Enjoying the Birds of the Ottawa Valley
Further Information

This book was written in 1985, and is out of date in many respects in this section

Clubs for Bird Watchers

The Pembroke & Area Bird Club was formed in 1983. It organizes the Festival of Swallows during the second week of August, an event that draws thousands of tourists to view the 150,000 swallows that roost at the mouth of the Muskrat River. It publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Swallow. It organizes film nights and field trips. The information number is (613)735-0366, or write P.O. Box 1242, Pembroke Ont. K8A 6Y6.

The Macnamara Field Naturalists' Club was formed in 1984, for naturalists in the Arnprior-Almonte-Pakenham area. It publishes a monthly bulletin, and a newsletter, The Lady's-Slipper. It holds regular meetings, lectures and field trips; birds are the most popular interest of its members. For information write P.O. Box 94, Arnprior Ont. K7S 3H2.

The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club was founded in 1879 to "work up the natural history" of the area. It publishes The Canadian Field-Naturalist, a quarterly that has reported research in natural history relevant to Canada for over a hundred years. Trail & Landscape provides articles on the natural history of the Ottawa Valley and on local Club activities four times a year. The club arranges talks and field trips throughout the year, and operates a bird status line at (613) 596-4888. For information call (613)722-3050 after 10am, or write Box 3264, station C, Ottawa K1Y 4J5.

Le Club des Ornithologues de l'Outaouais was founded in 1978 for French-speaking people interested in birds and natural science. It holds field trips throughout a 240x280 km region, from the des Joachims rapids to Montreal and from the Ottawa River to the north edge of La Vérendrye Park. It publishes a newsletter l'Ornitaouais three times a year. It operates a bird hot-line on (819) 778-0737. For information call (819)776-3822, or write Box 419 Station A, Hull (Québec) J8Y 6P2.

The Ottawa Banding Group was formed in 1982 to document the status and distribution of birds within the Ottawa area and to operate a bird observatory, to provide training in banding, at Innis Point, north of Shirley's Bay. For information call (613)728-0695, or write 73 Irving Place, Ottawa.

The Nature Society of Vankleek Hill was formed in 1975. Its members are mostly bird watchers intent on improving their skills. For information call Bill Radix at (613)678-2631, or write 28 Jay St., Vankleek Hill Ont. K0B 1R0.

Provincial and National Organizations

Naturalists' clubs are usually local in nature, and designed to draw people of like minds together. Our organizations which have a larger geographic reach usually exist to further a philosophy, the conservation ethic.

Those who promote wildlife management assume at heart that we know more than nature. Organizations with "wildlife" in their title mostly attend to the prosperity of individual species perceived at the moment to be of utility to humans. (This is an easy concept to put across. Just define 'conservation' as 'use', and anything becomes reasonable.)

Organizations with "nature" in their title generally work to preserve entire environments, so that relationships unperceived by us will be maintained. They do not just wish to preserve rare species, they wish to prevent species from becoming rare in the first place. There are three whose geographical interest includes the Valley.

The Federation of Ontario Naturalists mobilizes action under the slogan "Nature, Pass it On", and adds "we can leave no greater legacy than a healthy and varied countryside". It produces the quarterly magazine Seasons. For information write 355 Lesmill Rd., Don Mills, Ont. M3B 2W8.

The Canadian Nature Federation exists for "the promotion of the understanding, awareness, and enjoyment of nature, and the conservation of the natural environment so that the integrity of natural systems is maintained". It produces the beautiful magazine Nature Canada. For information call (613)238-6154, or write 453 Sussex Dr., Ottawa K1N 9Z9.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada, 794A Broadview Ave., Toronto M4K 2P7, exists "to acquire essential environmental lands in this generation which, if lost, will be lost forever". It uses government grants and matching funds to great advantage, often quadrupling your donations en route to a land purchase. The land--260 parcels totalling 22,000 hectares to date--is put under suitable government conservation authorities with use or management agreements. If you want to `do something' right now, send them a donation.

The National Museum of Natural Sciences

The displays of the Museum are located in the gothic Victoria Memorial building, on McLeod Street between Elgin and O'Connor, in Ottawa. Built in 1926 for the founding of The National Museum of Canada, it originally housed the National Art Gallery in the east wing. The present Salon was a library, and the top two floors housed the staff of the Geological Survey, with room left over for some offices used by the Department of Mines. Now, it is devoted solely to the natural sciences.

The building is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Mondays when it is closed.

For bird watchers, the second floor is the first stop, with its dioramas of birds, habitat by habitat. It's a superb place to introduce your young children to birds. On the floor below, the memorable Dinosaur Court displays the assembled bones of several cousins to our birds, accompanied by living plants similar to those in Canada 75 million years ago, when most of the specimens lived. Be sure to pick up the current sheet of special programs and activities; many will involve bird subjects.

If you are interested in drawing or painting birds, it is possible to obtain some mounted birds on loan, through the School Loans Program.

Books on Birds

There are many books published on birds, far too many to list in a book this size. The following is a small selection, chosen in mid-1985 to help you to start to learn more about birds which occur in the Valley. Most can be found at public libraries. (This section is badly out of date.)

The listing is sorted by topics. The topics are in alphabetical order. Within each topic, books are arranged alphabetically by first author. There is overlap between some topics. Check related topic headings, since each book is listed only once.

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