Ottawa – treehuggingest City in the world!!

I have come to the conclusion that our once fair City has become nothing but a bunch of animal rights tree huggers and dicky-birders.

First it was the Barrhaven wild turkeys earlier this spring, and the whole City was abuzz.  OMG, these irate wild birds are going to peck our eyes out!

And chaos ensued!

Then it was the Westboro squirrels, and the whole City was in an uproar. Evidently residents of this trendy, small-mammal hating part of town were live trapping squirrels and relocating them across the river to Quebec. (Because, of course, squirrels are considered ‘fur bearers’ and you cannot legally shoot them)

And chaos ensued! (They even started a bloody Twitter feed over it…)

And NOW, City of Ottawa naturalists are up in arms about a group of Jockvale Bridge barn swallows! What, a lowly bug loving barn swallow has thrown the proverbial wrench in a multi-million dollar bridge project??

That’s right, and you guessed it chaos ensued once again!!

For gawd’s sake people, I have barn swallows nesting in my trailer up in Cobden but HERE in the tree-huggingest City in the world, the barn swallow is considered Threatened??

How did the barn swallow make it on the threatened list now, you ask? (I was scratching my head over this one too) I mean, they’re not killing the swallows they’re simply removing the nests. There are plenty of other overhangs and clay left in the region to construct new ones.

As I explained during a chat this am on CHEZ 106 FM’s Doc & Woody Show, nowhere in the world is the barn swallow considered threatened except here in the tree-huggingest Province of Ontario..and being exemplified right here in the treehuggingest City of Ottawa!

My guess is that some Ottawa tree hugging Naturalist has confused Barn Owl with Barn Swallow…and placed them on an threatened list by accident. The Barn owl does, of course, appear on the Canadian Species at Risk list but nowhere did I find Barn Swallow.

Perhaps if I were to go outside and hug a tree reallllly  hard, it would all come to me; in a flurry of emotion and clarity and this nonsense would somehow finally make sense!

Until then, think I’ll just crawl inside one of those Westboro live traps and get relocated to the QC side…



27 thoughts on “Ottawa – treehuggingest City in the world!!”


    One of the funniest rants yet.

    Sorry, one of the funniest TRUTHFUL rants yet.

    This is ridiculous.

    You forgot to add the multi-million dollar (and monthly) extension of the Hazeldean bridge in Kanata/Stittsville due to the wetland area there. Not disputing that claim, but it should be on the list.

    A few more critical points, which you hinted at:
    1. it’s going to cost tax payers more $$ to delay this bridge
    2. more delays for traffic
    3. more duress for the people who live nearby as this project extends further in time. I mean, heck, let’s worry about the birds, but forget about the people!!!!


    Maybe this is why McGinty cancelled the gas plants – for fear of barn swallows.

    Ok…no…he’s just an idiot lol


    1. Yes Keebler, it is something that’s been brewing for a while now..a tree hugging epidemic which appears to be much worse here than other parts of the country.

      And not to belittle barn swallow population woes, I’m sure Rick has a good point, but really some people in this City are just too much.


  2. While I do not agree with stopping the Jockvale Bridge construction Barn Swallows and all other flying insectivorous birds are in peril.

    Swallows as a group are down over 70% from just a few years ago.

    Nighthawks were a common sight over the city on warm summer nights as I grew up. Now they are rare.

    Spring and fall concentrations of swallows use to number in the tens of thousands now there may be a few hundred.

    As an early riser I can remember the dawn chorus of swallows and marvelled at how loud and omnipresent they were. I have not heard any, not ONE this spring.

    Nesting sites for Barn swallows are becoming hard to find as many old barns are disappearing from the landscape and new ones are sealed not allowing the swallows access.

    Instead of simply decrying a seemingly illogical decision maybe we could use this incident as an opportunity to educate people to a real ongoing natural problem.

    1. Yes Rick, that might be the case and hopefully this does bring some awareness to swallow population woes. I’m wondering why the barn swallow is NOT on the Canadian Species at Risk list?

      That still does not change the fact that we live in a City of tree huggers!


  3. But I thought stopping the use of Weed and Feed was the simple solution to a rebounding bird population.
    Next they’ll make it illegal to sell your land if it has, or once had, or might have had a barn on it.
    Get rid of the overpopulation of crows and it’ll be a termendous boon to our bird populations.
    Freaks I tell ya, FREAKS

    1. Hunting mom, back in College one of Profs always referred to the hardcore Naturalist/Preservationist type tree hugger as a Dicky-birder.
      Never really knew what it meant but I thought it fit, so i’ve used the expression ever since. Basically its a person who sees nature as
      this wonderous place that one should never touch, manage or enjoy. Just leave all the natural world alone and everything will be just fine!

      Think we have more than a few of those living here in the Nation’s Capital..but that’s ok, we’re here to set them straight, right?


  4. I love getting into a debate with “dicky-birders”. If you can get them to take their heads out of their ass for just a few seconds they can be convinced to understand. Not quite converted but some eventually understand our point of view. Correct me if I’m wrong (and I apologize if I am) but Hunting mom might be a perfect example…..

    1. Trapper, I’m pretty sure its Carol K you’re thinking of….I beleive Hunting Mom was always on the right side.


  5. No Trapper, I’m on the right side — believe me. The bridge construction should proceed in my opinion. Perhaps the dicky-birders could go and remove the darn nests and put them in a safe place. I’m pretty sure the mother bird will still take care of them. To delay an important construction project is ridiculous.

  6. hey jeff why don’t we put all of the senate and mcswinney under this bridge and put the barn swallows in parliament they’re both full of s..t lol by the way lost a massive laker on the rideau on thursday got it within 15 feet of the boat you could see the size easily but alas he spit the treble hook out we still limited out with 6 between the 3 of us most of the fish were full of shad only one was a stocker most of the fish were at 20 crosses

  7. I was looking for your column yesterday but couldn’t find it, now I see it’s in todays paper, are they moving you around to try to confuse people?
    Dicky-Birders are just what the name says

    1. No Iggs, I will remain on Thursday’s for both was just an oversight this week. I think maybe the Stanley Cups Playoff got in the way..hehe


      1. Ok, some bozo calls up CHEZ 106 and calls my pal Randall Moore a douche bag! Why? Because he spoke out against the Barn Swallow bridge project saying it was ridiculous they put this project on hold. Because, as the caller claimed, the swallows are an endangered species (Which at present time they are not!)

        And NOW the latest: a bird expert has been to the site and discovered that, in fact, there are NO swallows even using the nests! The expert also concluded the nests may not even be those of a barn swallow.

        So, one would expect bridge work to be back on, right?

        No way, it is still on hold until the Fall because they want to wait in case the barn swallows decide to return!


        Oh man, now I’ve heard everything! Yup, there are some real douche bags around town and Randall isn’t one of them!


  8. Bruce DiLabio, a bird expert and a real tree hugger,
    if he says they are not there,
    but that won’t stop the tree huggers

  9. When I first read the article I was very dubious that the nests were indeed Barn Swallow nests and suspected they were more likely Cliff Swallow nests. I was tempted to check them out but I have to work with the MNR so decided discretion was in order.

    By the way iggy I taught Bruce just about everything he knows about birds as he worked for me at the Canadian Museum of Nature. I would not describe him as a tree hugger any more than I am.

    Neither one of us is a dicky-birder either. We both are very competitive bird watchers. If you need a definition of a competitive bird watcher get a hold of the movie “The Big Year.” The movie is almost autobiographical of Bruce and myself.

  10. I stand corrected it was Carol I was thinking of……. My sincerest apologies Jeff and Hunting Mom.

    1. That’s ok Trap, speaking of Carol though…haven’t heard from her in some time. She may need some ‘re-programming’ when she gets back..hehe


  11. Same tree huggers that believe wind power is less harmful to the environment. Less harmful for them maybe, but a gauntlet for anything that flies, and sadly unlikely to make it through. I too see less barn swallows but didn’t realize it until reading this article. They have nested in my barn for years but they can put a nest in some creative places if given a day or two.
    Those folks who leave their SUV super tankers running in the parking lots while they shop are killing more birds than any bridge project ever would.
    Its good to be aware of the environment around us as long as it’s put into perspective and common sense prevails. Problem today is if you let a beaver build a dam on your property and they flood your bush you end up with protected wetlands you can’t touch.

  12. hehe, ok so your both tree huggers LOL
    just to different degrees
    does he hunt?
    I read the bird column that he now writes every week and have learned a lot about birds
    but I enjoyed it a lot more when Elizabeth Leggeit (sp) wrote it.
    I also enjoy watching birds although not competitively
    I guess just because you are a bird watcher you should automatically be called a tree hugger or a dicky-bird
    but most times one infectious disease comes with the other, but not always

  13. Iggy says “I also enjoy watching birds although not competitively”. That makes you a dicky-birder!

    1. Ok, I do lots of nature watching, photography and trail-caming but it doesn’t make me a dicky-birder…and it doesn’t make you guys one either.
      I don’t think true dicky-birders would agree with the fact that we enjoy hunting, and conservation is not in their dictionary.


    2. Rick, if those nests under the bridge turn out to be Cliff Swallows, what is the status of that species? Are they in peril like the Barn swallows are? I take it Swallows as a whole are in trouble, right?


  14. It amazes me how and when all these tree hugging, animal loving, bird watching, naturalists decide when to come and apply pressure. There worried about what, maybe 10 birds under a bridge when a whole 150-200 acres along the queensway from palladium dr to carp road is slowly and methodically being bulldozed under. How many thousands of birds and animals of every variety from owls to fishers to herons to deer that live in that area will be destroyed. I mentioned this before jeff about how these developers work. 2 or 3 years ago they made a trench around that stretch of bush so they can quietly drain every bit of life giving moisture out so as to deny the argument that it supports a wide variety of plant and wild life. Then they start there work on the far side of the bush so as not to alarm people to the magnitude of the destruction. By the time they get the backside all developed and within sight of the road the general public has been decensitised to the remainder being cut down. Now don’t get me wrong.I am not against sustainable developement but there is thousands of acres of fields that are no good for agriculture well within the area. So to sum it up. There are much bigger fish to fry than to worry about a few temporarily displaced birds.

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