Upcoming Events:
  • Butterfly Count Near Almonte
    When: Saturday, July 5, 2014 (raindate July 6, 2014) (In 71 days)
    Where: Count centered on Manion Corners. See meeting and car pooling details

Butterfly Count Near Almonte

13th Annual Ottawa Area Butterfly Count

The North American Butterfly Association has coordinated butterfly counts following the same format as for Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) for many years. These counts are published as part of an ongoing program of NABA to census the butterflies of North America. See http://www.naba.org/counts.html for more information. Volunteer participants focus on a 24 km diameter circle and conduct a one-day census of all butterflies sighted within the circle. As with CBCs, there is a $4.00 charge to participants to support the publication of the results (not obligatory, but encouraged).

Eastern tailed blue ALlison July 2009 125

Eastern Tailed Blue, photo Ken Allison

Appalachian Eyed Brown July 7 042 Allison

Appalachian Brown, photo Ken Allison

This is the seventh year that the Ottawa Field Naturalist Club (OFNC) will sponsor a count (and the 13th year that this count will have been conducted). The count area will be centred at Manion Corners (SW of Ottawa), a site used as a former non-OFNC count circle. It includes several important butterfly areas such as the Long Swamp and the Burnt Lands alvar.

Especially kid friendly!

Details for the Butterfly Count centered on Manion Corners

Leaders: Jeff Skevington and Peter Hall

Date: Saturday, July 5, 2014 8:30 am. Rain date Sunday, July 6, 2014

Meet: in the carpool parking lot at the intersection of Dwyer Hill Road and March Road (NE of Almonte). If you need a ride from Ottawa please use the OFNC Facebook or Twitter accounts to try to find a ride share.

Call Jeff Skevington between 6 pm and 9 pm on Friday night at 613-832-1970 if in doubt about the weather or for specific questions regarding this event. 

It is an all-day event so bring your lunch. No experience is necessary! We will put teams together on site and match up people so that everyone has a chance to learn from the experts. If you have binoculars and a butterfly net, bring them along. Butterflies may be captured and brought to the count compilation alive for identification and release. Rubber boots are recommended, as some of the sites have a lot of poison ivy.

We plan to meet at Fletcher Wildlife Garden at 6:00 pm after the count for a compilation and pot luck dinner. Please bring along some food to share plus your own drinks. We will have a collection of butterflies along to help people figure out what they saw and learn a bit more about these amazing creatures. We hope that everyone can make it to the compilation, as it will be a lot of fun; however, if you can’t make it, we will get your data in the afternoon before you leave.


Back Yard Frog Volunteers Needed

Ontario Nature Network News, April 2014

Do you hear frogs calling in your backyard? If so, we need your help. The Back Yard Frog program aims to track the location of Ontario’s frogs and toads through observations submitted by citizen scientists like you. With this information, we can detect changes in population numbers, distribution and calling dates.

We can also use it to develop range maps for the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas and to estimate the total population for each species across the province.

Bullfrog donaldson (1024x768)

To learn more about how you can help, click here to reach the Ontario Nature page.


2014 Annual MVFN Early-Morning Birding

2014 Wednesday-morning 6 AM birding walks

Join MVFN birders to capture the first songs of spring! Every spring we plan on 4 early-morning birding walks starting at 6 am and ending by 9 am. The walks are led by Cliff Bennett.

 So far in 2014 our walks have been well attended, with each of the 3 walks held to date having more than 10 participants. This is in spite of the persisting ice and cold which have meant re-arranging the schedule and the location of several of the walks. 

Dates and locations for the walks are listed below.


photo by Howard Robinson on ’08 Fall Canoe 

 2013 Early-Morning Birding Schedule:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Riverside Trail, Carleton Place (meet in front of arena).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lanark Conc. 12 to Taylor Lake (Meet at Union Hall)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Al Potvin’s trail, Carss Street, Almonte, by the river.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Howard and Mary Robinson’s property (meet at head of laneway, 2645 Tatlock Road, just before the village of Clayton)

All walks begin at 6:00 A.M. You do not need to register beforehand. For more information, please contact Cliff Bennett, 613-256-5013 or



Baillie Birdathon 2014

Time for the Baillie Birdathon 2014

March 20, 2014

Dear MVFN Members,

The annual Baillie Birdathon is organized by Bird Studies Canada (BSC) to support bird conservation programmes and also local nature clubs. The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalist club is a participant in the Baillie Birdathon, with a portion of the funds raised coming back to our club. On behalf of Cliff and Lynda Bennett who will be going out to count birds, MVFN member Peggy McPhail will be coordinating this years’ 2014 BAILLIE BIRDATHON.

Baillie birdathon image

As many of you know, for the past 8 years Cliff and Lynda have gone out for a 24-hour period in May and identified as many bird species as possible. This year, they will count birds on May 23rd and 24th. You may choose to sponsor Cliff and Lynda for a set amount, or, for so much per species. They usually register 100 species in the 24 hour period.

Proceeds from the event go to Bird Studies Canada. Last year’s combined Baillie Birdathon proceeds from across Canada totalled over $221,000, and more than 88 conservation clubs received a portion of those proceeds, including the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ club. Our portion of the proceeds from this event is used to help support the MVFN Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Fund. Through this fund, MVFN awards bursaries every year to students who are continuing their post-secondary education in Environmental Studies. Your sponsorship would be most appreciated.

Sponsorship donations can be made several ways, as follows:

1. Quick and easy is on-line at the Bird Studies Canada site at the following link:


Just add your information and pledge amount. This will direct your pledge to Cliff and Lynda Bennett’s MVFN count.

2. Alternatively you may sign a pledge sheet at an MVFN function and pay in cash or by cheque.

3. If pledging by species, you may pay after the event has taken place (Peggy will contact you).

4. Alternatively, e-mail your pledge information to: and then Peggy will contact you.

Donations over $10 will receive an electronic receipt by email. For further information, please contact Peggy at the email address noted above.

Thank you in advance for your commitment to birding in support of bird research and conservation work and to our own MVFN Nature Bursary Award programme – your contribution makes a difference!

Peggy McPhail