Our Mission

Foster awareness, appreciation, and protection of nature in North Durham: Townships of Brock, Scugog, and Uxbridge.

What We Do

We provide educational opportunities and foster awareness of nature, particularly the flora and fauna, as well as earth sciences and astronomy.

We lead and facilitate field trips to learn and experience nature. We promote the protection of nature, biological diversity and sustainability within North Durham.

We carry out projects in co-operation with other community groups, to conserve and protect the environment within North Durham.

Next Meeting

June 25, 2024 - Biodiversity on the Farm with Michael Pavan
7:00pm at Uxbridge Senior's Centre, 75 Marietta Street.

Farming and biodiversity – can they go hand in hand? Michael Pavan thinks they can. Mr. Pavan will share farming methods at The 283 Farm in Fenelon Falls that attempt to maintain and increase biodiversity on the land.

Michael is a first generation farmer and has worked on farms in Saskatchewan and Alberta. He and his family have been working their Ontario farm for five years. As singer/song writer Murry McLauchlan said in Farmer’s Song  “…These days when everyone’s taking so much There’s somebody giving back in…”


Next Outing

Monday July 1, 2024 - Tricky Sparrows (6am)

Join Derek on a hike to search for a number of sought-after grassland sparrows that can be found in our area:  Grasshopper, Clay-colored, Vesper, Field, and more.  Learn about these little brown jobs--see and hear the differences between these species.  With luck, we will also see some of these sneaky sparrows carrying food to hungry young ones and confirm breeding for the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas!

r this hike and receive more details on meeting time and place.
Check out our Walks Page for info on more upcoming walks.

Announcements and News

Bird Friendly City Team

A "Bird Friendly City" team for Uxbridge has been formed and will be led by Carly Davenport!  We are now gathering information to apply to council for their support.

Here's where you can help--let us know if you :

1) If you have made significant alterations to your windows to reduce bird strikes (e.g., Screens on the outside, dots 2 inches apart on the window, patterned or etched  windows).  If unsure, check this website to find out about how to make a bird safe window:  https://flap.org/stop-birds-from-hitting-windows/

2) If you have put in a written complaint to Animal Control against a neighbour's cat trespassing on your property.

3) If you have picked up and taken a lost cat- at-large to the Animal Shelter.

4) If you have planted a native wildflower/shrub garden to attract birds

These are just a few of the steps we can take to make your home bird friendly.  By adding your name to our list, we get closer to being a Bird Friendly town!

Local Conservation Authorities Request for Comment

Two organizations are looking for public input on important local environmental initiatives that could affect you. North Durham Nature encourages members to fill out on-line surveys at the links provided in this email.  These will not take very long and it is an opporunity to have your say.  Note the short deadlines

1.  Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority - Conservation Areas Strategy Survey (Deadline June 15)

Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority is currently developing a Conservation Areas Strategy which will provide clear direction on how the Conservation Authority’s landholdings should be managed and maintained. It will help inform present and future land management decisions, in a high-level way. We are asking people to let us know what they value, and think are important about our conservation areas, and which activities they feel should be permitted and promoted within conservation areas. Areas in North Durham are: Beaver River Wetland, Beaver Dam (Beaverton) and Herrema Nature Reserve.

We have created a portal page to provide more information about the Strategy, and to gain valuable feedback. Below is a link to the portal so you can Have Your Say about this Conservation Areas Strategy.

Comment link:  LSRCA Conservation Areas Strategy Comment Page

2.  Lake Scugog Environmental Management Plan - Kawartha Conservation Authority (Deadline end of June)
Kawartha Conservation Authority published the first Lake Scugog Environmental Management Plan (LSEMP) in 2010.  It is now seeking public consultation to help inform the areas of study that the public values the most. These responses will be taken into consideration for the development of the next Lake Scugog Environmental Management plan.

Comment link:  Lake Scugog Environmental Management Plan Comment Page

Youth Nature Programs Funding 2024

Are you a youth 13 to 20 interested in birding, nature, or the environment and would like to meet peers with the same passion? Or know somebody who is? NDN has funds available to sponsor youth in North Durham (Brock, Scugog, or Uxbridge Township) to support participation in one of three nature-based programs:

Ontario Field Ornithologists: Alan Wormington Memorial Camp for Young Birders and Naturalists     Deadline March 5, 2024
Birds Canada: Young Ornithologist Workshop                                                                                                 Deadline April 30, 2024
Ontario Nature: Youth Summit                                                                                                                            Deadline August 20, 2024 (or until capacity reached)

How to Apply

1) Apply directly to program of interest (see links above for instructions and information on each event)
2) Afterwards, please contact North Durham Nature immediately to apply for funding
     email: northdurhamnature2@gmail.com     Re: Youth Nature Program Funding
3. North Durham Nature will then contact you directly to discuss the funding process.

Best of luck on your applications! All are excellent opportunities to learn from experts in the field and connect with other like-minded naturalist teens.

Volunteer Opportunities

Need a ride to in-person NDN meetings? Can you be a volunteer driver to help others get to in-person meetings?

In order to make our club more accessible for those that don't or no longer drive, we would like to invite people to contact us to sign up--EITHER as a volunteer driver or to inquire about getting a lift.  To make the system flexible and accommodate everyone's busy and unpredictable schedules (and weather conditions!), we would not expect a regular commitment but are willing to organize such arrangements on a month-by-month basis.  Contacting us well in advance of the meeting date will ensure a greater chance of facilitation, and we will do our best to match riders and drivers.

Our club services the Townships of Brock, Scugog, and Uxbridge so if you live in these regions and are interested, please email the NDN admin team at northdurhamnature2@gmail.com.

Please be a Nature Walk volunteer!

Are you interested in helping out with one of our Walks in Nature, either by leading or assisting with a walk on a topic you are comfortable with?  We would love to have you!  In addition, we are always looking for new locations and/or nature topics to explore in North Durham so if you have experience or ideas to share, please contact Derek:  ndnature7@gmail.com.  Thanks!

Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative

Online Reporting Tool

You are encouraged to learn about reporting sick or dead birds using the following link:  https://www.cwhc-rcsf.ca/report_and_submit.php.

Alternatively, you may inquire by email:  on-nu@cwhc-rcsf.ca or by phone:  866-673-4781.

2023 Uxbridge Christmas Bird Count Results

Total Species: 46 (average 48)
Total Individuals: 7218 (average 7412)
Field Observers: 41
Feeder Watchers: 31

One of our wettest years, rained most of the day. Open water and no snow on ground dispersed birds. Individual counts of most species was lower than last year, waterbirds dominated by Canada Geese and Mallards raised numbers however not enough to meet our average (7412) over the last nineteen years. Two new species were recorded : Cackling Goose and Yellow- rumped warbler plus three unusual species: Common Merganser, Common Goldeneye and Swamp Sparrow raised the species count to 46 just under our average (48) but well below last year's 55 species. Participation was up slightly this year but the poor weather reduced time outside and feeder watching. National News CBC Toronto filmed two of our field observers in action a first for our count.

Official 2023 Count Report

Historical Results

North Durham Nature and Green Durham Association meet with Lafarge Spring 2023 

This summer marks the tenth year NDN and GDA have been monitoring bird house's in the Lafarge Uxbridge Gravel pit. Over 1300 young birds have fledged over the ten years from this project. The project is one of Lafarge's bodiversity projects being showcased in a global video on their successes. NDN vice president Derek Connelly and Lafarge's Senior Land Manager Chris Galway were both interviewed and filmed and shared their support for the project. Green Durham Association president Liz Calvin, David Taylor and Derek Connelly also met with Tom Baumgarten, Lafarge's Senior Environmental Engineer and passed on ideas for future involvement in restoration of the gravel pit with a grassland/meadow component and discussed the opportunity for Lafarge to be a part of the Uxbridge Urban Provincial Park Corridor Initiative.

See Lafarge's Biodiversity video here. The NDN box project runs from around 47s to 2min30s.

Canadian Bat Box Project

Birds aren't the only thing that live on boxes! Karen Vanderwolf is leading a 3-year monitoring program in cooperation with Canadian Wildlife Federation and the Wildlife Conservation to monitor bat box usage across the country. To learn more or find out how to participate or see the latest newsletter, check out the links below.

Program Overview
Building or Buying, and Installing a Bat Box
Project Newsletter Fall 2022

Native Planting at the Uxbridge Countryside Preserve

North Durham Nature members Derek Connelly James Kamstra, Mark Humphrey and trail volunteer Norine Blyth planted 70 native grasses and 25 wildflowers in the Uxbridge Countryside Preserve Sunday morning. This restoration will help compete with the invading exotics. Autumn olive shrubs from China were found growing in one planting area. Anyone interested in helping maintain these natural areas can contact Derek Connelly at ndnature7@gmail.com

North Durham Nature Newsletter is now Online!

Looking for some interesting, local nature content, but you've already finished January's installment of NDN's Newsletter? Well you're in luck! Old copies of our newsletter are now downloadable from our website for your reading pleasure.

Click here to check out seven years of content starting with our very first newsletter back in January 2014, or find the link under the "Friends and Links" tab up in the navigation bar.

Not a club member yet, but like what you see? Become a member to receive our most recent newsletters straight to your email.

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