Field Volunteering

Submit your sightings
Organized Surveys
More Involved Surveys
Make Your Own Field Guide
Finished Programs

Ontario Field Naturalist's Toolchest
While it is quite a pleasure to see and possible count our local flora and fauna, sometimes it is nice to go beyond and make a contribution to scientific and/or conservation efforts.

Christmas Bird Counts (Near you) | Great Canadian Birdathon | Monthly Birdbashes (North Bay) (from Nipissing Naturalist website) | Great Backyard Birdcount 
Insect Butterflies & Dragonflies
Marathons Carden Challenge 2017

Submit your sightings
eBird Canada
Butterflies eButterflySend in Latest Records (at
Dragonflies Send in Latest Records (at | Odonate atlas (offline) | Odonata Central
Herps Ontario's Reptile and Amphibian Atlas
All iNaturalistSpecies at risk (MNR) | Ontario Road Ecology Group (Dead or alive animals seen on roadways)

Organized Surveys
Winter Raptor Survey November to March, once a month
Project Feeder Watch November to early April, at your convenience
Nocturnal Owl Survey April or early May, couple of nights
Project NestWatch May to July
Breeding Bird Surveys June, one day
Canadian Lakes Loon Survey June to August, at least once a month
A Swift Night Out August or September, specific weekend
Southern Ontario Bald Eagle Monitoring Project
Golden-winged Warbler Atlas Project (GOWAP)
Ontario Hummingbird Project
North American Bird Phenology Program Convert historical data on cards into usable electronic forms
Purple Martin Conservation Association Four projects devoted to monitoring Purple Martins.
Report a banded Sandhill Crane
North American Chimney Swift Nest Site Research Project
Celebrate Urban Birds
Fatal Light Awareness Program (Toronto)
Important Bird Areas Program
Canadian Migration Monitoring Network
Species at Risk

Frog Watch March (late) to July, maybe longer. Salamander observations accepted too.
Ontario Turtle Tally June, mostly

Ice Watch November/December and March/April, four days around freeze-up and break-up
Worm Watch Spring to Fall
Plant Watch May and June, or whenever your target plants are blooming

Ontario BioBlitz

More Involved Surveys

Canadian Migration Monitoring Network Much effort, Bruce Peninsula is closest station
Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program (April to June) Amphibian Surveys | Bird Surveys | Habitat Surveys (Three times for amphibians and/or twice for birds plus once for habitat)

Louise de Kiriline Lawrence Nature Festival (North Bay)
Passport to Nature

Make Your Own Field Guide
Discover Life: IDnature Guides It is possible to create a field guide with relatively little effort compared to a traditional field guide that takes years and thousands of dollars to develop.  You can create an IDnature Guide on Discover Life.  An IDnature guide uses an elimination key.  The more items you select, the fewer possibilities you will be left with.  With an IDnature guide you do not need to gather all the photos or illustrations on all the species, you can simply link to a variety of websites that showcase a particular species (although with permission in many cases).  If you can find willing websites to link to, and are able to divide the species under meaningful categories then an IDnature guide is doable.  

An IDnature guide will not replace a standard field guide, but is useful for narrowing down the possibilites of what species you are looking at.  Sometimes in large taxa, the possibilites are just too numerous forcing the time consuming task of looking through most of a field guide for an answer.  

Finished Programs
Ontario Tree Atlas
Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas A book "Atlas of Breeding Birds of Ontario, 2001-2005" compares results from first atlas.  It is possible that data collection for the third atlas will begin in 2021.