Demand bird-friendly development

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One of the most effective ways we can make Ottawa a better place for birds is to encourage bird-friendly construction for new buildings at every opportunity. See our new page, Demand bird-friendly development, to find out: How to find out … Continued

Safe Wings Members Receive Awards

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Last month two of our members received awards recognizing the work they do for Safe Wings to rescue birds and spread awareness about bird-window collisions.  Anouk Hoedeman received the Canada 150 Community Builder Award On November 22nd Catherine McKenna, MP … Continued

Opportunity: Ottawa Bird Strategy Coordinator

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Position Title: Ottawa Bird Strategy Coordinator (1-2 days per week, Volunteer position)    Organization Description: Safe Wings Ottawa is an initiative of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club to reduce bird mortality from window collisions through rescue, research and education. Our mission is to … Continued

A loony drama

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Here’s a dramatic tale in which Safe Wings played a supporting role. Cynthia went to help with the rescue but she was too late! Juvenile loon free to fly away again after Ottawa ice rescue Megan Gillis, Ottawa Citizen   … Continued

Linda Burr

This post is part of a series acknowledging our amazing volunteers and providing a behind-the-scenes look at what we do. See more volunteer profiles. Volunteer position: Patroller, driver, outreach How did you first get involved with Safe Wings Ottawa? I am an avid birder … Continued

Another preventable tragedy

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Every bird killed by a window collision is a preventable tragedy, including this majestic Pileated Woodpecker that died downtown on September 25 thanks to reflective glass. Click here to find out what you can do to make your windows safe … Continued

Helping birds this fall

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This post was written by Safe Wings Ottawa volunteer Amanda Dookie Fall is a challenging time for birds as they transition out of the breeding season and contend with changing weather conditions and migration. Stewardship efforts at this time can … Continued

William & Max

This post is part of a series acknowledging our amazing volunteers and providing a behind-the-scenes look at what we do. See more volunteer profiles. Volunteer position: Patrollers, Drivers, Outreach Assistants and more How did you first get involved with Safe Wings Ottawa? About a … Continued

Deadly views

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This new viewing platform is a focal point of the Tay River Trail at 99 Christie Lake Rd., just outside Perth. The recreational facility, a project of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority, Lanark County Council of Family and Friends, and the Lanark County Municipal Trails Corporation, and the Tay … Continued

Don’t feed the ducks!

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It’s that time of year when we get calls about nesting ducks. One Mallard nesting in a very small planter downtown needed our attention because well-meaning people had been leaving containers of food and water for her. We removed soggy … Continued

What to do with baby birds

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Spring is coming any day now! Please DO rescue any birds that may have hit a window — you can usually tell because they’ll be hunched over and have their eyes closed. But before rescuing that “injured” bird on your lawn, please … Continued

Boreal Owl Rescue

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Last weekend was a very exciting one for certain Safe Wings Ottawa volunteers and some lucky birds! It all began when a concerned member of the public called Safe Wings to report an owl in need of help in downtown … Continued

Species 107: Wilson’s Snipe

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Yesterday, an University of Ottawa student found a Wilson’s Snipe that collided with a window, and he kindly collected it for us. It’s our first of this species, and brings our species list to 107. He initially thought it was … Continued

Species No. 103: Chimney Swift

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Most local breeding species we expect to eventually find as window collision victims, and most are already on our list. Others seem so much less likely — because they’re agile fliers, because they’re rare, because it just seems unimaginable that you … Continued


This post is part of a series acknowledging our amazing volunteers and providing a behind-the-scenes look at what we do. See more volunteer profiles.  Volunteer position: Patroller, Outreach Assistant and more Safe Wings Ottawa volunteer since: August 2015 How did you first get … Continued

Christopher Dennison

This post is part of a series acknowledging our amazing volunteers and providing a behind-the-scenes look at what we do. See more volunteer profiles.  Volunteer position: Patrolling, Outreach and more Safe Wings Ottawa volunteer since: September 2015 How did you first get involved with Safe … Continued

Trapped! (Species 101)

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How did an adult Peregrine Falcon end up inside the OC Transpo garage on Industrial Ave. on the evening of Saturday, June 25? It probably flew in by accident while chasing prey, but we can’t know for sure. What we do know is … Continued

Cynthia Paquin

  This post is part of a series acknowledging our amazing volunteers and providing a behind-the-scenes look at what we do. See more volunteer profiles.  Volunteer position: Patroller, driver, training leader, fundraiser, spokesperson (at info booths, etc.) Safe Wings Ottawa volunteer since: the … Continued

Red-breasted Nuthatch mystery

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This is one of six Red-breasted Nuthatches found in downtown Ottawa in the past two weeks, five of them within two blocks of each other. Only two were captured alive.  While relatively common during migration, this is not a species we expect to … Continued

Volunteer Meeting – Tues June 21, 7pm

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Join us to reflect on spring migration and make plans (events, strategy, etc.) for the coming months. Come share your thoughts, experiences, ideas!   The meeting will be held at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretive Centre, which is the last building at the end … Continued

The lucky unlucky Ovenbird

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  This little Ovenbird had a very bad day. Cynthia first spotted the warbler when it flew right at her face when she peered into a trash can. We often check trash cans because passersby and maintenance staff sometimes toss dead … Continued

The Messenger returns to Ottawa

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The Messenger, the excellent Canadian documentary about the decline of songbirds, is back in Ottawa! If you missed it in March, make plans to see it on one of the following dates: MAYFAIR THEATRE 1074 Bank St. (at Sunnyside) Monday, April … Continued

Startling Starling save

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On Thursday evening, we received a call from a man named Jean who had a bird stuck in his utility room, and he needed help to get it out. Normally, we would advise closing the doors and windows, turning off all the … Continued

The Waxwings keep coming

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Bohemian Waxwings continue to crash into windows all over Ottawa. This morning, we received a call from the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre about a flock that collided in their courtyard. We retrieved nine dead birds and four live ones. … Continued

One more Waxwing rescued

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I went to City Hall today to discuss with staff how to solve the glass walkway problem for good. When I got there, only one of the injured Bohemian Waxwings was visible in one of the fruit trees — it … Continued

A word about wind turbines

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Every time bird-building collisions and Safe Wings are in the news, we receive emails and see online comments demanding to know why we do not also/instead oppose wind turbines. The perception seems to be that wind turbines kill many more birds, and that our efforts … Continued

Waxwing update

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On Sunday morning, Safe Wings found two more dead Waxwings near the walkway at City Hall, and retrieved the body of a bird that collided the evening before but was up on the ledge. Councillors Catherine McKenney and David Chernushenko set … Continued

Volunteer orientation and training

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We are holding two volunteer orientation sessions next week (the evening of Monday, April 4 and Tuesday, April 5), plus a training patrol on the morning of Wednesday, April 6. Details on our Events page. We strongly recommend that anyone  interested … Continued

Siskins and Redpolls

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Waxwing Week has waned, and now it’s Siskin and Redpoll Time. These two were both rescued yesterday afternoon, the Common Redpoll (on perch) in Orleans and the Pine Siskin (bottom) downtown. A quick-acting passerby named Bev saw the Siskin on … Continued

First patrol of the season

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While children were looking for Easter eggs this morning, I went  to look for birds on my first official morning patrol of the spring migration season. It was a bit icy, but holidays are always quiet downtown, so it seemed like a good day … Continued

Chirps Tweets and Trills 2016

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Our friends at the Ottawa Bird Count are once again offering a free course on learning local bird songs. Register through Eventbrite ( and find out more about the Ottawa Bird Count at The first session is on April 2nd.  

Annual Bird Display

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    Tuesday, March 29 11 am – 1:30 pm Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W. Come and see nearly a thousand birds from dozens of species collected by Safe Wings volunteers in 2015. It’s an eye-opening if tragic … Continued

New bird bags!

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Our new bird bags arrived this week! A big thank you to Margo and Eric at Wild Birds Unlimited for donating the funds for the bags and for our business cards. These paper bags are printed with instructions in English … Continued

The Messenger

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We would like to thank the staff, crew and sponsors of the Wakefield International Film Festival, moderator Giacomo Panico, the panelists, and all who came out to last Saturday’s screening and discussion of The Messenger, Su Rynard’s powerful documentary about the … Continued

Next meeting Jan. 13

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Safe Wings will hold its next strategy meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m. at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden Interpretive Centre. Come and find out what we’re up to, share your ideas, and learn how you can help.  We hope to … Continued

Ontario Environmental watchdog blames bird deaths on the province

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An estimated one million birds die every year after colliding with glass buildings in downtown Toronto.  COURTESY FLAP CANADA Luke Simcoe, Metro Published Nov. 3 The province’s unwillingness to enforce its own laws is leading to the death of thousands … Continued

Ontario considers regulations to protect birds from striking tall buildings

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Toronto’s financial district is pictured on Friday, July 26, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu The Canadian Press  TORONTO — Ontario is considering regulations to force owners of tall buildings to take steps to protect birds, which die by the millions … Continued