FOCUS - NOVEMBER 2018 29 With November closing in, many of us make plans to hibernate in the warmth of our homes. The Friends of Nonquon and North Durham Nature are planning events that will get you outdoors to explore nature’s diversity and beauty. These two groups work as partners offering North Durham residents opportunities to learn about, and enjoy, the natural world in Scugog, Uxbridge and Brock Townships during the fall, winter and spring. The Friends of Nonquon have three events planned for children and their families that all take place at the Nonquon Environmental Education Centre. November 24th is our 6th an- nual Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids). Christmas bird counts have an interesting history. Prior to the turn of the 20th century, hunters would engage in a holiday tradition known as the Christmas “Side Hunt”. They would choose sides and go afield with their guns – who ever brought in the biggest pile of feathered (and furred) quarry won. Conservation was in its beginning stages in that era, and many observers and scientists were becoming concerned about declining bird popu- lations. Beginning on Christmas day 1900, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman proposed a new holiday tradition, a “Christmas Bird Census” that would count birds during the holidays rather than hunt them. The tradition has continued and expanded to include children all over North America in the count. With the help of Bird Studies Canada, the Friends of Nonquon has been doing a CBC4Kids since 2013. We hope you will join us again this year to learn about birds, contribute to Citizen Science and have a fun time out-of-doors. To register please email us at friendsofnonquon@ Another pathway to outdoor adven- ture happens February 9th at our annu- al family snowshoe day. The Nonquon wetland, just north of Port Perry, will be frozen and covered in snow, perfect conditions to explore and learn about this Class One Wetland and the plants and animals that live there. We supply the snowshoes and leaders; you supply the smiles and laughter! Instead of hibernating, get outdoors! Friends of Nonquon, Samon Mousa (left) and Braylen Clarke, get a close up look at chickadees. PHOTO COURTESY OF JAY THIBERT Elizabeth Brasier-Keys is very popular with the chickadees at Nonquon. ...................... Please turn to page 30