Our Mission

To foster awareness and appreciation of nature through education, observation and experience.
To promote the protection and conservation of the environment through community activities.

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 28, 2022 –Scugog Memorial Library at 7pm
Canada’s Rachel Carson: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Mid-Century Songbird Decline with Merilyn Simonds

Through the mid 1900s, amateur ornithologist and nature writer Louise de Kiriline Lawrence tracked the sharp decline in warblers and flycatchers in northern Ontario and linked it to the roadside spraying of toxic chemicals—a decade before Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring sounded the same alarm. Louise emigrated to Canada in 1926, setting up a Red Cross Outpost in Bonfield, Ontario, where she later became nurse-in-charge of the Dionne Quintuplets. Disturbed by the media circus around the infants, she built a log cabin on the Mattawa River and spent the next 50 years studying birdlife and writing almost a hundred articles and six books about species that were diminishing before her eyes.

Merilyn Simonds is the author of 18 books, including the non-fiction classic The Convict Lover, Gutenberg’s Fingerprint, and most recently, the novel Refuge. She is the founder and first artistic director of the Kingston WritersFest. 

Next Outing

June 18th, 2022 - Grassland Birding - 8am to11am in Uxbridge (Rescheduled with Openings)

Join Derek Connelly in search for two at-risk grassland birds, Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark, in the Uxbridge area.  Binoculars needed.

To register for this hike click here. We will keep you posted on the status of this trip, given the situation with COVID-19 at the time of the event.  Our members' safety is our top priority.

Announcements and News

North Durham Nature at the Uxbridge Farmer's Market

Directors of North Durham Nature Club set up a booth at the Uxbridge Farmers Market on SundayJune 12 to tell the locals and visitors about the club. Numerous visitors stopped by to have a chat about nature and the club with Cara Gregory, James Kamstra, Kim Adams, Lynda Kamstra, Mark Dorriesfield, and Mark Humphrey. Many thanks to the market for providing a free tent cover which was essential on this unsettled rainy day.


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

Support Geoff Carpentier in the Great Canadian Birdathon for NDN

Once again Geoff is supporting North Durham Nature with his birdathon, where he will race to observe as many bird species as possible in the name of conservation! Check out the poster below for more information, and click the link below to donate.


Wild, Weird and Wacky Weather Links

For those who enjoyed David T. Chapman's April webinar, he has Twitter and Instagram pages showing more of his spectacular imagery:

Also a couple excellent websites for learning more about current weather conditions:

Upcoming Election and Proposed Greenbelt Expansion

North Durham Nature has recently signed in support of two letters with Ontario Nature and other member groups, prompting environmental commitments by party leaders in the coming election and pushing for more meaningful action in the proposed expansion to the Greenbelt.

Check out our Advocacy page to read these letters and see other initiatives the Club supports.

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 Spring 2022

 LDD Moth Informational Webinar with the TRCA

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority is pleased to offer a free informational webinar on the LDD moth (or spongy moth, previously known as European gypsy moth) presented in partnership with Credit Valley Conservation, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, Conservation Halton, and Hamilton Conservation Authority on Wednesday, April 20th at 6:30pm. The webinar will provide an overview of the LDD moth life cycle, how to identify them, infestation forecasts for 2022, and management options that property owners can consider. Conservation authority experts will be in attendance to answer questions from participants.

Registration for the webinar will open on Friday, March 25th with the registration link available on TRCA’s LDD moth webpage and events calendar. A recording of the webinar will subsequently be made available on TRCA’s LDD moth webpage. Please feel free to share this message with residents and any other interested parties. 

Envision Durham Interactive Map - Development Planning for 2051

Durham Region is updating their Official Plan to inform planning decisions for the year 2051, by which time the population of the Region is projected to grow by almost 50%. This involves defining the areas of proposed developmental expansion as well as refining the current Natural Heritage System.

We are being provided with an opportunity to comment on this map to identify natural areas perhaps not considered or to reinforce important areas that have already been included.  There are two ways to respond:

  1. Interactive map  to add pins to natural areas that may not currently be included in the NHS
  2. PDF map for review, and comments can be submitted by email to EnvisionDurham@durham.ca

See the Envision Durham Website for more information:  https://www.durham.ca/en/doing-business/envision-durham.aspx#Regional-Natural-Heritage-System-NHS--draft-map-available-for-comment

Nature Experiences in Uxbridge

The Uxbridge Historical Centre has an exciting upcoming exhibition focused on the nature of our area and we are looking for community input! They have a survey out that is looking to solicit your stories and experiences in our rich, natural environment. This may include; your favorite trail, animal encounters, your feelings about the changing landscape, stories from skating or canoeing on Elgin Pond, cycling in Regional Forests, and so much more!

Any residents or visitors who have spent time exploring the Township are welcome to share by filling out the following survey.

Take the Survey

As a bonus (not that we need one to share our nature thoughts and memories!), participants of the survey will be entered into a draw for a $25 gift card (Amazon, Starbucks, Indigo, or Tim Hortons).

Advocacy with Ontario Nature

North Durham Nature recently signed in support of two pieces of legislation in conjunction with Ontario Nature and other naturalist groups from across Ontario.

1. Amending the Ontario Building Code to require new buildings to follow Bird-friendly building design standard to prevent collisions with windows,
Read the letter here

2. The creation of a new Conservation Reserve along the south shore if Prince Edward County to preserve the habitats for rare plants, at risk wildlife, and vital stopover habitat for migrants,
Read the letter here

For more information on this and other items NDN supports, check out our Advocacy page.

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.

North Durham Nature Native Plant Seed Fundraiser

North Durham Nature is excited to announce their annual wildflower seed sale. This is a fantastic opportunity to bring biodiversity into the space around your home. Seeds will be sold this February and March through the North Durham Nature Club. The native wildflower seeds are produced by four club members who are enthusiastic gardeners. In fact Brenda Near, recently won an award from the North American Native Plant Socitey (NANPS) for her newly created garden. Meet Brenda and see what she has been up to at this Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUHEOeS6mfo

To receive an order form please contact Patricia Baldwin at ndnseeds@gmail.com

Several of the seed varieties would be perfect for waterfront restoration areas and are rarely found commercially. The Early Bird will get the seed – last year they sold quickly and early. Be part of the grassroots movement that is preserving and enhancing local nature by bringing colour and life to a small part of your yard!

Butterfly Milkweed

Grey-headed Coneflower

Christmas Bird Counts 2021

Between Christmas and New Year's, both of our North Durham Christmas Bird Counts were conducted. Here are some quick stats, and click the links below each for the full summary of species:

Uxbridge CBC
Date: Monday, December 27, 2021
# of species: 53
# field observers: 37
# feeder watchers: 32
Highlights: Wood Duck (new), Bufflehead (new), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Winter Wren,
Count Week: Merlin
Full Report

Beaverton CBC
Date: Thursday December 30, 2021
# of species: 58
# field observers: 25
# feeder watchers: 14
Highlights: Mute Swan (new), Tundra Swan, Peregrine Falcon, Winter Wren, Swamp Sparrow
Count Week: Greater Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Iceland Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Snowy Owl,
Full Report

NDN Advocacy

Keep an eye on our new Advocacy page to see local and regional petitions the club is supporting. Two current issues are:

1) Proposed Bridgebrook development in Uxbridge
2) Bird-Friendly Glass Legislation for the Province of Ontario

Check it out, and stay tuned for new items.

Lafarge Bird Box Cleanout

North Durham Nature met up with Lafarge's Eastern Canada land managers during our annual bird box cleanout at the Lafarge property south of Uxbridge. They came from as far as Montreal for a Toronto team meeting, and the Bird Box project was their field trip. They were keen to learn about the project (and birds) and helped clean out the 48 boxes in the Uxbridge gravel pit on the Seventh Concession. Our project is a one of a kind for Lafarge in Ontario. Our success over eight years with over 80% of our bird houses being used is also significant. Senior Land manager Chris Galway was positive and keen to work with us at keeping the project going and working with us at further restoration of the gravel pit.

NDN Member Receives DEAC Award

Congratulations to Keith Stait Gardner for habitat restoration on his property which resulted in the Dr. J. Murray Speirs Restoration Award!

This award is presented by the Durham Environmental Advisory Committee. The DEAC Environmental Achievement Awards is an annual awards program established in 2003 to recognize and acknowledge environmental achievements of individuals and organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors within Durham Region. The awards program has eight categories, which were named in memory of past environmental leaders.

Keith is one of our members who helped us with the "Mouseproof" metal Bird Box construction project donating his workshop space. Well done Keith!

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, check out the links below.

Program Overview
Building or Buying, and Installing a Bat Box
Project Newsletter Spring 2021
Project Newsletter Fall 2021

Scugog and Uxbridge TV - NDN Nature Nugget Videos

Mike Duhamel, a NDN resident and creator of both ScugogTV and Uxbridge TV, has offered to video record, edit and post short informative NDN nature videos to help us further share our passion for nature with the local community.  If you haven't seen our Nature Nugget videos click the link below, or look for a shared post on our own NDN Facebook page.  We welcome you to share our videos with others on your social media.

To see our recent videos, click here.

Conservation Award Winner

Congratulations to NDN member and Newsletter Editor Geoff Carpentier who received the Carl Nunn Media and Conservation Award for his writing on conservation issues in books, magazine articles and nature columns.


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