[Ontbirds] American Crows in Ottawa

Steven Price sprice at wwfcanada.org
Sat Jan 15 22:49:06 EST 2011

This may be well-known in the Ottawa area, but I was amazed to stand among some 5,000+ quiet American Crows, roosting just after dusk (5:45 P.M) on Jan. 14 in trees along the east side of Rideau Canal, south side of Hwy. 417, just about 500 m. west of the Ottawa train station.  Though there is considerable lighting from the nearby roads, I doubt I was seeing all the crows, but counted perhaps 50 groups of about 100 birds.  Their silence, though normal I suppose, was odd to 'hear'.

This isn't a rare bird sighting, of course, and perhaps it's a daily event.  And it's not the 100,000+ of the St. Clair NWA Christmas count.  But it is another kind of bird sighting of special interest, which I'd like to see more of reported on ONTBIRDS. 

Exit Hwy. 417 eastbound at Vanier Pkwy./Riverside Dr.  From the exit ramp, go straight ahead onto Tremblay Rd. toward the station, where there is parking.  Access the bike & walking trail where Tremblay meets the entrance drive to the station.  Walk west toward the Rideau Canal about 1/2 km.  The grove of trees in the triangle formed by the dividing trail and the canal was the centre of the roost. 
You could also arrive by walking south on the Rideau Canal trail from the north side of Hwy. 417 under the freeway and continue approx. 200 m.  to the triangle.  The trail runs between North River Rd. and the canal, west of Vanier Pkwy.

Or, do what I did, which was follow the steady stream of crows from 3 pm onward, heading SW from the Ottawa River over the Vanier district to the canal!

Steven Price
Senior Director
Conservation Science & Practice
O - +1-416-484-7713
C - +1-647-400-9573 

More information about the ONTBIRDS mailing list