More Places to Get Up Close to Wildlife in Ottawa (Summer/Fall edition)


Here is a continuation of the "Where's the Wild?" series on Wild. Here.  It can be fun to know where to look and when so that your outdoor adventures can result in more sightings!  You never know what's out there and we'd love to here your tips also!


6. Fireflies

It's the time for fireflies everyone! Mid to late June is a great time to get out and see if you can spot them but one piece of advice... you may need bug spray because the mosquitoes will be out too!  Fireflies are actually beetles (not flies) and the temperature and moisture play a factor in when they can be spotted.  Wait until the days get warm and humid (hence this mid-June to July adventure) and expect to see more after some wet weather.  If it dries out, you are less likely to see any at night.  Get outside in a large uncut field just after sundown on an warm and humid night and see what you can find (patience is needed here as the longer you wait the more you will probably see).



7. Butterfly Count

This is a bit different, but I wanted to mention it as it is a really enjoyable day and it supports the scientific monitoring of our local ecology at the same time.  Each year the Ottawa Field Naturalists Club organizes this Butterfly Count in July outside the city (Manion Corners which is SW of Ottawa).  Contact the organizer as there may be an opportunity to organize a car ride.  This year is the Sixteenth Annual Count - Wow!  And the fee has been waived!

Just remember you'll be spending the day outside and it can be hot!



8. Hummingbirds around Jewelweed

Every since I was introduced to the native orange Jewelweed flower (also known as Touch Me Not) I have noticed that they are a great place to look out for Hummingbirds in the wild.  August is the time they are in full bloom and with some other earlier blooming flowers on the downturn by late summer, these gorgeous blooms become sought after! You'll find them in wetter areas - if you are in Ottawa look for them around Mud Lake (east side) in the Fletcher Garden ravine and at Petrie Island.


9. Chimney Swift Roost

This one is quite fun if you know of a large swift roost in your city.  Some organizations even hold Swift Roost Events, inviting the public to come to watch the sundown activity and provide information about this incredible bird.  Check with Bird Studies Canada to find out if there is a Swift Monitoring program in your city.  Watching hundreds of birds swooping down into a narrow chimney one right after the other is pretty cool and astounding.  In Ottawa, Nature Canada has been known to hold these types of events at Dominican College off Somerset.


10. Carleton University's Annual Biology Butterfly Show

Carleton's Biology Department's Annual Butterfly Show is held every October and it probably doesn't need any introduction!  The line-ups can be long so if you can get there during the day (rather than the weekend) you might be able to avoid the heavier crowds and get a bit more time with these colourful winged insects.  Many of these butterflies are short-lived which is why there is no need to release the fauna after the show closes.  There's a larger Butterfly Show in Montreal each winter!

**For many of these donations are encouraged!


As mentioned if you have any tips of best places to spot urban wildlife we'd love to know!  I've seen lots of posts at the Ottawa Field Naturalist's Facebook page about snake hibernaculums, otter dining spots, owl nesting locations and much more!  You should also consider checking out some of the built habitat for wildlife including birds and turtles and get inspired by some other sightings of urban wildlife especially those around sunset.  What are your favourite hidden corners and nature spots?

Where do you go to get tips and get inspired about places to see wildlife?

What's the best urban nature sighting you've enjoyed?


Here's a link to the rest of the blog posts in this series:

Getting Up Close To Wildlife Series 2017

PART ONEThree Places to Get Up Close To Wildlife in Ottawa (in Winter)

PART TWO - Places to Get Up Close To Wildlife in Ottawa (Spring/Summer edition)


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