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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, 25 February, 7 p.m.
*Kid friendly*
Meet: St. Basil's Parish Church, 940 Rex Avenue, Ottawa (GPS Address: 899 Maitland Avenue), east side of Maitland Ave., 200 m north of the Queensway
BUS ACCESS: Bus # 85 (along Carling Ave.) and get off at Maitland Ave. Walk 500 m south along Maitland (towards Queensway). St. Basil's is on the left (east side). Or take bus number 156 along Maitland to St. Basil's.

  • Celebrate this year's award winners.
  • Join us at our annual social evening and meet fellow area naturalists.
  • Enjoy wines, non-alcoholic punch, cheese & crackers, fruits & vegetables, desserts, tea & coffee.
  • Call out answers to our despotic nature quiz. If you have anything that you would like to include in the quiz, please bring it along.
  • Bid on silent auction items. To donate natural history books, etc., for auction, call Fenja at 613-723-2054.
  • See this year's art displays.
  • Member photographers, painters and other artists are invited to exhibit their works for attendees to judge. Photo contest submissions: Digital only. Please send up to three images to annie.belair@live.com by February 10, 2017. Photos should be taken by you in Ontario or Quebec, and nature themed. Other art may be brought to the event as physical objects. There will be small prizes, but you have to be present to win.
  • We invite Macoun Field Club members and children (under 18 years) to bring and present natural history displays.

Thursday, 2 March, 8 a.m. to noon
Leaders: Rick Collins and Heather Pickard
Meet: 8 a.m. at the Jack Pine Trail at Stony Swamp, parking lot 9 on Moodie Drive

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.


Tuesday, 28 March, 7 p.m. social, 7:30 p.m. presentation
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.

Tuesday, 11 April, 7 p.m. social, 7:30 p.m. presentation
Speaker: Rob Alvo
Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

Two of us embarked on our first birding trip to Africa and visited South Africa and The Gambia (west Africa). We averaged 15 new bird species per day in both countries and had some wonderful non-birding experiences - and some not-so-wonderful experiences. The presentation will focus on the places we visited, the animals and plants we saw, the various habitats we encountered, the people we met, our accommodations, and even the politics, in an attempt to give you a feel for what birding without a tour was like in these two vastly different countries.

Monthly meetings are open to the general public.

Friday, April 28, 8-11 a.m.
Location: Mud Lake - Cassels Street in Britannia
Leader: Tamara Bloom (tamaradebra AT gmail.com)
Meet: 7:45 a.m. at Lincoln Fields parking lot (near Pizza Pizza on the Richmond Rd side of Lincoln Fields) or 8 a.m. at Mud Lake

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.

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This page was revised on 20 February 2017
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