Ottawa: Animal Land

In the early hours of the morning, around 3:30 am, a black bear was seen roaming around ByWard Market in Ottawa. For the outsiders, the Market is right at the city downtown core and a very popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

At around 6:00 am, Police cordoned a block  of the Market where the Bear had climbed a tree in a backyard and decided to take a nap.

Later in the morning, the Uber for the #BywardBear (as by now it was trending in Twitter), a transport cage, arrives and animal experts from the National Capital Commision, tranquilize the bear.

Then, the bear is descended from the tree safely, tagged, put in the transport cage, and driven to  Lanak Forest Area, 80 km. southwest of the city.

As in my past post, Operation Killdeer, Ottawa produces a fair amount of feel good stories with animals, funny enough most of them are parodied with Twitter accounts and hashtags within minutes.

Here are some of the accounts that I could find.


@HighwayMoose (postumous, moose in the 417 highway, had to be euthanized)

@octranspofox Fox found sleeping inside a bus in a parking lot.

@ottawaturkey Turkey seen first, walking across downtown in the morning rush hour, and then seen the following day riding on the roof of a bus.

@rideauraccoon Raccoon camping in the scaffolding during the renovations of Rideau Centre, two days later a massive sinkhole opens during the initial stages of construction of the new LRT tunnel underneath.

@ottawasnake Gentle python lost in suburbia, found three days later in the basement


Operation Killdeer


Screengrab from a Youtube video via The Washington Post

Ottawa produces a fair number of feel good stories about animals year-round.

A Fox sleeping in a bus. (Link)

Raccoons stuck at a shopping mall, (Link) or in a fight in a McDonalds (Link).

Turkeys walking around down-town (Link) and going on top of busses (Link).

Or White Snow Owls stopping by. (Link)

While all these could be a consequence of the city invading adjacent farm lands and climate change, these news provide in their frivolity a much needed break from the non-stop 24 hours (not so good) news cycle.

This time it’s a female Killdeer (on the list of protected species) has decided to nest right in the middle of where the main stage of the biggest music festival of the summer in Ottawa, Bluesfest.

Of course, Ottawa being the capital of Canada, everything has a burocratic twist.

The land where the festival if going to be held is managed by the National Capital Commission a federal government agency.

This means that when the bird’s nest was discovered, the NCC had the responsibility of deciding if and how the nest was to be moved.

The festival organizers cordoned the area with yellow table and hired a security guard to make sure that the nest was not disturbed.

killdeer security

Picture via

With time running out, with just a week to the start of Bluesfest, the Federal Ministry of the Environment advised and authorized an attempt for the bird’s nest to be moved, one meter at a time, over two or three days.

12950401.JPG via The Ottawa Citizen

The risk is that if the nest is moved to far away or too quickly, the mother bird will reject the eggs, and they won’t be incubated.

Anyhow, after three days of moving the nest one meter at a time, operation Killdeer was a success.

The nest has been succesfully moved 25 meters away, enough to be able to build the main stage, and the mother bird is still incubating the eggs.

Ottawa at its finest

The New Science and Technology Museum opens in Ottawa

After a three year and 80 million dollar renovation, the Science and Technology Museum opens it’s doors to the public on Friday. A long awaited come back, the new museum is complitely renewed and updated, with a much .ore cohesive collection, still centering with the classic steam trains, but with lots is flow between sections. The new Zoom space for small kids will be an instant winner with parents, and the rest of the museum will be a good trip for the adults who can enjoy and remember technology and admire old artifacts.

The museum goes back to basics with an eye in the future, the new exhibition for sound going from mechanical reproduction to the latest digital audio-sensory experience and the cube of silence.

The trains are still there in their magnificence tying us up to the glory of the steam industrialization era.

Then the museum jumps to mining, chemistry and the elements that make possible our present and future technologies; tying also with farming and fertilizers.

Linotype printers, radios, telephones, computers and smartphones gives us the perspective of our communication and how we interact with each other.

The five senses section centers around the senses and health technologies, and I spent a good time playing with the mechanical hands and the video camera.

There is a section on wearable technologies, from clothing and advanced fibers to smart watches and phones.

Lastly, the museum takes into the very big and very small with an assortment of telescopes and microscopes.

Sad to see the Helen Sawyer Hogg Observatory. I had the pleasure of scoring a visit and seeing the 15″ refractor. I hope there are plans to include it somewhere in the new plans, to have an operational telescope or a space where amateurs can gather and set up their tubes.

I didn’t had time to visit, but another addition to the museum is a dedicated Maker space, which I hope to visit and maybe develop some builds.

In conclusion, the new museum is a much awaited to the Ottawa landscape and a new space for families and the public in general to discover the fascinating quest of science and technology that make our daily life possible.

Kudos to the team of curators and the whole team, thanks for bringing the museum back, into a brilliant new setting, for many years to come.