|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. These events are for OFNC members and prospective members. Prospective members are welcome unless the notice indicates that participation is limited, or that bus travel is involved. Guests should be aware that, in all cases, OFNC liability insurance applies to OFNC members only. Times stated for events are departure times. Please arrive earlier; 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.
Beginning in February 2014, our monthly meetings will be held at the Central Experimental Farm 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.
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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.
Tuesdays, March 11, 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Come out and enjoy some bird-of-prey migration - hawks, eagles, falcons, and vultures are on the visual menu! Open to all skill levels. Bring: water, snack, scope, binoculars, field guide, hat, and sunglasses (especially on sunny days).
Photo (above): Juvenile light-morph Rough-legged Hawk, photographed by Jon Ruddy
Saturday, March 22, 7 p.m.
Jeewa has captured more wonderful images of wildlife. These include activities in the air, on land and in water, of various birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. She has a small exhibit of found wildlife treasures which will be on view before she shows her videos. Refreshments will be served.
Friday, March 28, 7-9 p.m.
Ontario’s far north remains the largest ecologically intact boreal landscape in the world, with populations of such iconic wildlife species as woodland caribou, wolverines, and Canada’s southern-most polar bears. It is also at the core of North America’s primary boreal breeding nursery for birds. Because the region is so large, remote, and expensive to access, no large-scale biodiversity surveys have been completed in the region - until now. Join master's student Tim Irvin from Trent University on a trip into the far north as he discusses his bird research with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Far North Biodiversity Project. See Tim's photos and blog
Saturday, 12 April, 8:30 p.m. to sunrise
Experience the beauty and delights of springtime wilderness at night. This will be an all-night outing to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel what the real world is like when you would normally be indoors and asleep. We will wend our way through the woods, and visit several ponds where salamanders and frogs are looking for mates. We will go silently, and much of the time without using flashlights, in order to experience being a harmonious part of the night-life of the forest.
Dress as warmly as you would in winter, with hat and mitts, and wear warm socks and waterproof boots. If it rains, bring a raincoat. (Drizzly nights are especially enjoyable!) You are welcome to pitch a tent and sleep before heading home.
Please call Eleanor for further details: 613-269-3523.
Please note that this is a cell-phone-free sanctuary. Cell-phones prohibited.
Sunday, 13 April, 7-10 p.m.
Come and hear a little night music! This trip will consist of roadside stops only, but the roads can be muddy and the temperature can drop like a stone when the sun sets. If the weather forecast appears to be really unsuitable (constant rain, winds in excess of 20 kph, or weather too cold for frogs), we will move the trip to the Friday or Saturday before on the same weekend, or to the Saturday or Sunday on following weekend. Check here for updates as the date approaches.
Saturday, 26 April, 7-10 p.m.
Join us for some fun at our annual wine and cheese party and celebrate with the honoured winners of our annual awards. Photographers and artists may exhibit pictures for everyone to enjoy. Kids, bring your natural history displays. Back by popular demand this year is the Natural History Trivia Quiz!
Sunday, 27 April, 8 a.m. to
This park holds the largest wetlands in the Ottawa area, and the trip is timed to coincide with the tail end of the spring waterfowl migration. Expect to see many ducks along with early passerine migrants. The trip will proceed rain or shine, and waterproof footwear is recommended. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if you have one, as some viewing will be distant. There is $6 fee to visit the park, payable on entry. The trip will end in the early afternoon, and a final stop will be a casse-croûte with some of the region's best poutine (but bring a snack to tide you over until then!).
Saturday, 3 May, 11 a.m. to 3 pm
This guided hike will circle Mud Lake looking for spring wildlife activity, focusing on basking turtles. Spotting features and natural history will be explained for those species found - several could potentially be observed in the wetlands, without even leaving the city! Bring a snack, binoculars, and dress for the weather. Some trails may be muddy, and sunscreen is recommended. This event may be postponed or cancelled in the event of heavy rain or unseasonable cold.
Thursday, 8 May to Sunday, 11 May
Note: This trip is now fully booked. You may email Fenja (email@example.com) to put your name on a waiting list in case there is a cancellation.
Our Club is planning another fantastic birding trip to Point Pelee and Rondeau Provincial Parks with several birding stops in other interesting places on the way down and on the way back. Two of our very best birders, Roy and John, have once again taken on the responsibility of leading this trip. We have booked rooms at the Comfort Inn, Leamington, and we shall charter an air conditioned bus with toilet facilities to take us there and back. Cost has not been determined, but expect it to be less than $500 which includes shared accommodation for three nights and park entrance fees. A deposit of $100 will hold your place with the remainder to be paid by April 1. Contact Fenja Brodo (613 723-2054 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to register or to find out more. Please send cheques to OFNC, Box 35069, Westgate PO, Ottawa ON K1Z 1A2.