THE NEST BOX, NUMBER 6, FEBRUARY 2003 THE OTTAWA DUCK CLUB 726 Weston Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1G 1W2 www.ncf.ca/odc/ CLUB NEWS — WINTER ACTIVITIES Bill, Lisa Benedetti and Tom Irwin completed the checks of the six boxes at Here it is February already, time to renew Watts Creek and found that there had been your membership if you haven’t done so three excellent wood duck hatches and already. Please make Dale Crook happy and another box had been used, probably by a send him your money. If you’ve already tree swallow. They also replaced one box and paid, your tax receipt is enclosed with Bill thinks it might be worthwhile to put in thanks. some more. They saw one deer and lots of unidentified animal tracks. Looking for something to do before spring? Austin and company have finished the winter Tom, Dale and Bill also completed the nest box cleanouts, but he figures there is cleanouts on the Dyke Pond, the Trail Ditch still enough work to keep him busy for and the woods past the Lilac Pond, with fair another month or two maintaining the 187 results. They found a dead snake in the same boxes we have at the sanctuary and he can box that had a dead frog and mole last year. always use help. He has plans to install about Owl play is suspected. 10 new boxes along the bay. Austin reported at the last meeting that there was more They checked 11 boxes at the Osprey Pond predation last year than ever, mostly on the with little luck. Five boxes had eggs that had Dike Pond. We don’t know what’s causing it, been predated. Some eggs were left behind but the affected boxes have been moved with an unexplained hole, about an inch and a away from the trees, so predators can’t jump half diameter, in the middle. No teeth marks to them, and they’ve been raised to eight feet found. Austin found a dead muskrat in one of from the ground. Austin’s looking for the boxes. Bill thinks it may have got basketball players to help out this summer. stranded above the ice and sought shelter in He is also working on predator-proofing the the box. Bad move. boxes. Another job that still needs doing is securing floating boxes to their floats before RECENT SIGHTINGS the ice melts. Bill saw a flock of robins on the Range Road, Call Austin Taverner at 824-4654 to can spring be far behind? Lots of deer have volunteer. Don’t forget to take sunscreen and been sighted as well. And on February 2nd, Bill insect repellent. and company found hundreds of dead and dying minnows and tadpoles in two large holes If you like woodwork, several of the members the otter had opened in the ice on Boegel who don’t have jobs to go to are planning to Pond. They have taken water samples for get together to build more kestrel / owl testing, but Bill thinks it was probably a lack boxes. If you’re interested in helping, call of oxygen in the water. Or maybe the fish Austin, Bill Bower or Dale Crook. were trying to get in on the Groundhog Day activities. Got any leftover PVC tubing, sheet metal, copper wire? Your club could use it. See Bill or Austin. 2 UPCOMING EVENTS game species. Today, DUC has more than 150,000 members, 8,000 volunteers and 450 Feb 12, 7:00pm Regular meeting at the employees. Its main raison d’etre is to Citizen, Baxter Road. If you have material protect wetlands, and in 64 years, it claims to for the annual report, this is the deadline have secured and protected more than 18 for getting it to President Bill. million acres of habitat through land purchases, management agreements, March 12, 7:00pm Annual meeting at the conservation easements and working with Citizen, Baxter Road landowners. To encourage attendance we’re going to DUC headquarters is at the Oak Hammock raffle off exciting door prizes. This month, Marsh, north of Winnipeg. Besides their George has very kindly offered his dog. offices, they maintain an impressive 36 And for the annual meeting in March, the square km Wildlife Management Area there prize is Dale’s Subaru. Thanks guys. that I’ve been to twice and that’s well worth visiting. They also have a centre in April 4-6 National Capital Wildlife Festival at Fredericton, N.B. Carlingwood Shopping Centre. Volunteers are needed to staff our display. A long time ago DUC made a small donation to the Duck Club. Since we share an interest in CHURCHY’S COLUMN waterfowl conservation, it would be great if we could get their help for a number of It’s almost a year ago that I produced my projects that need to be done. first newsletter, and while musing about the merits, if any, of changing our name and said, DEEVER’S COLUMN “ I know I’m not the only person who thought the Duck Club was part of Ducks Unlimited at That’s right, Deever still had things to say first. Everyone knows that DU is a hunting to us even as he battled for his life. His organization first and foremost....” daughter, Tekla Allen, passed on a couple of articles he dictated last spring. Here’s Well, that struck a nerve with at least one the first, I’ll put the second in next time. reader who pointed out, correctly, that Ducks Unlimited Canada is not a hunting Hi all, organization, but a conservation organization. However, he also inferred that my comment You may think you have got rid of me, but I was based on an anti-hunting sentiment. He will try and make it back when I regain my was wrong there, but that’s another story. strength. I noticed Dale forgot again to send my membership renewal. Anyway, I thought it might be worthwhile to have a look at DUC and see who they are and The letters I wrote for the Ottawa Duck Club what they do in case other ODC members members started some 35 years ago. I might be wondering. thought a newsletter would keep club members informed and help stop the Ducks Unlimited Canada has been around since membership decline by keeping them 1938. Like the ODC, it was founded by interested, involved and up-to-date with what hunters concerned about loss of habitat for was taking place in their club. 3 At the time, I chose the name Deever recognized throughout North America for our because it had no ties to anyone else. In fact, conservation efforts. if someone else wanted to start writing the Ottawa Duck Club Newsletter, they too can Sincerely yours, continue using the name Deever.* the Deever. (to be continued) I would like to give you all a little history of the club. * Bob said that anyone could use the name Deever because it had no ties to anyone else. As founding members it was exciting for Ed That may have been true at the beginning, but Narraway, Murray Boegel, Carson Thompson, after 35 years, Bob had become the Deever, myself and a few others (sorry, my memory and I don’t think anyone else could replace isn’t quite up to scratch) to first introduce him. For those of you (George) who missed my geese to the Ottawa Duck Club. These were explanation the first time, I picked the name special geese, large Canada geese from Churchy from Pogo, the old cartoon strip set Winnipeg. This type was thought to be almost in the Okefenokee Swamp. The main extinct, or so we were led to believe. We characters were Pogo Possum, Albert were very successful in reintroducing these Alligator, Howland Owl, Porky Pine and the geese to our area. turtle, Churchy La Femme. Since we don’t have possums or alligators and Howland was Murray Boegel negotiated on our behalf with too serious, it came down to Porky or the armed forces for permission to take over Churchy, and I like Churchy better. the safety area of the gun range to establish the Shirley’s Bay Sanctuary. We fenced in part of the big pond to keep the two pair of Churchy aka Merrill Smith geese, which were clipped so they couldn’t fly Telephone: 729-2179 (home) 990-9250 (work) away. The armed forces gave us the fencing, e-mail: email@example.com (home) thus establishing the Murray Boegel Pond, firstname.lastname@example.org (work) that you know it as today. Many founding members helped to catch the The Best of Marshall & Lynde on the geese each fall, take care of them all winter Hollywood Squares and release them again in the spring. As the geese multiplied, we would only keep the PETER MARSHALL: Do female frogs croak? older, clipped geese and let the others PAUL LYNDE: If you hold their little heads migrate south. I see that now, just up the hill under water long enough. from us, they have built a lovely new turkey PETER MARSHALL: When you pat a dog on run for our geese. They think it’s a golf its head he will usually wag his tail. What will course. a goose do? PAUL LYNDE: Make him bark? During my time as a director for the club we experimented with many different habitats. Over the years I have enjoyed the fellowship THOUGHT FOR THE DAY and rewards the club has provided. The Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in Ottawa Duck Club should be proud that they his shoes. That way, you’ll be a mile away and are not only nationally recognized, but are you’ll have his shoes.