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					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: smith841@magma.ca (home)
thus establishing the Murray Boegel Pond,              smithm@tc.gc.ca (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.

				
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