Recent Updates

September/October Observations

Council 7th and 8th graders have continued to observe birds on Thursdays most weeks during September and October at both the feeders and along the Weiser River Trail.  Students did not observe Weeks 4 & 5 because their facilitator was gone. Week 6, students observed six American Goldfinches. The  day was cold and windy.  Week 7, students indentured California Quail and American Goldfinches and the weather was sunny and warm. Week 7 (last week), students identified 5 different species: American Goldfinches, American crows, black- capped chickadees, California Quail, and dark-eyed...

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Our First Gold Finch!!!!

We got our first Gold Finch in our garden. It was on our feeders then flew to a nearby tree and sat there for a good 5 minutes for us to observe. The Gold Finch also did some bird calls we heard cheep-cheep and also the ch-eee-p.

A New School Site and New Birding

The Village has moved!  Our school is now located on Fairview Avenue, a very busy traffic area.  We located our feeders on the side of our building opposite Winco.  But the new bird garden is landscaped with bark and new trees, shrubs and grasses that offer little cover or food.  So at the moment the birds have not yet noticed the feeder.  But the ground feeder has attracted a flock of mourning doves with occasional Eurasian collared doves.  

Owl Visit!

Riverside Firsties were visited by Ms. Vicky!  She brought a friend, the MK Nature Center's Burrowing Owl, Hoots!  The kids really loved seeing the bird and wrote an opinion piece of why they thought the Burrowing Owl was or wasn't the best owl.  I will use this as part of their writing evidence to support our new report card!   Also, our Donor's Choose Project was funded in 10 minutes!  We now have a class set of the little green "Idaho Birds" books!  My students look at them all the time and we have many activities where they use the books!  We also went on our first greenbelt river...

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Surprise Visitor!

On Friday, while Mr. Giibbons was visiting our class to teach a lesson, I saw an interesting thing!

A squirrel was balancing on the fence outside our window when a Red-Tailed Hawk suddenly appeared and tried to catch it! The squirrel  got away and the hawk sat on the fence for a few moments.

I was so proud that i didn't interrupt the lesson. I wrote down what I saw and told Ms. Wilson later. Another kids also saw it so we could indentify the hawk.

We told Mr. Gibbons about it later. I love watching what goes on outside our classroom windows!---Giddeon

Birds of Star

Mr. Willadsen visited on a rainy day last week, so we didn't go outside to look for birds with him. Still, we learned a lot about the birds of our area. We learned about the size, silhouette, field markings, and behavior of 7 birds we are likely to see around here. We also learned about what time of year we can expect to see each bird because of migration. Our favorites were the Kestrel and the Black-capped Chickadee. 

Marilyn is Back

Our regular winter resident Marilyn the Merlin is back again. We first saw her last week when a pigeon crashed into the window followed closely by Marilyn. She tried really hard but to no avail. The pigeon escaped but we did find her again on the top of a power pool eating a much smaller meal. Yesterday she flew right past us so we got a good closeup of her and we were able to put our really nice B3 spotting scope on her and get a good prolonged look at her. I took Deniz's advice last month and applied for the class set of binoculars through the Cornell Bird lab and we ended up winning a...

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IBO Field Trip

On Wednesday the 6th graders were able to go to the Boise River to catch and release some wild birds.  The ornithologists there were extremely knowledgable and the kids were engaged in the entire process.  It was a little windy so we were only able to catch a few song sparrows and a quail.  The kids were also tasked with organizing some data that the scientists had captured using camera traps.  All in all it was a fantastic field trip!

What a flock!

Last week, the birds finally found our feeder. We saw about 20 birds at once all around it. Next, we checked out their field markings and we think they were mostly house finches. They like to stay in the bushes across the canal when we go outside. As soon as we go inside, they perch on the fence and feeders. Some stay on the ground and pick up seeds. A few of them like to chase other birds away from the feeders. When we tried to take a picture, most of them left. The birds must have been eating all weekend because the feeder was empty on Monday! We think they are migrating and getting...

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Bird Feeders!

At the end of Setember we ventured up to the IBO's Lucky Peak Site. There we saw many, many songbirds including Dark Eyed Juncos and Ruby Crowned Kinglets. This inspired kindergarteners to add bird feed to our already present (but empty) bird feeders to attract birds! We read Bird Feeder Banquet; an excellent pre-cursor to filling up the feeders. After filling up the feeders we felt inspired to create signs to let people at our school know that the feeders were for the birds. What excitment we've had watching Mourning Doves visit the ground feeder, and many House Sparrows and Goldfinches...

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