Where to go birding around Ottawa

by Sandy Garland

GoldeneyeSome years ago, the OFNC Birds Committee produced a great guide to local birding areas. We recently updated it to include Google maps, coordinates for those using a GPS system, and wonderful photos from Gillian Mastromatteo.

Whether you are confined to the city or love to adventure out for day trips as far as Morrisburg, Chaffey’s Locks, Masham, or Casselman, the guide will tell you what birds can be seen – often all year round.

As a good example, Gillian recently checked out the Rideau River at Billings Bridge (see her blog Along the Rideau River) and found a Cooper’s Hawk as well as the usual mergansers, gulls, and dabbling ducks. Further downriver at Hurdman’s Bridge, she found a Barrow’s Goldeneye, Herring and Black-backed gulls, and a muskrat. There are a number of trees along the river at this location, providing shelter for chickadees, woodpeckers, cardinals, and waxwings.

Another easy location is Strathcona Park, also along the Rideau. A large parking lot makes access easy. You can even see the river from your car if the snow is too deep to venture further.

I hope these suggestions and examples will interest you in getting out into the fresh air and enjoying nature – always relaxing and often surprising.

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