Council High School

What's New

Nesting Bird Boxes

April 28, 2018 - 7:45am -- Kris Stone

The Council Exploring Science students placed 10 bluebird nesting boxes along the Weiser River Trail near the school.  They have checked them once a week for 3 weeks.  Currently, no birds are using them.  The students will continue to check through May and report the data to Nestwatch sponsored by Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 

Spring Bird Project

March 23, 2018 - 9:17am -- Kris Stone

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 between the Council schools and Shingle Flat Trail.  Students will monitor the boxes near the school this spring and adult volunteers will monitor the other boxes.  We are hoping students will be able to visit the Shingle Flat Trail boxes at least once this spring.

Students and volunteers will collect the data on each nesting box during the spring and early summer.  The data collected will be shared with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology “Nest Watch” citizen program. This program has citizen scientists collect data on nest location, nest description, breeding data, and nesting attempt summary (see for more information). Both western and mountain bluebirds are known to visit and nest in the Council area. Students will explore the data to determine if bluebirds nest in the boxes placed along an elevation gradient from 2900 feet to about 6000 feet.  Students will also determine what other birds are using the nesting boxes and if there is any habitat preference among the different bird species.

Finally, the feeding station at the Council community garden has not been very fruitful this winter and last fall.  A short distance away, a Council resident has bird feeders and observes greater numbers and diversity of birds.  After spring break, the Bird by Bird feeding station will be moved to determine if a different location entices more birds to the feeder.


Christmas for the Birds!

December 27, 2017 - 7:07am -- Kris Stone

Council Expoloring Science students did their own “Christmas Bird Count on Thursday, December 14, 2017. They spent a class period counting and identifying bird along the Weiser River Trail. One group of students observed a great blue heron at the pond! Students also observed black-capped chickadees, California quail,and housesparrows.

A week later, students made 3 bird feeders to feed the birds at Christmas break. They made a deluxe feeder out of recycled plastic bottles, baling twine, and willow sticks; a pine cone feeder smeared with lard and rolled in bird seeds; and a thistle “sick” feeder made out of lace and embroidry thread! 

November and Early December Observations

December 9, 2017 - 6:47am -- Kris Stone

Council high students spent a couple of days observing bids at the feeder and on the Weiser River Trail in November. However, due to weather and observing late in the  afternoon, few birds were seen. The first observation in December was more productive. Students observed several species: American goldfinch, black-capped chickadees, house sparrows, northern flicker, and a rough-legged hawk!


What we've seen this school year


Species Count Disposition Date and Time Link

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapilla)
4 Perched 12/14/2017 - 3:00pm Details

California Quail (Callipepla californica)
30 Ground 12/14/2017 - 3:00pm Details

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
20 Perched 12/14/2017 - 3:00pm Details

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
1 Flying 12/14/2017 - 3:00pm Details

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
1 Feeder 12/07/2017 - 3:30pm Details

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapilla)
4 Perched 12/07/2017 - 3:30pm Details

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
1 Flying 12/07/2017 - 3:30pm Details

Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus)
1 Flying 12/07/2017 - 3:30pm Details

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
20 Feeder 12/07/2017 - 3:30pm Details

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
6 Flying 10/26/2017 - 3:30pm Details


Val Armichardy, Grade 11
Council, Idaho USA


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