By Natalie Sopinka

A special visitor to the OFNC booth

Can you spot the special visitor to the OFNC booth?

On Saturday May 31st Nature Canada held its 2nd annual Bird Day Fair at Andrew Haydon Park and members of the OFNC were on hand to celebrate our avian friends. Mark Brenchley, Natalie Sopinka, Julia Cipriani and Anouk Hoedeman manned the club’s booth greeting numerous visitors, including a parrot! The day was filled with bird banding demos, falconry, bird walks, face painting, nest-building and live music. Numerous organizations participated in the event including:

At mid-day, several talks were given on topics ranging from bird brains to bird feeders. Dr. Adam Smith from Ottawa Bird Count impressed the crowd with his bird stats. Did you know there are 2 million birds living in Ottawa and the most common species is the American Robin? There are approximately 160 000 robins in the nation’s capital!

Eric Garrison from Wild Birds Unlimited reminded us that feeding birds is good for the birds (health, reduced predation, population stability) and good for us (birding).

Dr. Julie Morand-Ferron from the University of Ottawa talked about her research on local chickadee populations. Dr. Morand-Ferron’s lab studies how urban and forest chickadees learn and socialize. Nature Canada’s Sarah Kirkpatrick-Wahl (lead organizer of the Bird Day Fair) shared numerous ways humans and birds can harmoniously cohabit cities. Also from Nature Canada, Alex MacDonald gave a brief introduction to various online tools, such as eBird, Naturehood and Tweet of the Week, that connect us with nature and when used by citizens provide valuable information scientists use to monitor birds in the wild (also known as citizen science).

The Fletcher Wildlife Garden’s Great Blue Heron joined the festivities as well and was quite popular with the children and adults alike!

Photos by: Mark Brenchley and Natalie Sopinka