View Full Version : Bald Eagles or Owls in Ottawa

Jeff Sorbie
01-10-2010, 09:01 PM
I am a new member and was wondering if anyone had a good site in Ottawa that I might be able to find a Bald Eagle or some Owls to photograph?

Daniel Cadieux
01-11-2010, 10:19 AM
Hi Jeff, first of all Welcome to BPN:)

You'll have more luck with owls than with Bald Eagles. Eagles in this area are VERY skittish, and tend to hang out away from people. The best spot to see them is the Shirley's Bay area - but most of the time you'll need a scope to see them properly. You might get the odd one flying over head, but nothing extraordinary as far as photo ops go. I suppose somebody will get lucky at one point, so you never know. I've seen one at Petrie Island, and that one spooked when I was a mere 300 yards away! A couple of winters ago there were a few regularly spotted along Riddell Rd. Check for road kill, and then scan the trees and sky.

As for owls, we do get them here but most of the time it is by stumbling upon them by luck, or pointed out to one by a birder. Barred Owls have been found pretty much at any wooded areas, such as Mud Lake, the Arboretum, Jack Pine Trail, etc.

Snowy Owls have been pretty regular every winter in Casselman, and also many times along the Frank Kenny/French Hill areas. Not much reported about them this year though. I've encountered an Eastern Screech Owl at Jack Pine trail this past Fall, and photographed a Northern Saw-Whet owl at the Dewberry trail in the past...this species likes the thick stuff, and usually found in cedars.

Every year we are normally lucky with at least one of the "northern" owls that sometimes come down for the winter such as The Great Gray Owl, and Norther Hawk Owl. Check open fields with spaced out trees for those. No reports yet on either of these but again, you never know!!

If you are willing to venture out a bit there have been many Barred Owls spotted and photographed at Presqu'Ile, and Amherst Island is again found with many species of owls this winter: Saw-whet, Boreal, Snowy, Long-earded, and Short-eared Owls all found there.

Although the local birding club no longer posts information about owl locations, the ONTBIRDS e-mail service is a great source of information. Worth subscribing to.

Hope this helps...

Jeff Sorbie
01-11-2010, 10:51 AM
Thanks for the tips Daniel. With the weather, work and holidays I have not had much time to get out. I hope to find some time soon.

Thanks Again.

Paul Lagasi
01-14-2010, 05:48 AM
Hi Jeff ...pretty well agree with Dan..getting up close to an Eagle in Ottawa is tough, I've had some luck at the trail road dump..occasionally an adult will come in for a snack of gull (flight shot)...but not very dependable...Wolf Island as 4, and Amherst has 2 eagles...
Owls are different around Ottawa, Shea, Brownlee and Aikens road near Moodie and Fallowfield is good for Snowy Owls...I know of at least 7 Snowy's in and around Ottawa but most people are tight lipped about location...but check out Moodie and Fallowfield area...hint hint
Best bets for other owls are Clydes Woods, Jack Pine Trail, the forest in Constance Bay..pretty well any pine plantation works...but it takes time and you have to get out early....hearing them call is everything..I am usually out early with a Tim's..with the window down..when you hear them at least you know there's one around.
Earl Armstrong and Bowesville Road has a few Short-Eared Owls but they are tough to find during the day..but go out there at 4:00pm near dusk and good chance of seeing one flying around.

Amherst Island in Kingston is hands down the ultimate owling spot

Best of luck...

Jeff Sorbie
01-14-2010, 02:53 PM
Thanks Paul. I hope to get out soon. When you say early....How early....:)

Paul Lagasi
01-15-2010, 12:54 AM
LOLOL..most days we go Owling we just stay up...its just a way of locating the area their in..then the work starts, finding them...I look for owl pellets, whitewash on trees, and in the case of Large Owls remnants of fur, feathers...