Recent Updates

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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Merlin, a great horned owl owned by Morlee Nelson Birds of Prey Center, visited our class Friday along with Jared, his handler. Merlin is a bird that was rescued by the BLM officers after he was hit by a car. Due to his car accident he his right wing was damaged, preventing him from flying far. He lives in a shed with access to the outdoor environment, perches, and food. He is a very grumpy old bird. He sleeps or rests during the day and flys around crazy-like at night.  In class he hooted at our class and was very grumpy. He tried to fly around the classroom, but was attached to jared's...

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Bird Magic

On Wednesday, October 4 our class went to see bird banding at the Intermountain Bird Observatory River Banding Site.  As we are a 1st-3rd Montessori classroom and the students loop in our classroom, some of the students have now been 3 years in a row.  They are convinced, rightly so I suppose, that they have bird magic!  We have seen some pretty epic bird action on our trips to IBO, our walks to the Boise River, and even our field trip to the Boise Watershed, where we got to see a bald eagle face off with a great blue heron.  My 2nd and 3rd graders had convinced the 1st graders that they...

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Bird Banding field trip

We enjoyed a wonderful bird banding field trip last week! Beautiful weather, fall colors, and kid-friendly, knowledgeable scientists combined for a memorable educational experience. This is the first time I've taken a class banding in the fall, and I was surprised at the difference in species we caught. Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Orange-Crowned Warblers were our most common catches. Students also enjoyed sorting camera-trap photos to see patterns in when animals use certain areas of the site. Thanks to Miss Heidi, Miss Vicky, and the other banders!

A Slow Start at Liberty

We have moved classrooms at Liberty and, with that, we've decided to move our bird feeders.  The last few years our bird feeders have been at the back of the school near our small school garden; we couldn't see them from our classroom and they sustained some vandalism and destruction over the years.  Our new classroom is right near the front of the school and, from our cubby room, we spied a great new spot right out our door.  It's a small area and we are going to create a pollinator garden there to attract even more birds and insects.  We are sure this will be a better location,...

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Anticipating a Great Year of Birding

Our class is very excited about bird watching. We filled our feeders last week, took our program pre-assessments, and watched a video about identifying birds. Next, Mr. Willadsen will visit and we'll talk about using field glasses. Now, if we could just spy some birds. The feeders just haven't been discovered yet!


While we were outside being our amazing selves also known as bird watchers, we saw a bunch of birds. The only birds that we saw were house sparrows, american croaws, some common ravens, and finnaly the brown headed cow bird. We also saw a big bird that turned out to be a plane.

A Visit From Mr. Evans by Grace & Leya

Hi this is Grace and Leya. We are in fourth grade at Hidden Springs Elementary. Last Tuesday, Mr. Evans from the Peregrine Fund came to Hidden Springs Elementary. He taught us about birds and habitats. Mr. Evans taught us that if a House Sparrow is in a habitat it does not really give us any good clues about how healthy the habitat is because a House Sparrow can either live in a bad habitat or good habitat. If you see a Dark Eyed Junco it means it is a decent habitat. If a Sage Sparrow is in a habitat it means it's a really good habitat.

He also taught us what words to use...

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