nature.ca The Nature of the Rideau River HomeFrançais
The ProjectHistory and GeographyRiver HealthAnimals and PlantsWater QualityBiodiversityAction!ResourcesTeachers
 
Aquatic Birds

 

A Haven in Merrickville

The Rideau River Biodiversity Project has prompted the discovery, or perhaps re-discovery, of a few hidden gems. The Rideau Bird Sanctuary is one such, an 800-hectare haven located west of Merrickville, along the banks of the Rideau River.

Male Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata.
Male Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata.

The sanctuary is so well used because it is located next to some of the best wetlands along the Rideau River. The wetlands provide ample food of plants, seeds, insects, snails and native freshwater mussels.

American Black Duck, Anas rubripes.
American Black Duck, Anas rubripes.

Scientists from the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) counted thousands of geese and ducks, which represented 20 species. Ken Ross (of the CWS) estimates that this traffic is comparable to that found in some of the important staging areas in Ontario's Prince Edward County and around Wolfe Island in Lake Ontario.

Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias.
Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias.

By comparison, in one of the most important bird sanctuaries in North America, Long Point Bird Sanctuary (located on the Ontario shores of Lake Erie), 25 species of waterfowl are observed yearly. The sheer number of birds found at Long Point far exceeds, however, the numbers found along the Rideau River. [1]

A Special Activity during the Christmas Holidays
Would you like to help protect the flying wildlife of the Rideau River and its surroundings? Participate in the Ottawa Valley Christmas Bird Count. The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club organizes this event yearly and the data collected contribute to a national database used to monitor bird populations. To find out more, visit http://home.achilles.net/ofnc/index.html
The Queen's Swans
Mute Swan, Cygnus olor.
Mute Swan, Cygnus olor.
The Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) seen along the Rideau River in Ottawa are the descendants of six pairs of swans that were originally donated to the city by Queen Elizabeth II as part of its 1967 Canadian Centennial Celebrations. The swans can be seen from Hogs Back to the Rideau Falls from May through November. They are moved into a warm shelter for the winter.

previous page

 

 Aquatic Birds
Arrow.
Bullet.
Bullet.
 Don't Overlook...
Arrow.
Arrow.
Arrow.
Arrow.


 Meet the Relatives!  
Arrow.  
Arrow.  
Arrow.  
  
A Project of the Canadian Museum of Nature
 Images: Canadian Museum of Nature, John A. Crosby, Hemera, Anne Phelps