Owl logo The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club
Box 35069 Westgate PO, Ottawa ON   K1Z 1A2
E-mail ofnc@ofnc.ca
Coming eventsBirdingPublicationsFletcher Wildlife GardenConservationAwardsFor young naturalists
Contact usBird sightingsCommittees and BoardCanadian Field-NaturalistMembership and donationsLinksFalconWatch



The OFNC is on Facebook!
Join the group and exchange information, post photos, hear about events: click here. Note: You'll need to sign up for Facebook (free) to participate.

Follow us on Twitter: @OttawaFieldNat

Call for nominations Call for proposals T&L Leave the leaves Stop bird collisions Join the OFNC or renew your membership now Macoun Field Club Where to go birding
Click image for more info...

Founded in 1863 (and incorporated in 1879), the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club is the oldest natural history club in Canada. Over 800 members have interests in all aspects of the natural world, from birding to botanizing, investigation to publication, conservation to cooperation. We hope you'll find something here to suit your interests.

We meet on the second Tuesday of every month (except July and August) at 7 p.m. in the K.W. Neatby Building, Salon B, 960 Carling Avenue. Check Coming Events to find out the topic of next month's meeting.


  • To promote the appreciation, preservation, and conservation of Canada's natural heritage
  • To encourage investigation, publish the results of research in all fields of natural history, and diffuse the information as widely as possible
  • To support and cooperate with organizations engaged in preserving, maintaining or restoring environments of high quality for living things.

Regular visitors will want to check the "bulletin board" at the left and the features boxes at the right for news and new postings.

Coming 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.

The Education and Publicity Committee can recommend a walk leader, speaker, or slide show presentation on request to non-member groups such as churches, seniors' groups, Scouts, Guides, etc.


Ottawa has a rich and varied birding community. The Birds Committee coordinates and encourages birding related activities both within and outside the Club. It has a relatively large membership of involved volunteers and is constantly seeking new participants. There are always new things, large and small, just waiting for a volunteer. Contact the Birds Committee.

On a continuing basis, the committee conducts bird study sessions, manages five winter feeding stations, organizes bird counts, maintains records of unusual sightings and produces the club checklists.

Birders may want to see the Ottawa checklist, find a bird or birding location or report a rare bird.

Ottawa hosts a breeding pair of Peregrine Falcons. Each year the Birds Committee organizes a FalconWatch where volunteers monitor the fledglings through the time of their first flights.


The OFNC's two primary publications are

  • The Canadian Field-Naturalist, a quarterly journal devoted to reporting scientific research in all fields of natural history relevant to Canada
  • Trail & Landscape, a quarterly newsletter for club members, containing articles on the natural history of the Ottawa Valley and giving details of club activities.

In addition, the OFNC sponsors a number of special publications on the natural history and environment of the national capital region. Please check our catalogue for information about ordering this material and back issues of The Canadian Field-Naturalist and Trail & Landscape.

Fletcher Wildlife Garden

The Fletcher Wildlife Garden is a long-term project of the OFNC. Its goal is to restore wildlife habitat in an area that is only minutes from the centre of Ottawa. Besides being readily accessible to naturalists, gardeners, schoolchildren, and other residents of the city and its suburbs, the FWG site encompasses a variety of natural habitats. Volunteers are working to restore and enhance these and other areas to provide a wide range of potential homes for regional wildlife.


All OFNC activities — the excursions and meetings, the publications, the bird count, the Macoun Club, etc. — depend on the continued existence of a natural environment where the astonishing happenings we call "nature" can continue to happen. The Conservation Committee's job is to be alert to human influences that are damaging to the natural environment and to advise OFNC members and the executive about what actions we can take, both as individuals and collectively.

In addition to local issues, OFNC supports conservation efforts on a broader scale through affiliation with organizations such as Ontario Nature and Canadian Nature Federation.


Each year, the OFNC recognizes the special contributions of some of its members for in terms of service, conservation, and natural history. The Awards Committee calls for and accepts nominations from members, prepares citations and organizes the awards ceremony, which takes place at the annual soirée in April. For descriptions of the various awards and a bit of history, click here.

Macoun Club for Young Naturalists

The Macoun Field Club is a nature club for kids ages 9-18. The Macoun Field Club opens kids' eyes to nature's intricate world — from the tallest tree right down to the tiniest pond mite. The Macoun Field Club is truly a unique organization; not only can kids get together and meet other children who enjoy outdoor adventure, but they learn to appreciate nature in a new dimension.


The club's operations are overseen by a Council made up of elected members and the chairs of the various committees. Individual activities are undertaken by club members participating in standing committees.

Become a member

The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club is a volunteer, non-profit organization. The objectives of the club are to promote the appreciation, preservation, and conservation of Canada's natural heritage and to encourage investigation and dissemination of the results of research in all fields of natural history.

Membership in the club is open to anyone who shares our interest in nature.

© The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club
This page was revised on 13 December 2017
Contact the OFNC | Privacy policy

Join the OFNC

Recent blog posts

The FWG loves its volunteers

Meteors and meteorites – rocks from the sky

Wild goose chase: OFNC birding outing

Ontario Invasive Plants Conference

OFNC members in the news

Safe Wings

In Town and Out (28 October 2017)
Giacomo Panico goes out patroling with OFNC's Anouk Hoedemann of Safe Wings Ottawa

Important conversations about bird conservation

Kitchissippi Times (28 Sept 2017)
"[OFNC's] Bev McBride is being interviewed and giving the conversation her full attention, but doesn’t miss a beat when asked what birds she’s noticing, on the shore of the Ottawa River downstream from Westboro Beach."

Canada is actually running short of bugs

Ottawa Citizen (24 Sept 2017)
OFNC's Jeff Skevington talks about the loss of grasshoppers, cicadas, beetles, etc., that used to be common in summer.

FWG photo gallery

October gallery of creatures and happenings at the FWG

Viewing nature

The OFNC supports the viewing of wildlife to further our understanding and develop a stronger appreciation of wildlife, hopefully leading to increased support for its conservation. However, wildlife - be it a chipmunk, a rare wintering owl or an inquisitive chickadee - is "wild" and viewers should be as unobtrusive and inconsequential as possible.

We urge wildlife observers to use common sense and consideration in undertaking their actions (photography, feeding, observing), to be respectful of the wild nature and safety of the animal(s), and to maintain a positive experience for other observers.

We also encourage viewers, only if they feel comfortable, to point out inappropriate behaviour in a non-aggressive way to those responsible.