Recent Updates

Busy day for birding!

Today  the birds where very agressive. They where fighting over the food. It was snowing nonstop and it is still snowing. They will leave and come back almost instantly. They where all in clusters so they could keep warm. They are always on the move and won't stay in one spot for a long time. 

Aplomado Falcon!

By Jack & Faith (4th Grade)

Last Wednesday we were lucky enough to be vistied by two very special guests. We were visited by Mr. Evans from the Peregrine Fund (he works at the World Center for Birds of Prey) and Aplomado Falcon named Rosa.

Rosa is a very pretty bird! The color of her feathers are black and light brown. The pattern on her body and face is striped.

All raptors  have adaptations that help them survive. Let's talk about Rosa's. One of Rosa's adaptations is her beak. It is curved. This helps her because she can rip up her prey so it is easier to eat....

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Winter Survival

Highlands Winter Survival 

Today, we learned that birds have some special adaptations to survive these harsh winter, for example, their feathers are a great insulator and they keep them warm. At the end we made birdfeeders out of pinecones by getting crisco on the pinecones, then we threw some bird feeder and it stuck andnow the birds will haev more food over the break when we're gone.

Changing Lives With Birds

Recently Monte Tish came to our classroom recently with Slim. He is always a big hit even though he says just Slim makes the show. I always like the way that he walks around the room with Slim on his arm so kids can get a real close up look at a bird as big and majestic as Slim is. When I have a guest speaker come to my class I always do something to thank the speakers but since it is a high school classroom I don't have the students write thank you notes. That's just for the elementary level classes right? This time I decided to go against what I think is the tradition or age appropriate...

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Susan Kain's Visit About Owls

Susan Kain, from Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, came to Lake Ridge Elementary to talk to Mrs. Crawford's fifth grade class about owls. They dissected owl pellets on paper plates and learned about adaptations.  Susan brought a stuffed owl named Barney to show the comb-like feathers of a barn owl. They also studied the satellite dish-like ears and eyes of a barn owl. When they dissected owl pellets, they talked about the types of the bones that they found in the pellets. Thank you, Susan!

Dissecting owl pellets

Curlews in the Classroom

Yesterday we had a visit from Heather Hayes of IBO. She taught us all about Long-billed curlews, their habitat, studies underway, and conservation efforts. It was super cool to see the curlew bill and the banding equipment. We are excited to follow the migration maps. Also, we're going to use the holiday break to brainstorm names for the naming contest. We have some great ideas already!


We had a snowy bird watching trip today on the green belt!  Oh my goodness! We saw: A BALD EAGLE!!, a hawk flying, Woodpeckers, Great Blue Herons,Ducks, a Belted Kingfisher, gold finches, crows, a beehive, an otter and two deer! A successful snowy bird trip!  

Bird fireworks

Mr. Willadsen came to help us make bird feeders last week.He helped us put Crisco and pinecones and birdseeds on it . Many kids saw birds on the feeders when they hung them up. We saw 50 House sparrows that lit the sky like fireworks! We also found a Goldfinch.

New Visitor!

Today we had our first sighting ever of a ruby crowned kinglet.  The bird flew right up to the window and landed on the ledge just outside.  It was amazing to see that tiny, narrow beak up close.   Our feeders have been overloaded with lesser and American goldfinches lately.  Often times all perches on both feeders are full.  In addition, our trusty little song sparrow has continued to lurk in the Junipers just outside the classroom.  The dark-eyed juncoes have been making appearances as well.  So many birds can be a bit distracting, but it is worth it!  


"There is a New Bird!"

Leave it to the 6th grade math class to notice a new bird.  Xanden and Spencer K noticed right away that there was something different about our lesser goldfinches today.  The new birds were noticeably bigger, less yellow, and had two very distinct wing bars compared to our normal lesser gold finches.  We were lucky to notice both species together so that we could compare sizes and color-pattern more easily, and quite sure that we were now watching American goldfinches too!  We are looking forward to more visits!