2022 Summer Photo Contest

The 2022 Summer Photo Contest begins June 6th and ends on September 6. Previous posts provide the information you will need to participate in this exciting annual summer contest. When you are ready to submit your pictures please use the form found via the following link.


If you have any questions regarding the form or wish to submit your photos in another way please send queries to: summerphotos2022@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you in the Urquhart Butterfly Garden.

2022 Summer Photo Contest

Black Swallowtail (photo credit Michelle Sharp)

2022 Urquhart Butterfly Garden Summer Photo Contest

The 2022 Urquhart Butterfly Garden Summer Photo Contest kicks off on June 6th and runs through Labour Day Weekend to September 6th.

Photographers of all ages are eligible for cash awards in four categories:

  • Butterflies and Moths
  • Insects, Spiders and Bugs
  • Birds and other Wildlife
  • Plants & Flowers

Fancy Camera equipment is not needed.  Many great photos have been taken with cell phones.  What is required is patience and a good eye for an interesting photograph.

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is full of life!  Butterflies are already being seen daily, including Monarchs and Mourning Cloaks.  Look closely and you may see young rabbits, garter snakes sunning themselves, and tiny voles popping out between the rocks.

Between June 6th and September 6th when you visit the Garden you will see a variety of beautiful flowers and plants which support the lives of butterflies, insects and birds.

The Photo Contest begins June 6th and ends September 6th.  Entry information and rules will be available at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden or can be viewed on the Urquhart Butterfly Garden website at: https://urquhartbutterfly.com

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is located between Centennial Park and Canal Park at the end of the Desjardins Canal.  Parking is available on King Street East at the entrance to the Garden.



Joanna Chapman & Nancy Wylie – Coordinators Urquhart Butterfly Garden

Joanna: Phone 905-627-8917 (evenings)       Email: jchapman@295.ca

Nancy:   Phone 905-962-4601 Email: nwylie@cogeco.ca


Spring is here and we are rushing into summer.

At the Urquhart Butterfly Garden there are two new people who you will see very busy gardening:

-Anne Mette Pedersen is our new gardener

-Nancy Wylie has taken on the task of Assistant Coordinator.

In addition Nancy has recruited a great collection of new volunteers.

The Summer Photo Contest will begin on June 6 and runs until Labour Day. The photo contest submission form will be posted on June 6th.

We have already seen our first Monarch, which is really early for us – unfortunately it did not stop for a photo.  Also a Spring Azure, American Ladies and Mourning Cloaks have been spotted. 

Our annuals will be arriving within the next 2 weeks, and we will be getting ready for a glorious summer.  We look forward to seeing you.

Winter Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners in the Winter Photo Contest!  You braved the weather and took some lovely photos.   As one of the judges said: “It is always interesting to see what people notice on their walks in the Butterfly Garden and Canal Park”.

Thank you for sharing your experience with us.  

Good Luck for the Summer Photo Contest which begins in June.



First Place, Natural Winter Scenes. Kalan Post, Age 17, Hamilton.
First Place, Birds & Other Wildlife – Northern Mockingbird. Kalan Post, Age 17, Hamilton.


Honorable Mention, Natural Winter Scenes. Ken Kerr, Dundas.
First Place, Natural Winter Scenes. Jamie Habkirk, Dundas.
Honorable Mention, Birds & Other Wildlife – Pied-billed Grebe. Paul Mitro, Dundas.
First Place, Birds & Other Wildlife – Hooded Merganser. Jamie Habkirk, Dundas.

Spring 2022 Update – Eastern Bluebirds!

Spring is in the air, and it looks like a rainy one.

The fully renovated Tree Swallow boxes are all mounted in Canal Park and we have a couple unexpected new residents checking out the real estate.  Mark Williams managed to take lovely photographs of the new family on the block, and we hope they settle in successfully.

The results of the Winter Photo Contest will be announced on March 31, so look for them on this website. 

Best wishes from our Team. 

Winter Photo Contest

The Hamilton Conservation Authority and the Urquhart Butterfly Garden invite you to participate in a very special Winter 2021-22 Photo Contest.

The contest encompasses the paths of the Urquhart Butterfly Garden and adjacent Canal Park. The diversity of vegetation offers an inspiring palette for winter photography composition. Large numbers of waterfowl roost in the Desjardins Canal each winter. Early morning or evening visits yield a greater chance to view these birds. Insects may be active on milder days and other wildlife can be spotted by the keen observer.


This year, submissions will be accepted online through Google Forms and not via email as in the past. The entry form is available at the following link: 2021 Winter Photo Contest Entry Form

IMPORTANT: All of your photos entries must be submitted together with one completed form. Kindly wait until your full set of photos are ready before submitting. Repeat submissions will not be considered.

A Google account is required for submitting Google Forms. If you already have a Gmail address this is your Google Account, and you are set. If not, a Google account may be set up using any email address.

If you need any help troubleshooting Google Forms or do not wish to set up a Google account, please contact winterphotos2022@gmail.com for assistance.


A key component to the contest is learning about local wildlife! As such, correct identification is required for ALL birds and wildlife species photographed as well as any plant species which are the focal point of a photograph (more details in the Rules below).

An excellent site for bird identification resources can be found on the Ontario Field Ornithologists website: http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/articles.getting-started-with-birds

Insect identification help can be found at www.Bugguide.net. You can even upload photos and request an identification.

For Mammal identification be sure to check out https://www.inaturalist.org/guides/1327

For Plant Identification https://www.ontariowildflowers.com/ and https://inaturalist.ca/guides/14182
cover the majority of winter plants within the Photo Contest boundary.

If you are still stumped AFTER consulting field guides and online resources, please reach out to the contest email address for an identification hint.

A full set of contest rules, the contest boundary map, and the official contest poster can be found below.

Please direct any questions to the contest email address: winterphotos2022@gmail.com

Best of luck!


Contest Opens:  Wed., December 1st, 2021
All submissions due by:    Mon., February 28th, 2022 , 11.59pm
All photos must be taken during the contest period.

Entry Categories:
1 – Birds & Other Wildlife (including insects)
2 – Natural Winter Scenes (including close-ups)

 Age Categories:
1.  Adult – Age 18 and up
2.  Youth – Age 17 and under

First Prize Adult Categories – Annual Pass from Hamilton Conservation Authority
First Prize Youth Under 18 Categories – $50 Cash

Honorary mentions at the discretion of the judges.

Award Announcement: Wed., March 30, 2022

Judges: To be announced


> COVID regulations must be observed with regards to physical distancing (6 ft); masks should be worn when appropriate.

> If the entry is any form of wildlife the species MUST be correctly identified.

> If the entry is a close-up of a tree or plant under ‘Winter Scenes’ identify the subject if possible.

> Photos MUST be taken from the paths of either the Urquhart Butterfly Garden or the paths of Canal Park (including the deck).

> Photos are to be submitted without any digital editing, beyond cropping, adjustments of exposure, sharpness, or minor colour correction.

> Maximum size for each photo is 10MB

> Enter up to 3 photographs per category (maximum 6 total in the two categories).

> One Google Form entry per person (Submit all photos in a single entry; do not enter multiple form submissions.

> Entries to be submitted via Google Forms – A link to the entry form can be found on our website urquhartbutterfly.com.

> Deadline: 11:59 pm February 28th, 2022 – no late submissions will be accepted.

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden and Hamilton Conservation Authority reserve the right to use the photographs (with credit) on their websites or in local news media and social media, to promote the respective properties. Images will remain the copyright of the photographer.

Winter 2021-22 Photo Contest Boundary Map

Autumn in the Garden

Cooler nights and a profusion of aster & goldenrod flowers have signaled the arrival of autumn in the garden. Our ‘Summer Series’ Education Programme has ended for 2021. We are grateful to all of our event leaders and visitors who made the year successful.

Hummingbird migration is drawing to a close but several are still visiting the salvia, red sage and other flowers. Visit our new ‘Filmed in the Garden’ to view a great video on Ruby-throated Hummingbirds by Mark Williams.

‘Filmed in the Garden’ features several videos shot in the Urquhart Butterfly Garden in 2021. Current videos feature the Great Golden Digger Wasp and another with great shots of Preying Mantis, both by Mark Williams. Thank you Mark!

 Monarch butterfly numbers are building and will continue strong until successive cold fronts, north winds and sunny days carry them south. Watch for them flitting around the Butterfly Bushes or drifting by overhead.

Another great spot for autumn butterflies is the Crabapple trees near the cedar hedge at the west end of the Garden. On sunny days butterflies can be seen along the path feeding on the rotting fruit on the ground.

Other welcome sights include American Goldfinches and Eastern Chipmunk feasting on the Cup Plant seedheads as Cedar Waxwings pluck berries.   Don’t forget to watch for the bird migration overhead.

Paper Wasp. August 12th, 2021. Photo by Michelle Sharp.

Photo Contest Update

The September 7th deadline for entering the 2021 Urquhart Butterfly Garden Photo Contest has come and gone. We are grateful to have received many excellent photos of a diverse array of garden wildlife.

Photo Contest Award Announcement:

The 2021 Photo Contest Award Winners will annouced on our website on the morning of Tuesday, October 12th, 2021. Stay tuned!

Red Admiral. September 11th, 2021. Photo by Michelle Sharp.

Summer Series Update: Guided Nature Walk – Saturday September 11th, 10:00 am.

Up next in our 2021 Education Program Summer Series:

Urquhart Butterfly Garden Centennial Park, Dundas

Butterfly & Nature Identification Walk – Matthew Mills

Free Workshop Saturday September 11 at 10 am

Our own staff naturalist Matt Mills will lead our final walk of the year a Guided Nature Walk and tour of the garden. Early fall is a time of change for wildlife in the garden, but there is always plenty to see.

Monarch butterfly migration is underway, and we may see small groups in the garden or migrating overhead. A day with north winds could bring the hawk migration right overhead and insect diversity will be high in the abundant fall flowers.

The session is open to all, and you will leave with a new knowledge and understanding of the wonderful diversity of wildlife at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden.  

Saturday September 11 at 10 am.

You are requested to bring your binoculars & a chair. Be prepared to spend 1 hour in the full
sun of the garden – a hat and sunglasses are helpful. 

The event will be cancelled in the event of rain.

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is immediately adjacent to Centennial Park and the Hamilton Air Force Association at 128 King St. E in Dundas.

There is plenty of free parking and the location is easily accessible by public transportation or bicycle.
For more information contact:

Joanna Chapman


Funded by the Dougher Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation


A pair of Monarch Butterflies visit a Zinnia in the Urquhart Butterfly Garden.
Photo by Michelle Sharp.

Summer Series Update – Birds of the Butterfly Garden & Canal Park: Saturday, September 4th at 10 am.

 The Urquhart Butterfly Garden,

Centennial Park, Dundas.                                                        

Birds of the Butterfly Garden & Canal Park

Brian Wylie

Saturday, September 4 at 10 am

Brian Wylie is a very observant naturalist and birder.   Brian can tell you about our birds,  their lives, and  migration patterns. It is surprising how many species of bird are hiding in plain view.    

By early September many birds are getting ready to leave us for the winter.  He will explain why some Robins leave us in the fall others stay and overwinter here.

Brian Wylie has been interested in birds and other creatures since he was a child, and for many years been a very active member of the Hamilton Naturalist’s Club.  He welcomes both young and old to his workshops, and has a great facility for explaining the mysteries of nature to young children. Join Brian on September 4 at 10am, for a free workshop.

  • Please bring your binoculars & a chair
  • Please no dogs
  • Session will be cancelled in the event of rain
  • Ample on site free parking & on a bus route

Funded by the Dougher Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation


For more information contact: 

Joanna Chapman (905-627-8917)

email: jchapman@295.ca

Carolina Wren. Photo by Mark Williams.