather will postpone this event. If in doubt, call Holly Bickerton at 613-730-7725.


Saturday October 21, 1-4 p.m.
MINERALS AND ROCKS SHOW-AND-TELL
Leader: Chris Rochefort
Meet: Fletcher Wildlife Centre (see map)

Club members are invited to bring minerals and rocks that they have collected and learn how to identify them. There will be a PowerPoint presentation that I use for school talks. It starts by looking at the different types of rocks, as this is what we see first in nature, and we will then examine the minerals that are in the rocks. We will look at samples brought in by club members in conjunction with the presentation. We will talk about the properties of the minerals to help identify them. Everything will be kept simple.

Suggested material: In addition to the minerals and rocks, members are also invited to bring the following: hand lens (10x), a small bottle of vinegar, a large needle or steel nail and any mineral identification book they may have. These are not absolutely required but they are nice to have.


PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE

Sunday October 22, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS @ JACK PINE TRAIL
Leader: Sarah Rabideau (nee Walton)
Meet: 9 a.m. at NCC Parking Lot 9 off Moodie Drive

Join Sarah to enjoy a morning hike in the woods in Stony Swamp to get an up-close and personal experience with some of Canada's infamous winter songbirds - chickadees and nuthatches - in their race to prepare for winter. Best part - they eat from your hand! Once the thrill of bird feeding wears off (does it ever?) the hike will continue around the Jack Pine trail system, with opportunities to learn about about the seasonal changes in the forest system. Hikers are encouraged to continue onto the Beaver and Chipmunk loop systems (total of about 7 km). Bring snacks, water, plenty of peanuts and bird seed for our feathered friends, and a charged camera/phone to take plenty of fun photos and videos!

Registration: Maximum of 30 people. To register please email Jakob Mueller at jm890_7 [at] hotmail.com.


Saturday, November 4, 9 a.m. to noon
(Rain date is November 11)
GEOLOGY FIELD TRIP, GATINEAU PARKWAY LOOP, GATINEAU PARK
Leader: Chris Rochefort
Meet: Parking lot 8, Meech Road at Gatineau Parkway

On this field trip, participants will observe igneous and metamorphic rocks along with geological structures such as folds, dykes and faults. There are many intrusions in the rocks which were deformed approximately 1000 million years ago. Dress for anticipated weather. We will go even if there is a light drizzle or snow. We will postpone to November 11 if there is rain. Chris will be wearing his orange safety vest in order to be highly recognizable when members arrive.

Please note: The parkway will be closed to motor vehicles but there could be many cyclists present, especially if the weather is good. A safety vest is highly recommended.


Saturday, November 4, 8 a.m. to noon
WILD GOOSE CHASE!
Leaders: Tony Beck & Nina Stavlund
Meet: Petrie Island Causeway, north of the intersection Highway 174 and Trim Road (Orleans). "North" will be to your left if you are driving from Ottawa.

In early November, most of our local agricultural fields have been harvested and cut. This provides open views from the roadside where birds are easily observed as they forage through the stubble. Although many will have already passed through, we'll still witness much evidence of migration. After a quick check of the Ottawa River for diving ducks, we'll drive through open country east of Ottawa looking for Sandhill Cranes, various geese, gulls and hawks. We'll check all flocks of waterfowl for unusual species like Ross's Goose or Greater White-fronted Goose. Recent late-fall migrations have produced thousands of Greater Snow Geese - an extremely impressive sight. While checking the Snow Geese, we hope to find a mega-rarity; Pink-footed Goose!

This trip will only be cancelled if we have severe weather conditions. Listen to the weather forecast and dress accordingly. The leaders encourage you to carpool as this will help the group to stick together and stay safe along roadways. Bring binoculars and telescopes.

Contact the leaders if you have questions: TonysAlwaysAnAdventure@gmail.com


OFNC MONTHLY MEETING
Tuesday, November 14, 7 p.m. social; 7:30 p.m. presentation

METEORS AND METEORITES - ROCKS FROM THE SKY
Speaker: Howard Simkover
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

For hundreds of thousands of years, humans have gazed up into the night sky at shooting stars. These sudden flashes of light - called meteors - are caused by tiny particles from space plunging into the Earth's atmosphere at very high speeds, and burning up. Several times per year, such as during the Perseids in mid-August, we experience a meteor shower. Perhaps we've all had the experience of "wishing on a falling star". On occasion, a much larger "rock from space" - a meteorite - enters the atmosphere and can even impact the surface of our planet, causing a crater. As far as we know, only one person has ever been struck by a falling meteorite.

In February 2013, a huge object from space exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia, leading to thousands of injuries from flying glass. It appears that 65.5 million years ago, something much worse happened to the dinosaurs, who experienced a very bad day when an asteroid the size of Ottawa came calling.

Howard Simkover, who has produced shows for Montreal's Dow Planetarium, will share his experiences and knowledge of meteors and meteorites.

Monthly meetings are open to the general public.


Saturday November 18, 8:45 or 9 a.m. to noon
BIRDS AND GENERAL INTEREST RAMBLE IN THE OTTAWA RIVER CORRIDOR
Leaders: Bev McBride and Dave Moore
Meet: In the Lincoln Fields shopping centre parking behind the Pizza Pizza (Richmond Road and Assaly Road) OR at 9:00 at the Britannia Conservation Area (Mud Lake), Cassells St., at the small parking area near the filtration plant driveway entrance.

We will take our time checking spots along the Ottawa River between the Britannia Conservation Area and Shirley's Bay, if we get that far. We will look for birds and anything else of natural history interest. We will focus on enjoying whatever we find. Dress to be warm, dry and wind resistant! Bring binoculars, a spotting scope and a hand lens if you have them, but these are not essential. We will go rain or shine.


OFNC MONTHLY MEETING
Tuesday, December 12, 7 p.m. social; 7:30 p.m. presentation

MOTHS AND MOTHING IN THE OTTAWA REGION
Speaker: Diane Lepage
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

Join OFNC President Diane Lepage as she discusses the diversity of moth species found in our area. You will learn all about the fascinating world of moths, primarily the Macro moths, but Diane will also touch on the Micro moths, taxonomy, food plants, equipment, time of year, best locations, and how she goes about finding them.

Monthly meetings are open to the general public.


OFNC MONTHLY MEETING
Tuesday, January 9, 7 p.m. social; 7:30 p.m. presentation

139th ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING
Location: Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretive Centre (see map)

The board for 2017 will be elected at this meeting. There will be a brief review of the activities in 2016 and a statement of the Club's finances will be given.

This is an opportunity to meet most of the Club's executives and the chairs of the various committees and to find out what makes your Club tick.


Saturday January 27, 2018, 7-10 p.m.
5th ANNUAL MEMBERS' PHOTOGRAPHY NIGHT
*oriented to all ages*
Leaders: Barry Cottam and Hume Douglas
Location: K.W. Neatby Building, 960 Carling Ave.

If you take natural history photos, this is your opportunity to share some of your images with fellow members. The mix of different topics and voices makes for an enjoyable evening. Contributions may be 7-10 minutes long. We can handle most digital presentations (images on a flash-drive), and even conventional slides (with some warning please). We encourage presenters to speak about their images. Please contact Hume Douglas (humedgl (at) gmail.com) or Barry Cottam (b.cottam (at) rogers.com) so that we can organize the presentations.

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This page was revised on 19 October 2017
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