Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Have You Seen Wild Turkeys in Durham, NC

Thinking about the upcoming holiday I thought I would talk about wild turkeys and their presence in Durham and Durham County. 

For those of you would are surprised by the reality of wild turkeys living in Durham city limits, just think for a minute about the protected areas we have in Durham County.  First off there is all of the Army Corp land that surrounds upper Falls Lake and the rivers that flow into Falls Lake, the Eno, Little, and Flat.  A quote from the Army Corp web site: "The reservoir covers almost 12,500 acres with water, and is surrounded by 25,500 acres of public land. The dam is located just outside of Raleigh, and the lake stretches 22 miles upstream to the confluence of the Eno, Flat, and Little Rivers near Durham."  So think about 25,000 acres of mostly protected land, joining up with City property on the lower Flat River that runs all the way up to Lake Michie and then above the lake, protected land continues up the Flat River to where NC State has a forest, "The G. W. Hill Demonstration Forest is a 2,450-acre forest in Durham County".   Then factor in the protected land joining Corp land on the Eno River that goes from city land, several parks including West Point on the Eno, to the Eno River State Park (4,000+ acres).  Then add in the protected land the city owns around Little River Reservoir which lies just above Falls Lake.

All told we are looking at 35,000+ acres of protected land on the northern, eastern, and western sides of Durham for Turkeys to live on. That is a lot of great habitat right next to Durham. Turkeys are well established in northern Durham County and they are right here in the City of Durham. Some locations that I have seen Turkeys in city limits are, of course West Point on the Eno. There have been turkeys at the park for over 10 years. I have also seen Turkeys at the City's Fleet Maintenance shop off Camden Ave and at the old city landfill. These two locations are close to Ellerbee Creek which runs down to Army Corp land and eventually Falls Lake.

Here is a good starting map of the Corp Land around Falls Lake, you can see the connections to the Durham County Rivers and their protected land.  Notice how much of the Corp land is in the upper reaches of Falls Lake

Here is a link to NCSU's Hill Forest if you move south on the map you can see the connection to Lake Michie then Falls Lake

Here is a map of the wild Turkey population in North Carolina in 2005.
As you can see, the turkey population 7 years ago was pretty dense in northern Durham County, it only makes sense that they will continue to spread into viable habitat , which includes inside the city limits. 
Here are some pics of Wild Turkeys

Instead of just eating Turkey, go out and look for wild Turkeys in your Durham County back yard.

Let us know where you have seen wild Turkeys in Durham and have a safe holiday period.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sunset Canoe Trip on Lake Michie

Hello and how are you today.  We had a great Sunset Paddle this past weekend up at Lake Michie.  The weather cooporated and the evening light was beautiful. 

We took a leisurely paddle down the lake to an active beaver lodge. 

We got out by the lodge and walked around looking for signs of beaver activity and of course we marveled at the lodge itself.
After leaving the lodge we paddle some more down the lake.  Along the way we saw Great Blue Heron's, bats, a Kingfisher, some ducks from a distance, and at the end a large flock of Geese.  This was a beautiful evening and we hope that you come and join us on our next paddle on December 14.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sunset Paddle Lake Michie

Well this Saturday, November 10, from 4-6pm we have a Sunset Paddle up at Lake Michie in northern Durham County.  This should be a really nice day as the weather looks to be warm and clear.  So come out and join us on this fun, relaxing evening paddle where we should be able to see and hear some of the varied wildlife that lives in Durham County.  Here are some pictures from a past Sunset Paddle.  The cost is $6 (city residents) and $8 (non-city residents).  We provide boats if you don't have your own, or you can bring your own canoe or kayak on the paddle. 


Please call 919-560-4405 (ext 6) to get more information on the paddle and how to register.  Or you can email me at

Learn how to stop the Cankerworms at Northgate Park

Greetings and hello.

                Weather conditions have turned on a dime and I fear the female fall cankerworms  will be emerging soon to do their thing and lay lots of eggs in our trees.  I’m emailing you to let you know that (at long last and with almost no advance warning) I will be out tomorrow evening to band trees in an effort to control the canker worms in the area of Northgate Park.

Actually, I will branch out into other areas, but I will start at NP, tomorrow, at 5:30.  If you are interested in getting your own kit to band your own trees and see a demo, please come.  If You can’t I will do my best to let interested folks know when they might meet me while I’m out banding trees so as to get a quick demo and grab a kit.  

I cannot charge for these kits, but a suggested donation to Keep Durham Beautiful will insure that the funds spent on these kits will go back to planting trees on city right-of-way and in parks.  Suggested donation for a “small’ kit will be $10 and for a large one $15.

Details will be available to any and all-comers.  Please share with those who might be interested. 

Cub Blvd. entrance to Northgate Park (between Acadia and Glendale) 5:30-6:30


Alex Johnson, RF, CA, BS

Urban Forestry Manager

City of Durham, General Services Dept.

2011 Fay St. 27704

(919) 560-4197 ext. 21275