a peek inside the fishbowl

06 Oct, 2011

Leaf peeping in Ottawa. (Extra fun for bird nerds!)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Ottawa for kids|Easy ways to make kids happy|Ottawa

Today’s SavvyMom article is about where to catch the best fall foliage in the Ottawa area. Where do you go? I mentioned a few different places in the article but my hands-down favourite has to be the trails in the Stony Swamp area near Bells Corners. Lime Kiln, Jack Pine et al. are a great place to bring the family for a romp in the woods, especially this Thanksgiving weekend.

As a bonus, there are BIRDS GALORE. (Which is amazing as long as you’re not birdphobic.) This is the time of year that the Black-Capped Chickadees start to hoard food in time for winter. And they will do anything to get it:

Black-capped chickadee

Black-capped chickadee

Black-capped chickadee

Everyone, and I mean EVERY.ONE. must hold a bird in their hand at least once in their lives. I must insist. It’s the kind of heart-melting activity that might even reform hardened criminals:

Chickadees are probably my favourite bird. They’re aerial acrobats (avian aerial acrobats!) and they’re comical to watch as they swoop amid the branches, only to perch and puff their chests out while they subtly, sneakily, watch you and your stash of birdseed.

The feeling of tiny little birdie feet in your hand feels like the prickle of a hairbrush. They are such lovely and fragile little creatures. And you know what, this world is as much theirs as it is ours.

If you go I would like to suggest:

  • Bring seed! The chickadees love black sunflower seeds (these are smaller than the white-striped counterpart you’d get at the grocery store). You can buy small quantities in the pet section at Bulk Barn.
  • Bring your binoculars, and maybe a bird book from the library for easy bird identification.
  • Bring your camera! And make sure you can snap the action at a high shutter speed, because these guys are quick. :)

2 Responses to "Leaf peeping in Ottawa. (Extra fun for bird nerds!)"

1 | Ginger

October 7th, 2011 at 3:36 pm


I will have to pass on the whole “holding a bird in my hand” thing… Not a fan of birds…not a fan at all.

2 | Misty

October 9th, 2011 at 10:56 am


Chickadees are my favourite bird too :) Which I think most people have guessed by now…Happy Thanksgiving!

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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