December’s Christmas trees serve an important purpose for birds in Barrington once the new year rolls around. Every year in January, volunteers gather and transport discarded Christmas trees to the rookery in the center of Baker’s Lake at Rte. 14 and Hillside Avenue. There, the trees are used to freshen up nesting sites which are home to great egrets, herons and other birds that migrate to the Barrington area.
A group of volunteers with Citizens for Conservation recently braved the chill on wind-whipped Baker’s Lake Island to freshen the nesting sites at the rookery. But they had much help with the multi-step process of getting the trees from our homes to the center of the lake…
Village public works personnel delivered the trees to the Hillside Avenue parking area.
Cook County Forest Preserve personnel lashed the trees together and drove them out on thick ice to the island.
That’s where the volunteers trimmed and installed them vertically or laid them about.
All of this happens under the direction of engineering consultant Robert Sliwinski who designed the Baker’s Lake Rookery. Citizens for Conservation volunteers Karl Humbert, Steve Halm, Andrew Novak, John Schweizer and Helen Sheyka all pitched in to help.
According to Jeff Rapp, Director of Crabtree Nature Center who led the Forest Preserve personnel, between 80 and 100 trees were taken out to the island to provide fresh nesting supports and sites.
For more information about programs and initiatives supported by the Citizens for Conservation, visit their website at CitizensforConservation.org.
The Great Egret is just one of the species that nests at the Baker’s Lake Rookery. CLICK HERE to read Barrington birder Wendy Paulson’s profile of the great egrets in our area. You can also CLICK HERE to read all of Wendy’s local bird profiles in our regular Birds of Barrington series here at 365Barrington.com.