Happy Earth Day!

In celebration of Earth Day and to welcome back the migrating birds we headed out to the globally significant Lac Deschênes – Ottawa River Important Bird Area this weekend for a day of spring cleaning.

Spring migration is gearing up and a great group of enthusiastic volunteers meet up with Nature Canada staff at two locations along the urban stretch of the Ottawa River to collect garbage. Garbage is not only an eye sore for people who want to enjoy the outdoors, it can also be incredibly dangerous for birds and other wildlife.

The majority of the garbage we collected consisted of small things such as bottle caps, cigarette butts and small pieces of plastic. Take out coffee cups and empty water bottles were also abundant. In addition we had a couple of pretty interesting finds such as a pair of roller skates, part of the hull of a boat, kitchen equipment and a lamp shade.

Of course we also took some time to watch the birds in the area and saw quite a few species. It feels like new species are spotted almost every day now as migrating birds take advantage of the warming weather and the insects that are hatching out of the river.

At Britannia Bay the species we saw and heard were the Ring-billed Gull, Canada Goose, European Starling,  American Crow, Blue Jay, Mallard, House Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Common Grackle. At Bate Island the species we saw and heard were the Canada Goose, Mallards, Common Golden-eye, Ring-billed Gull, Red-winged Blackbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Lesser Scaup, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, House Sparrow and European Starling.

The swallows were swooping out over the river in a beautiful moving flock picking up insects.

You can see the most recent reported bird sightings along the Lac Deschênes – Ottawa River Important Bird Area right on the homepage of naturecanada.ca

On behalf of the birds we would like to ask you to make sure that your garbage makes it into the garbage bin and we encourage you to help others do the same. Together we can all keep our green spaces clean for the wildlife who call it home, and for the people who visit to enjoy nature.

Thank you and happy Earth Day!

Image of waste in a park

Click to see more images from the day.

Image of swallows