The folks at Maryland State Parks’ Scales and Tales programs say your old Christmas trees can help enrich the habitats of local birds. The trees will be welcomed by the many raptors: two bald eagles; kestrels; and barred and barn owls.
WASHINGTON — You might look at an old Christmas tree at the curbside and think “recycling.” The folks at Maryland State Parks’ Scales and Tales programs look at that same tree and think “furniture.”
Ranger Sarah Milbourne, with the Department of Natural Resources, explains that recycled Christmas trees are used inside the aviaries at six state parks where the raptors in the Scales and Tails program are kept. Milbourne says the trees provide cover and enrichment for animals that came into the program because they were wounded, and can’t be returned to the wild.
Milbourne says the trees give the birds “greenery, protection, and a sense of the wild.”
Milbourne says the trees will be welcomed by the many raptors in the parks: two bald eagles; kestrels; and barred and barn owls. She says the tiny screech owls — they weigh less than 200 grams (about the same as a cup of sugar) — are especially fond of nestling into the trees.
She says if you want to take part in donating your tree, just make sure that all the decorations — including the tinsel — have been removed.
The closest park for many in the area may be Cunningham Falls, in Frederick County.
The Department of Natural Resources has information about recycling Christmas trees with the Maryland Park Service.
Browse through the gallery above to see images of raptors at Maryland State Parks included in the Scales and Tales program.