Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada Nature Canada
Camp Smitty: Providing a quintessential Canadian experience
News

Camp Smitty: Providing a quintessential Canadian experience

This blog was written by Halima Sadia, a public relations student from Algonquin College and intern at Nature Canada. On June 26th, 2018, I accompanied Jill Sturdy, our Naturehood program Manager on a visit to Camp Smitty located in Eganville, Ontario. My name is Halima Sadia and I am a public relations intern at Nature Canada and I have never been to a summer camp. Although Canada is blessed with an abundance of natural wonders, many Canadians do not have the luxury of enjoying it. This is especially true for new Canadian families. Since 1923, the Boys and Girls Club has provided a safe and supportive place where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills for life. Every summer, Camp Smitty hosts four 10-day camps, where children and youth discover their dreams and grow up to be healthy, successful and active participants of society. Camp Smitty is a free summer camp offered to children who wouldn't otherwise have the means to attend. Many of these families are new residents to Canada and in some cases, refugees.  During our visit, the Camp Manager, Rosie Warden, gathered all the senior staff and counselors for Jill's presentation. The  objective was to train the camp counselors on our NatureHood DIY NatureBlitz toolkit. The Toolkit is straightforward and can be helpful for every age group. The Nature Blitz is a fun educational experience that puts you in control of observing nature in a given area. The objective is to help the campers learn more about the natural world and learn to identify common birds and plants found at camp, which they can take home and expand their knowledge about local biodiversity and share with their friends and family. Materials required; checklist, pencil and of course, nature.  The purpose of our NatureHood program is to connect urban Canadians to nearby nature, and get people — especially children — outside and active right where they live. We are hoping that by exploring the nature around us, we can shape the minds of the next generation to respect and care for it. Nature Canada has provided Camp Smitty with all the tools required to make a it a summer of nature exploration. We even provided materials in Arabic, so campers can share it with their families when they get home.  Thanks to a grant provided by the Ottawa Community Foundation, the goal of this project is to incorporate NatureHood activities at Camp Smitty, and provide nature-based learning opportunities to help kids at camp foster a relationship with nature. For many kids this will be an introduction to nature-based exploratory learning. There are many benefits to spending time in nature including promoting mental and physical health and overall well-being. While participants will be immersed in nature during their time at camp, there is currently no nature-based programming. The NatureHood camp program will help fill this gap, and fit well with the Boys and Girls Club “Outdoor Enthusiasts” theme, one of multiple themes the camp kids choose. After the presentation, the Senior staff (many of whom work at the BGCO Clubhouses) were also excited to explore ways they can incorporate NatureHood programming during the school-year. We hope that his project serves as a template for other Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada to adopt. Growing up in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, I had never been to summer camp, and had no clue what I was getting into when we first arrived at the camp. It was lunchtime so we headed to the dining room where we were greeted by the Camp's Assistant Manager, Matt Singer. That’s when I heard the loud chanting so I peeped into the hall to see tables filled with camp counselors, singing their lunch call as they formed a line into the kitchen. I made my way to the back of the line, about to experience my first camp meal. What I was picking up was a sense of unity and fun and I wanted in. I sat down with the Senior staff and they explained how the camp works, common rules to follow and all the fun activities they had planned out for the campers. After lunch I was lucky enough to get a private tour of the camp and learned about all the activities that take place. At one point I looked at Jill and said,  

“Thank you for bringing me along on this trip because even though my time to be a camper has passed, I can appreciate how much summer camp can help you grow. I am grateful to be out in nature in a safe place surrounded by people who are determined to make this a memorable experience.“
  So today I am going to leave you with a couple things I learned about Camp Smitty and hopefully this serves as a summer camp guide to you.
    1. Beat the heat. Hydrate yourself, challenge yourself to drink 3L of water every day. Remember that animals feel the heat as well, so be mindful of bees, birds and other animals you might encounter at camp. Notify your counselors right away so they can take the necessary steps.
    2. Meet your new role models. Be ready to meet campers, counselors and staff from different walks of life. Being a camp counselor is no easy job but over the next couple weeks, they will become your friend, mentor and most importantly role model.
    3. Time flies. You would think that two weeks is a long time but when you are having fun, time moves quickly. It’s important to be present and live in the moment. It’s the best way to make the most out of your experience over the summer! Get excited before every activity (even laundry!)
    4. Nurture Nature. Be kind to the nature around you and don’t litter. You don’t have to stop learning just because it’s summer. Use this as an opportunity to learn something new about nature and the animals around you every day. Use Nature Canada’s NatureBlitz for some outdoor activities.
    5. Expect to leave the camp as a completely different person. By the time you get on the bus and head back home, reflect on everything you have learned, all the new experiences and memories and the amazing people. The things you learned over the summer will have a profound impact on you; the way you live your life, what you care about, and the way you see others. You may not even realize it, but a summer at camp will change you for the better!

Signup for Email  

Want more nature news?

Discover more about the nature you love.


Member Spotlight: Nature Lover, Canadian Senator and Honorary Chair of Women for Nature Diane Griffin
News

Member Spotlight: Nature Lover, Canadian Senator and Honorary Chair of Women for Nature Diane Griffin

[caption id="attachment_33387" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Jodi Joy Jodi Joy
Director of Development[/caption] “We all need peace and quiet, beautiful natural places to be our touchstones and to replenish our souls. A walk in nature does that for me. Also, just knowing we have natural places and wildlife is satisfying”. – Senator Diane Griffin Senator Diane Griffin is a lifelong and passionate environmentalist. She’s had a stellar public service career including serving as PEI’s Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy and as a Town Councillor in Stratford, PEI. She’s also served as the President of our Board of Directors and received our Pimlott Award for her incredible dedication and work to protect nature. An accomplished writer, who published a book of Atlantic Wildflowers, she has also penned numerous articles on topics ranging from agricultural, eco-economics, national forest strategies, natural heritage and more. [caption id="attachment_34742" align="alignright" width="421"]Image of Senator Diane Griffin Senator Diane Griffin[/caption] Senator Griffin encourages Canadians of all ages to explore nature, and take action in ways that make sense in our own homes and hearts, acknowledging recently thatwhat we do in our individual homes and communities is going to be significant for the conservation of Canada’s natural resources. Today, she brings a strong voice for nature and conservation to Canada’s Senate and is also the Honorary Chair of our Women for Nature program. Three Women for Nature projects are launching this year. Together with your gifts, we’ve supported six projects imagined by Young Women for Nature. As well, we’ll launch 10 new mentorships empowering up and coming nature leaders. And the Women for Nature E-Dialogues series, moderated by Professor Ann Dale, will begin later this month. These real-time, online discussions will stimulate ideas, dialogue and local action around the critically important topic of Biodiversity. You can find out all the topics, and join the conversation here. By instilling a passionate commitment to nature within our young nature leaders, Women for Nature members are investing in the future of conservation in Canada. The Women for Nature mentorship program and E-Dialogue series will bring strong voices together for nature to support the future protection of nature and wildlife in Canada. “As the Honorary Chair of Nature Canada’s Women for Nature initiative, I am delighted to see that Canada’s nature is in good hands. These young women and their projects are a step in the right direction to help enable more young Canadians to connect with nature and assist in protecting our precious wildlife and habitats.” You can find the latest news on Women for Nature here. And if you are interested in learning more about our initiative, I would love to connect with you! You can reach me at jjoy@naturecanada.ca or 1-800-267-4088 extension 239.

Email Signup

Want more nature news?

Join our 50,000 nature lovers raising their voices for nature!

Birds and the Danger of Window Collisions
News

Birds and the Danger of Window Collisions

[caption id="attachment_31138" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Sarantia Katsaras Bird Conservation Program Technician Sarantia Katsaras[/caption] Windows are one of the leading human causes of death for birds. Windows are not always visible to birds due to reflected trees or skies, a view straight through the window, or potted plants or living walls on the other side of the glass that draw them in. In order for a window to become visible to birds, it needs to be “broken up.” Visual markers such as patterned window films, window curtains, or window screens make windows visible to birds. By adding these features, it breaks the window up and lets the bird know that it cannot pass through. [caption id="attachment_33763" align="alignright" width="225"]This photo is of 1,800 birds that fatally collided with windows in Ottawa this past year. This photo is of 1,800 birds that fatally collided with windows in Ottawa this past year. Demonstration put on by Safe Wings Ottawa/[/caption] As many as one billion birds fatally collide with windows in North America annually. According to Safe Wings Ottawa, as many as 250,000 birds are killed by windows every year in Ottawa and Gatineau alone. Most window collisions occur during the fall and spring when the birds are migrating. In 2016 there were 101 different species of birds recorded in Ottawa. This includes species at risk such as the Peregrine Falcon, Chimney Swift, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Wood Thrush, Rusty Blackbird, and Canada Warbler. FLAP Canada estimates that 1 to 10 birds die per building, per year. For reasons currently unknown, the Canada Warbler is highly vulnerable to window collisions compared to the average species. Canada Warblers are at 17.9 times greater risk of colliding with all building types, 25.8 times greater risk of colliding with high-rise buildings, and 46.7 times greater risk of colliding with low-rise buildings. The Canada Warbler is a threatened species and its population cannot withstand this easily preventable threat. Interestingly, birds are more susceptible to low-rise buildings than high-rise buildings. Birds typically collide with windows between 50 to 60 feet tall. Make your windows at home visible to birds by taking these steps To learn more about this issue and this significant threat to birds visit our Save Bird Lives page.

Email Signup

Want more nature news?

Join our 80,000 nature lovers raising their voices for nature!

Ottawa: 5 Great Hikes in Your Own Backyard
News

Ottawa: 5 Great Hikes in Your Own Backyard

[caption id="attachment_33972" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Greg Nesbitt Guest Blogger Greg Nesbitt[/caption] This blog was written by guest blogger Greg Nesbitt. Guest blogger Greg Nesbitt is doing a series of his choice for the top five hikes to do in and around Ottawa! The first of the series is on Luskville Falls, Quebec. Hike 1: Luskville Falls - A great workout with a lot of natural beauty [caption id="attachment_33940" align="alignright" width="284"]Image of Luskville Falls Luskville Falls. Photo by Greg Nesbitt[/caption] When Prime Minster King designated Gatineau Park as federal land and part of the National Capital Region in 1938, he gave area residents a 361 square kilometres outdoor wonderland. The park has year-round activities including endless hiking trails with all levels of difficulty. One of my favourite trails in the park is located just outside Luskville, Quebec. Luskville Falls provides hikers with nice views of the valley and a challenging terrain. Described by the National Capital Commission as difficult, the hike winds its way past the falls and over several undulating rocks. I first discovered this trail when I was looking for a challenging hike in the Ottawa area, after doing Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain Grind. Similar to our neighbours out West, this is a demanding hike with plenty to see along the way, including natural waterfalls and multiple rock formations. The trail is well marked with arrows up and down and two different paths for you to traverse. There are magnificent views of the Ottawa River below and several places to get stunning photos. This hike is recommended for anyone who can handle a difficult trail and doesn’t mind earning their views of the valley.  In addition to the hike, there are plenty of picnic tables and areas to congregate at the bottom of the hills before or after your adventure to the top. Helpful Information[one_third] [caption id="attachment_33949" align="alignright" width="150"]By the Numbers: Elevation: 290 meters to the Fire Tower Distance: Approximately 2.25km each way (4.5km round trip) Average Time to get to the top: 60 minutes By the Numbers:
Elevation: 290 meters to the Fire Tower
Distance: Approximately 2.25km each way (4.5km round trip)
Average Time to get to the top: 60 minutes[/caption] [/one_third] [one_third] [caption id="attachment_33947" align="alignright" width="150"]Best Time To Go: Spring gives you the best conditions to see the falls with maximum winter runoff but can be muddy. Best Time To Go:
Spring gives you the best conditions to see the falls with maximum winter runoff but can be muddy.[/caption] [/one_third] [one_third_last] [caption id="attachment_33950" align="alignright" width="150"] How to get out there: Highway / Autoroute 148 leaving the Alymer section of Gatineau (The turnoff is just before you get to the village of Luskville) How to get out there:
Highway / Autoroute 148 leaving the Alymer section of Gatineau
(The turnoff is just before you get to the village of Luskville)[/caption] [/one_third_last] Enjoy and hope to see you out there!

Email Signup

Want more nature news?

Join our 50,000 nature lovers raising their voices for nature!

Schoolyard Blitz – Mud Lake Edition
Lac Mud
News

Schoolyard Blitz – Mud Lake Edition

This blog was written by Axel, a communications volunteer from the Youth LEAD: Employment Program for Newcomer and Immigrant Youth.  On June 13, Nature Canada and a Grade 4 and 5 class from Regina Street Public School in Ottawa went to Mud Lake to discover nature in their NatureHood. The students at Regina Street Public School have the incredible opportunity and fortune to visit Mud Lake on a weekly basis, given its close proximity to the school. As a result, the students have a strong affinity towards this special place, knowledge of the area, and are very comfortable in the nature trails. [caption id="attachment_33517" align="alignleft" width="300"]exploring nature exploring nature[/caption] Mud Lake is an NCC Conservation Area located within the Lac Deschenes Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA), the site of Ottawa’s signatory NatureHood! Mud Lake was recently acknowledged in the Ottawa Citizen as being one of the most ecologically diverse spots in Canada! With over 400 species found in this 60-hectare wetland, it is truly a remarkable hotspot for biodiversity! We asked the kids to form small groups and, with a NatureBlitz species checklist, we went on an expedition to discover what Mud Lake had to offer. To ensure a fun and safe NatureBlitz, we talked about safety including what poisonous plants to be aware of, such as poison ivy, and to be tick-aware. As we were walking through the trails, we noticed different varieties of trees, like birch, maple, oak and more! With a closer look, we even found berries, mushrooms and different species of wildflowers. [caption id="attachment_33518" align="alignright" width="225"]Bird Nest Bird Nest[/caption] Not only did we see lots of plant life, we were able to observe a number of insects, birds and mammals. We found Canada geese, mallard ducks, frogs, painted turtles, squirrels and many different insects including spiders and various butterflies. One of the highlights was when one of the students spotted a little brown snake! Coiled up it was no bigger than a quarter! We spent a lot of time observing it. It was a real pleasure to see the kids enjoying being out in nature, sharing their knowledge and working together to identify species. When they could not identify some of the birds or plants, one of Nature Canada’s volunteers, Jen, opened her field guides and helped fill the gaps. Another exciting moment was seeing a Red-eyed Vireo sitting in her nest! When the bird fled, we were able to see three eggs inside the nest. Based on discussions with the kids and teachers, we discovered that 2 of the eggs belonged to a Brown-headed Cowbird, known to abandon their eggs and to be fostered by other birds (usually at the expense of the host’s own baby chicks). A complete list of our discoveries in the Mud Lake is available, and I hope it will inspire you to want to visit the area! I would like to thank everyone who participated in the NatureBlitz, and invite everybody to get out and connect with Nearby Nature in your NatureHood!


Recruited as part of the Youth LEAD program, volunteering with Nature Canada has been an amazing journey so far. Apart from technical knowledge gained, I learned about all the different types of programs Nature Canada has. The most exciting part of this volunteering opportunity was when we went to discover an ecologically important habitat in the urban part of Canada’s capital region. In this Schoolyard Blitz, I got a chance to know more about biodiversity found in Canada.
Email Signup

Want more nature news?

Discover more about the nature you love.

2nd Annual Event Helps Ottawa Residents Peek Inside City’s Most Important Chimneys
News

2nd Annual Event Helps Ottawa Residents Peek Inside City’s Most Important Chimneys

Media Advisory

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Who: Hosted by Nature Canada Speakers include: Alex MacDonald, CBC Radio 1’s In Town and Out weekly bird tweeter and Senior Conservation Manager at Nature Canada

What: A Swift Evening Out is an outdoor event featuring presentations, activities and easy birdwatching to raise public awareness of the Chimney Swift, a provincially and nationally threatened bird found in Ottawa. Event participants will observe the sunset behaviour of the Chimney Swift; each evening the Swifts fly into suitable chimneys and human structures throughout the region – often hundreds of birds at a time – where they roost for the night in large groups. The birds dive headfirst into the chimneys, reaching speeds of 60 km/hr before entering, making this behaviour very impressive to behold.

Where: 755 Somerset Street West, Ottawa. The event will begin at the Dalhousie Community Centre and at 7:50pm will transition to the grounds of the Dominican University College, home to one of the region’s most important chimney roosts.

When: Thursday, August 11th, 2016 – 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm.

Why: Ottawa is home to nationally significant numbers of Chimney Swifts, whose numbers have declined by over 95% in the last 40 years. Despite this, many people are unaware of the Swifts’ presence or their plight. We want to change this. Additionally, many property owners misunderstand what they can do to help Chimney Swifts, such as delaying routine chimney maintenance until after the migration in early September. This event will help to raise public awareness of the plight of this amazing species.

Interviews: Interviews may be scheduled before, during or after the event. Opportunities to photograph the activities and the birds can be accommodated during the event. Photographs will be available upon request following the event.

Contact: Alex MacDonald, Senior Conservation Manager, Nature Canada 613-324-7003 (mobile); amacdonald@naturecanada.ca

### Nature Canada is the oldest national nature conservation charity in Canada. Our mission is to protect and conserve nature in Canada by engaging Canadians and by advocating on behalf of nature. Over the past 75 years, Nature Canada has helped protect over 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat. Today, Nature Canada represents a network of more than 45,000 members and supporters and more than 350 nature organizations across the country, with affiliates in every province.

Local Children Take Flight for Wildlife along the Ottawa River
News

Local Children Take Flight for Wildlife along the Ottawa River

MEDIA ADVISORY

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Local Children Take Flight for Wildlife along the Ottawa River Who:                     Hosted by Nature Canada Speakers include: Alex MacDonald, CBC Radio 1’s In Town and Out weekly bird tweeter and Senior Conservation Manager at Nature Canada  What:                    Bird, Bat & Butterfly Migration Parade: the Migration Parade is a symbolic celebration of the seasonal migration journey that birds, bats, butterflies and even some dragonflies undertake each spring and fall. Over 130 students from 3 local elementary schools will walk, or ‘migrate’, 2.6 km along the Ottawa River Pathway (between Westboro Beach/Kitichissippi Lookout and the Rémic Rapids parking lot). This parade route represents the northward journey that so many of Canada’s migratory species take each spring from the US, Central America, the Caribbean and South America to Canada. Where:                 Parade begins at 10:30 am at the Kitchissippi Lookout/Westboro Beach, and finishes before 12:15 pm at the Rémic Rapids Parking Lot. When:                  Wednesday, May 25th, 2015 – 10:15 am to 12:15 pm. Why:                     More than three-quarters of Canada’s bird species are migratory and spend more than half the year beyond our borders. Of those, the species that migrate the greatest distances are more at-risk of extinction. Children are the best hope that some of these species have to being recovered before it is too late. In addition to birds, Canada is home to migratory bats, butterflies – such as the Monarch butterfly – and migratory dragonflies. Interviews:         Interviews may be scheduled before, during or after the event. Opportunities to photograph the activities can be accommodated during the event. Nature Canada will also have a photographer present, with photographs available upon request following the event. Contact:               Alex MacDonald, Senior Conservation Manager, Nature Canada 613-324-7003 (mobile); amacdonald (at) naturecanada.ca   ### Nature Canada is the oldest national nature conservation charity in Canada. Our mission is to protect and conserve nature in Canada by engaging Canadians and by advocating on behalf of nature. Over the past 75 years, Nature Canada has helped protect over 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat. Today, Nature Canada represents a network of more than 45,000 members and supporters and more than 350 nature organizations across the country, with affiliates in every province.

Thanks for a Successful MacSkimming Centre NatureBlitz!
News

Thanks for a Successful MacSkimming Centre NatureBlitz!

[caption id="attachment_27776" align="alignleft" width="300"]NatureBlitz participants on a walk Participants on an insect walk at the MacSkimming Centre NatureBlitz[/caption] Thanks to everyone who took part in our MacSkimming Centre NatureBlitz last weekend! A big success The NatureBlitz was a big success. Despite the weekend's poor weather forecast, a total of 100 people took part in the event between 2 pm Friday, May 13th and 2 pm Saturday, May 14th. It was wonderful to share the beauty and serenity of this natural area - which is part of the Beckett Creek Migratory Bird Sanctuary - with participants of all ages! What did we find? In addition to seeing and hearing bats and owls, we observed lots of songbirds, frogs, insects, and even salamanders during the event. A full species list - including 34 lichens - is being compiled for publication here on Nature Canada's blog within the next couple of weeks. The trilliums were in full bloom during the event, providing a perfect backdrop for spring in the National Capital Region. [caption id="attachment_27777" align="alignright" width="300"]Mammals activity during the MacSkimming Centre NatureBlitz Participants listen to a presentation on fur-bearing mammals during the NatureBlitz[/caption] Get social! We're asking participants to share their photos from the event on social media using the hashtags #NatureBlitz and #OdySci. Our event was part of Canada's 2016 Science Odyssey celebrations so we're trying to spread the word about the value and importance natural and biological sciences using the #OdySci hashtag. You can use it,too! Thanks to our walk leaders & supporters!  NatureBlitz events can't happen without the willingness of local naturalists and experts to share their time, experience and knowledge with the community. On behalf of all of our walk leaders (shown in the schedule below), we thank everyone for their interest in nature! Day 1 Schedule for MacSkimming NatureBlitz - May 13, 2016 Day 2 Schedule for MacSkimming NatureBlitz - May 14, 2016               As a charity, Nature Canada relies on the support of members, funders and sponsors to help us be a voice for nature and deliver fun public events like NatureBlitzes and Bird Day celebrations. Consider becoming a voice for nature today: In addition to saying a BIG thank you to the OCDSB MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre staff, we would like to thank the following funders and sponsors for their financial support:   Thank you to sponsors/partners:  

Nature or Bust! How to Get Out of Town & Enjoy Nature With No Car
News

Nature or Bust! How to Get Out of Town & Enjoy Nature With No Car

[caption id="attachment_23392" align="alignleft" width="150"]Laura Strachan, Guest Blogger Laura Strachan,
Guest Blogger[/caption] This blog is written by guest blogger, Laura Strachan. Urban living without a car does not mean you are stuck in the concrete jungle. Sometimes you need to get out of town to ground yourself, get fresh air and enjoy the peace of the natural world. As Canadians we are fortunately never very far from a country hike or an impromptu camping trip. But how do you get there and back? With your gear? Luckily there are ways to get out of the hustle and bustle that don’t require a personal vehicle. For day trips or longer excursions there are options for everyone. [caption id="attachment_23400" align="alignright" width="270"]algonquin outlook_shutterstock_2016779 Algonquin Park[/caption] Parkbus: A non-profit Ontario shuttle service that will take you from Ottawa or Toronto to popular outdoor destinations and parks such as Elora or Algonquin. Day trips start around $25, park admission included! Greyhound: There are many stops along Greyhound routes that are not major destinations and pass through remote communities. These stops might be along “milk run” routes or just a stop on a highway. But these stops can be close to Provincial Parks or conservation areas and with a little legwork you can explore the area. The Trans Canada Trail: This trail will literally take you across the country. So far over 18,000 kms have been developed and are available for recreational use. Different areas are suited for a variety of uses such as biking, snowmobiling, horseback riding or X-country skiing and run through many communities. Ride Boards, Meetups and Nature Groups: Join a local hiking or naturalist group that meets regularly and inquire about ride sharing. Check out the message board at your local MEC or outfitter. Chances are a group of outdoor enthusiasts would be happy to carpool! Take the Train: Via Rail has a schedule of routes that are specially equipped with bike racks on a baggage car. For $25 your assembled bike is loaded into the car by baggage handlers and retrieved upon arrival. Make arrangements beforehand to ensure there is space for your ride! Public Transit: Check out you local transit system and see just how far you can get on it. Some services may allow you to bring your bike on board. Pack a lunch and see where you end up! Don’t let the upcoming winter weather keep you snowed in either. There are many winter shuttle services that will take you to local ski hills to enjoy the slopes, snowshoeing or tubing. Now go take a hike!

Email Signup

Want more nature news?

Subscribe to Nature Canada's online community!

Event Will Help Ottawa Residents Peek Inside City’s Most Important Chimneys
News

Event Will Help Ottawa Residents Peek Inside City’s Most Important Chimneys

Media Advisory

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Who: Hosted by Nature Canada Speakers include: Alex MacDonald, CBC Radio 1’s In Town and Out weekly bird tweeter and Senior Conservation Manager at Nature Canada

What: A Swift Evening Out is an outdoor event featuring presentations, activities and easy birdwatching to raise public awareness of the Chimney Swift, a provincially and nationally threatened bird found in Ottawa. Event participants will observe the sunset behaviour of the Chimney Swift; each evening the Swifts fly into suitable chimneys and human structures throughout the region – often hundreds of birds at a time – where they roost for the night in large groups. The birds dive headfirst into the chimneys, reaching speeds of 60 km/hr before entering, making this behaviour very impressive to behold.

Where: 755 Somerset Street West, Ottawa. The event will begin in the parking lot of the Dalhousie Community Centre and will transition to the grounds of the Dominican University College, home to one of the region’s most important chimney roosts.

When: Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 – 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The public portion of the event will wrap up by 8:30 pm.

Why: Ottawa is home to nationally significant numbers of Chimney Swifts, whose numbers have declined by over 95% in the last 40 years. Despite this, many people are unaware of the Swifts’ presence or their plight. We want to change this. Additionally, many property owners misunderstand what they can do to help Chimney Swifts, such as delaying routine chimney maintenance until after the migration in early September. This event will help to raise public awareness of the plight of this amazing species.

Interviews: Interviews may be scheduled before, during or after the event. Opportunities to photograph the activities and the birds can be accommodated during the event. Nature Canada will also have a photographer present, with photographs available upon request following the event.

Contact: Alex MacDonald, Senior Conservation Manager, Nature Canada 613-324-7003 (mobile); amacdonald@naturecanada.ca

### Nature Canada is the oldest national nature conservation charity in Canada. Our mission is to protect and conserve nature in Canada by engaging Canadians and by advocating on behalf of nature. Over the past 75 years, Nature Canada has helped protect over 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat. Today, Nature Canada represents a network of more than 45,000 members and supporters and more than 350 nature organizations across the country, with affiliates in every province.

Want to Help?

Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.

Donate