365+ Things to See, Do & Celebrate in Barrington, IL
279. Wendy Paulson’s Birds of Barrington | Eastern Bluebird
Lots of people ask me what my favorite bird is. I don’t hesitate to answer. It has been and, I suspect, always will be the eastern bluebird, the species that Henry David Thoreau accurately claimed “carries the sky on its back.”
When I came to Barrington in 1974, one of the first things I did was to nail a bluebird nestbox to a small oak in our front yard at the edge of a Cook County forest preserve.
Others told me that it was for naught: bluebirds had left the area years before. Imagine my euphoria when a pair of eastern bluebirds found the box and raised a family the following spring. The joy was short-lived, however. On Memorial Day of that year, I made a tragic discovery: a raccoon had climbed the tree, torn off the roof of the box, and dispatched the entire brood.
I was heartsick.
It was several years before bluebirds showed up at our place again. But those were the years when a movement was growing to re-establish the eastern bluebird east of the Mississippi. Many, many people were putting up bluebird nest boxes and building “bluebird trails” with multiple boxes, specifically designed to ward off raccoons and other predators.
Those efforts bore fruit. Today the eastern bluebird can be readily seen around the Barrington area, While it prefers rural and semi-rural haunts, bluebirds have nested in recent years in Bakers Lake Savanna in town and can often be found in the naturalized portions of Ron Beese Park south of Bakers Lake. Citizen for Conservation’s Grigsby Prairie and Flint Creek Savanna have hosted bluebirds regularly for at least 20 years.
What is it about the eastern bluebird that I find so appealing? Color would have to be near the top of the list. The blue plumage of the male is, for me, of nearly unspeakable quality. Every time I see it, as on a recent walk when a group of males perched in trees with golden leaves, I nearly gasp in wonder.
The female is of more muted color but she shares with the male what would be second on my list, which is the peaceable gentleness of the species. Bluebird pairs seem uncannily synchronized in their nest-making, nest-tending, and food gathering. It’s difficult not to think of them in anthropomorphic terms as a devoted pair.
Third – but not last – is the gurgling song. There is melody and pathos and beauty in the bluebird song. When I first hear it in the spring, my heart leaps. Even on these fall days as they gather and prepare to fly to more southern latitudes, bluebirds vocalize – not their full breeding season song, but nonetheless with notes that brighten an already luminous landscape.
(CLICK HERE to listen to the eastern bluebird’s call.)
Our bluebird boxes are empty now of birds (I will clean the nests out before next nesting season). Some of them linger and may even stay all winter as long as they can find berries and other food. But most are gathering into large extended family groups and will depart soon. Take advantage of late autumn opportunities to hike in local preserves. Keep an eye out for flashes of blue and listen for lilting notes from above.
About the Author
Wendy Paulson has lived in Barrington Hills since 1975, and has led bird walks in the area for many years. She re-established the Nature Lady program in District 220 and St. Anne’s in the late 70s, under the auspices of The Garden Club and Little Garden Club of Barrington.
Wendy developed the education program for Citizens for Conservation, initiated and edited its newsletter, and has been an active volunteer with CFC for over 30 years.
During interludes in New York City and Washington, DC, she taught classes about birds in the public schools and is helping to develop a similar program in Chicago public schools with Openlands.
Wendy is chairman of The Bobolink Foundation, serves on the board or advisory committee of multiple conservation and bird-related organizations, both domestic and international, and is former chairman of IL and NY chapters of The Nature Conservancy.
She and her husband Hank have two grown children and are avid hikers, cyclists, and kayakers.
Wendy Paulson is a regular contributor at 365Barrington.com sharing profiles of birds found in the Barrington area. CLICK HERE to read all of Wendy’s posts published in our Birds of Barrington series and watch for her next contribution which will be published on the first of the month.
Got something big you want to do this year? Might as well Jump! No better day to begin than today but, if it involves being outside, don’t forget your snow boots. And your snow pants. And your Bernie mittens. This January 26th is going to be a snowy one in Barrington!
If today is your birthday, you have something in common with Eddie Van Halen. He was born on this day in 1957. Van Halen’s song, Jump was released in December, 1983, back when big hair was all the rage and I was 10 years old.
We’re sharing Jump and Van Halen’s classic music video as our song of the day. Take a look plus find our stories from this day in #BarringtonHistory TODAY at BarringtonDaily.com #LinkInBio or right here: https://wp.me/ p1NGbX-1eGz
Have a great day & stay safe on the roads! - Liz #365Barrington #ThisDayInBarringtonHistory...
We were busy today at the shop, but I snapped a few pics to share before I dive further into the week and all our projects! Building walls, Spring orders, registrations, event planning, new lines...it’s all awesome and exciting, but before I get lost in the business side of things, check this....⬇️
We have NEW MERCH in this weekend! More gorgeous pots, floral poofs, risers, bird nests and more! We still have Live plants 🪴, AND we already have to order more of our antiquecandleco_ candles in the new scents because you showed them so much 💛 this past weekend. 🍑🍋 PLUS, soon enough we will have our beautiful new Jolie paint line joliepaints to share with you! 🙌 This is all so exciting! See you Thursday friends!
#tatteredtiques #lakebarringtonil #joliepaint #antiquecandleworks #favoritethings #vintageshop #warehouse #warehouse #shop60010 #barrington365...
Red Curry Quinoa Soup 👩🍳. Look for recipe in my previous post👩🍳. Super easy, packed with nutrients and low in sodium❤️heart healthy meal. Just use low sodium culinary stock and salt free DASH seasoning blend🙌. Be creative with your cooking. I replaced curry paste with tomato paste and fresh ginger with ginger spice and it was great! I also added fresh chopped kale just to have my serving of green vegetable🥬. Remember the rainbow🌈😊. Your body needs a fruit and vegetable from each color from the rainbow every single day 🌈🥬#blsnutrition #365barrington #mealplanning #healthycooking #lowsodium #livingplate #homecooking #hypertension...
Snow ❄️Snow ❄️Snow Since we are expecting A LOT ⛄️☃️ of snow this evening, this delicious soup is already cooking blsnutrition kitchen.
Your prep time is only 15 🙌🙌minutes and in 30-45 minutes it can be on your table as well🙌
Recipe by Sara Haas, RDN, LDN/Living Plate.
Red Curry Quinoa Soup
• 1 Tbs olive oil
• 1/2 yellow onion, diced (about 3/4 cup chopped)
• 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
• 1 medium sweet potato, diced (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 Tbs red curry paste
• 2 tsp ginger, fresh, peeled and chopped
• 1 cup quinoa
• 4 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth or water
• 1 lime, juiced (for 2 Tbs)
• salt, to taste
• 1/4 cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
1. Dice onion, bell pepper, and sweet potato.
2. Chop garlic.
3. Peel and chop ginger.
4. Chop cilantro.
1. Heat the oil in a pot set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper and sweet potato and cook, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, curry paste and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the quinoa and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and quinoa is cooked.
3. Remove from heat and add the lime juice. Season with salt to taste and garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.
You can replace fresh ginger with dry ginger 😊. #snowyday #blsnutrition #365barrington #soup #eathealthy #homecooking #cookyoursoup #livingplate #mealplan...
Retail storefront in prime pedestrian location in downtown Barrington surrounded by Village shopping, restaurants, and steps to the Metra train station. Great opportunity to own a high visibility space, currently vacant, ready for you to move in and
New Listing - 6 days online
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677 Bent Ridge Lane Barrington, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
- Active Under Contract
The instant you walk thru the front door of this 3,778 sf colonial style home, you feel the warmth of it's modern updates! The foyer is welcoming with fresh paint, white trim, wainscoting that surrounds you and cascades up the staircase with a beauti
New Listing - 2 weeks online
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109 Hillshire Drive Barrington, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
NOW A BRAND NEW HOUSE! ALMOST NOTHING UNTOUCHED! FRESHLY PAINTED THROUGHOUT, AND NOW WITH BEAUTIFUL WHITE TRIM! And that's not all....New carpet, newly refinished hardwood floors, brand new appliances, and freshly painted beautiful white kitchen cabi
New Listing - 2 weeks online
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250 Florence Avenue Inverness, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
Welcome to 250 Florence Avenue in beautiful Inverness. Situated on approximately 3/4-acre corner lot, this lovingly maintained home is a sprawling 4-bedroom, 2.1 bathroom with an attached 4 car garage, and an immaculate unfinished basement. An abunda