Christopher Dennison

Chris in his natural habitat. Photo by Olivia Hart.
Chris in his natural habitat. Photo by Olivia Hart.

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 Wings Ottawa? 
As an outdoors enthusiast and Carleton University Student, I often take study breaks in the form of bird-watching in Fletcher Wildlife Garden. It was there I noticed a poster for Safe Wings. Entering the organization as a volunteer was quite simple and I received a very warm welcome.

What are some of the activities you’ve done as a Safe Wings volunteer?
Other than going out on patrols, I have become involved with several outreach initiatives since joining Safe Wings. I have helped collect signatures for our policy petition at the nature museum and have added my own insight at our monthly volunteer meetings. Recently, I have personally facilitated an online version of Safe Wings’ petition to promote the adoption of Bird-Friendly Guidelines in the City of Ottawa.

What has been one of your most memorable experiences so far?
I think the most memorable experience during my short tenure with Safe Wings has actually been all the things I have learned about birds and the issue of fatal window collisions. Having been exposed to statistics gathered by the organization as well as experiences out in the field, I have come to appreciate the issue in a new light. I have even used the issue in some of the research I have conducted for my environmental policy courses at Carleton University.

Why do you volunteer with Safe Wings?
I think my main reason for joining Safe Wings is the same as it is for all of our volunteers: I love birds, and it is difficult to see the amount of preventable fatalities literally happening right outside our windows. The great thing about Safe Wings is that you can help in more ways than one, and the way one decides to contribute can be appropriated to their own particular strengths and interests. But again, I think the main reason for joining has been my own interest and love of birds, a passion which is shared by many others in Ottawa and across Canada. Ultimately, these birds are more than worth our time, dedication and protection!

Want to learn more about volunteer opportunities with Safe Wings Ottawa? Visit our volunteer page.