Written by Denise Deby. Thanks to Nature Canada for the post idea and information.
The open window beside me brings in warm air, a few traffic sounds and an exquisite layering of bird songs. That’s spring in Ottawa, especially where there’s a few trees or a bit of green space nearby.
Many of those birds have come quite a distance. According to Nature Canada, some species travel up to 25,000 miles round trip from their breeding grounds as far north as the Canadian Arctic to their wintering grounds as far south as parts of South America.
Nature Canada is raising awareness about migratory bird species and celebrating their journeys with a Bird Day Fair on May 31, 2014. The event, which is free, runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Andrew Haydon Park.
Bird Day Fair activities include nature walks guided by local naturalists, a falcon demonstration and arts activities (you can help create a giant “bird nest” or get yourself “bird-banded,” for example). Several organizations, including the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club and Master Gardeners of Ottawa Carleton, will be there to provide information about their work.
The Fair happens within the Lac Deschênes–Ottawa River Important Bird Area, part of an international network of sites considered significant to bird species and biodiversity. (Lac Deschênes is a fluvial lake—a lake within a river—located within the Ottawa River, and it’s home to many migratory waterbird species.)
The Bird Day Fair coincides with International Migratory Bird Day, celebrated on the second Saturday of May each year to promote an understanding of birds and why they’re important.