A new semester and a brand new batch of potential birders. Once again I can't help but sing the praises of the Bird by Bird program. The feeders, binoculars, and spotting scopes make it so much easier for our kids to learn about birds. The feeders are set up by the front doors and they are being used like crazy. Each day for class we can either start out with a little field trip or I can talk a little bit about the tips of identifying birds and we can head out to the feeder and the kids can see what I was just talking about by viewing the birds on the feeders and on the ground around the...Read more
This week Mr. Ridenhour came to our school and taught us about different places we can see birds. He showed us his amazing collection of photos of birds he has found in his own backyard. He has seen over 60 different species of birds! Then he showed us how to make and use binoculars from toilet paper rolls and duct tape. We practiced bringing the binoculars up to our eyes so that we can focus on birds. It was a lot of fun!
This week we were treated to close up views of a Northern flicker and a downy woodpecker nearly side by side on the pine tree just outside of our classroom. The downy woodpecker has been a regular visitor to our suet feeder. Today there was a "flock" of dark-eyed juncos that stopped by the feeders. I was surprised to see several of them eating out of the thistle feeder. Both American and lesser goldfinch have still been regular visitors. This afternoon the naturalist club was treated to a great view of a pair of hooded mergansers along the river. They are such strinking birds.... Read more
Today we had a guest visit our classroom. Russ Weedon from Idaho Power shared how dangerous
power lines and transformers can be to Birds of Prey. He told us about working with Raptor Biologist,
Morley Nelson to design special platforms that Osprey, Perigines and Eagles can use safely to build their nests.
The platforms protect the birds from coming in contact with electrical lines (that were electrocuting birds at an
alarming rate). Idaho had the first Bird Protection program like this in the United States.
Just another reason to be proud to live in...Read more
Last week a Kestrel came to visit our bird feeder. The teacher next door happened to see the Kestrel on the ground. She took a photo for us and told us that the bird was eating seeds on the ground. After seeing the photo and identifying the Kestrel, we knew it probably wasn't eating seeds. When we went out to investigate we found a scattering of feathers.
We all now how the Boise Valley snow affected school days, but the birds keep coming, even when the food runs low and the snow covers the ground-feeder. American goldfinch seem to have replaced our hoards of lesser goldfinch. Dark-eyed juncos are now frequent and numerous visitors. The juncos will dig beneath shallow snow to find buried seeds, and the doves quarrel over freshly spread seed. The first signs of territorial behavior is happening among the doves. Although the mourning doves are more numerous, the Eurasian collared doves thrust out their chests and throw their larger size...Read more
Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow will keep Lake Ridge students from filling our feeders. The birds really seem to appreciate their efforts.
On January 18,2017, it was snowing. It was around 30 degrees. We recorded a covey of quail at the yellow feeder. We also record several mourning doves. There were 16 house finch. We also saw 1 hawk flying around.
Kids have been reporting on and taking pictures of birds they're seeing in their free time. :) One student returned from the long weekend with a photo of a "cool bird" he'd seen in Washington, so we figured out what it was. We posted a bird observation recording sheet on the board, and students have been writing what they're seeing on the playground and at their homes. Kids are really noticing what's out there, especially since the birds have been swarming all available feeders due to the cold and snow. One parent emailed that she and her son spent an hour watching birds, and he had a...Read more
In December, Miss Ally and Miss Kristen came to visit us to show us how much we'd learned about identifying birds! They had made bird bingo boards that included many birds we've seen and identified on our walks and near our feeders.
We couldn't believe how many we were able to identify. They would call out a bird name and, some of the time, we wouldn't need to even see them hold up what it looked like...we knew! We are master identifyers of the Burrowing Owl, the Canda Goose, the Mourning Dove, the Mallard Duck, and many more. We are still working on Dark-Eyed Junco,...Read more