Recent Updates

Thank you Heather and Heidi

Heidi and Heather:

Thank you both for all you have done for our students.  We are working on our curlew posters for the fences.  Curlews are a big topic in our 6th grade classes.  We are so sad that the trackers near the mall were just Jay testing old ones, and not urban curlews!  We were about to take a field trip!  Your willingness to take Rowan and his Mom out to the farm was outstanding.  Rowan returned to school and told us so many interesting things.  He was on fire about the male curlew territorial behaviors.  We heard about the burrowing owl, the Ferruginous and Harris hawks... Read more

Walkabout

The outdoor classroom was almost completely devoid of birds on Tuesday (one lonely Lesser Goldfinch!), so we decided to go walkabout. We ended up seeing two crows fly by, land on school grounds, and start cawing. Right after that, two Cooper's Hawks were spotted soaring around the cul-de-sac across the street. On the way into the building, a male robin kindly landed in a tree by the front door. All in all, some different birds than we usually see at the outdoor classroom!

Students also became Bird Song Heroes at Miss Vicky's Wednesday visit. They scored 90% on Ultimate Bird Song...

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Ollie & Nesting! By Maryn, Elliemae and Veda

By Maryn, Elliemae ,and Veda

 

Last week, Mr.Evan’s visited Hidden Springs Elementary and he brought Ollie the Milky Eagle-Owl to our school. The Milky eagle-Own is from Africa. Ollie is nine weeks old. When Mr. Evans was here he feed Ollie quail...dead quail! Ollie appeared to really enjoy the qual.

Next, Mr.Evans talked about how birds nest and that birds really don’t live in nests, they just lay their  eggs in the nest. Birds actually live in idents on cliff sides, holes in trees, inside cacti, and sometimes just on the ground...

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*March Post

March was an eventful month for Grace Jordan 6th graders.  We completed our statistics inquiry bird project.  In this assignment students had to analyze bird sighting data gathered from over 100 years in Idaho.  They used their new knowledge of statistical analysis to understand and create presentations on this data.  The 6th graders also worked on a bird art project led by Mrs. Westerberg and learned about tracking Curlews with Mrs. Coffman.  Right now we are cleaning our bird feeders in anticipation of lots of visitors this month.

March Bird Walk!!

Riverside first graders went on a greenbelt bird walk Friday before spring break! They wanted to check on the Great Blue Heron nests! We also saw Northern Flickers and were able to identify Red Winged Blackbirds by sound. Students were excited to see a pair of ducks, which they couldn’t identify. We looked at them with our binoculars and took a picture with our minds! When we got back we looked in our Idaho Field Guides and discovered that we had seen a male and female Common Merganser! Such a fun little

walk!  

Spring Has Arrived at Lake Ridge/ Merlin and Little Hawk came to visit

The sounds and sites of spring are here at Lake Ridge. The plants in our pollinator garden are beginning to grow. We have dafodillas and crocus already blooming. Also the red-winged black birds have arrived in force. We have 20-30 at our field daily. Their beautiful trill sound is another sign of spring. We also have plenty of house finches, collared and mourning doves, and house sparrows at our feeders. The robins and kill deer can also be seen and heard on our school grounds. 

Other news at Lake Ridge is that Cori from the BLM brought Llittle Hawk and Merlin to visit. All the 5th...

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Spring Bird Project

Council students built 20 bluebird boxes in February for their Bird by Bird project.  The Exploring Science students (7th and 8th graders) built 10 boxes and placed them next to the Weiser River Trail near the school last week.  The Council fourth graders also built bluebird boxes and hopefully these boxes will be placed along the Shingle Flat Trail five miles northeast of Council as soon as the snow melts, making the trail accessible.  We are also waiting for Forest Service approval to place these boxes along the Shingle Flat trail.  Another 10 boxes are being placed on private land...

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February and March are Flying By

February flew by without quite as many sightings. However, we conducted a great science experiment to see how bird feathers trap air to help keep birds warm in the winter. Now, with the warmer weather, we are noticing more birds visiting our feeder. When Mr. Willadsen came last week, we got to dissect owl pellets. It was so cool and we discovered many bones from rodents and small birds.

Not a lot of birds but observations are plentiful

We a decent numbers of English House Sparrows and House Finches at our feeders but the diversity eludes us. Even though we only see house sparrows at the feeders we have noticed a couple of pretty cool observations while out wander around the shcool for a field trip. Last week we watched a kestrell hovering and it went down to the ground and caught a large vole. Just as it caught it a Merlin zoomed in from the side ride at ground level, grabbed the vole and kept going. I'm pretty sure the Merlin  was laughing as he flew away carrying his ill gotten booty. On he same day we saw a large...

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Fill the Bill

Today, we investigated the Fill the Bill activity that I borrowed from Fish and Game. Kids got to use different tools that simulated bird bills to figure out which bill shapes are effective for which food types. We had a good time testing out the "bills!" After, we looked at an online site with different birds/bills: http://www.vtaide.com/png/bird-adaptations3.htm. Even before the website, the kids could think of lots of examples of birds with certain bill types. One young lady even named Purple Martins as birds that use a big, gaping mouth as their "tool" to catch flying insects!

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