Grace Jordan Elementary

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Mr. Ridenhour Shares the Joy of Feeding Birds

January 2, 2016 - 10:51am -- jenniferbond

by reporters: Savanna and Shad

 

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Mr. Ridenhour visited Mrs. Bond’s 5th grade class on Friday, December 12, 2015. His presentation was about feeding birds in your backyard. He told Mrs. Bond’s class three things about feeders. First, Mr. Ridenhour explained the types of feeders. Next, he described where to put the feeders. Then, he told the class about feeder maintenance and species of birds he saw in his backyard.

To start, Mr. Ridenhour explained to the class five types of feeders. The platform, the hopper, and the window feeder were the first three. Next, the niger feeder, and the suet feeder were the last two.

Mr. Ridenhour described to the class where they should put feeders. First, he told the class to put feeders in a quiet place that’s easy to see and easy to refill. Mr. Ridenhour also told Mrs. Bond’s class to put feeders less than three feet away from the window to prevent birds from flying into the window.

Next Mr. Ridenhour educated Mrs. Bond’s students about feeder maintenance. Clean feeders regularly he said to prevent disease. Finally, he amazed his listeners with how many species of birds he has seen in his backyard. Mr. Ridenhour told the class that he has seen 70 different species of birds in his backyard!

In end, Mr. Ridenhour surprised the class with their very own hopper feeder and seed from Julie Steele at Wild Birds Unlimited. Although assembling feeders was a challenge, fun was had by all! Students plan to hang them at home and watch the birds and squirrels flock. Thank you Mr. Ridenhour and Mrs. Steele for sharing the joy of feeding birds.

 

Mr. Ridenhour's Visit

November 4, 2015 - 10:13am -- jenniferbond

By reporters: Izzy and Tabitha

On Friday October 23, 2015 Mr.Ridenhour visited Mrs. Bond’s class. He brought two of his owls Digger and Merlin. Digger is a burrowing owl (small brown owl in the cage) and Merlin is a great horned owl.(He looks like he has horns.)

Mr.Ridenhour taught us about the warning signs that most owls use. The signs are: first they will puff out their feathers if you get to close, if you don’t go away they will start clicking their beaks and hissing, if you still don’t go away they will bite at you or scratch at you.

When Mr. Ridenhour came he taught us about the superpowers of owls.The powers that he talked about were: amazing hearing, spectacular sight, and the silent flight of owls.These are the main superpowers of owls. In order to learn more about these powers of theirs we watched the PBS Nature episode “Owl Power” in class.

An owl’s hearing is very important to an owl. They use their hearing for finding food and hearing their owlets calling to them. “How do they hear if they don’t have ears?” you might ask. Well in fact they do have ears just not like us humans do. Their ears are hidden by their feathers so you can’t see them. One thing that helps owls hear is their facial disk. It helps so if they hear something that is far away they can feel it bounce off. Another thing that helps is that they have one ear higher than the other; that way they know where, how high, or how low their prey is. Having one ear higher than the other is sort of like an alien species. Even though it might sound weird, it is helpful.

Owls' sight is almost as important as their hearing. Their hearing can help them hunt, but it can’t keep them from running into a tree. Owls have a lot of rod cells which are very sensitive to light. This helps them see at night. They see things two and a half times brighter than us. This can help them get home and keeps them from running into things in the dark. Did you know that owl’s eyes are sooo big that they take up 70 % of their skull? Human eyes only take up 5% of our skull.

Mr. Ridenhour explained owls are slower because of the way their wings and feathers are built. Their feathers are built in order to stop turbulence from being created, but this also makes them slower. Some other birds, of prey like the hawk, have feathers that are stiff so they can go faster but are louder. Owls have soft downy feathers that are quieter but slower. Mr. Ridenhour explained that owls have comb-like fringes on one side of the wing, the other side of the wing is sort of tattered looking. This lets air pass gently through the wings instead of making turbulence, which make noise.

 

Mrs. Bond’s class learned about the superpowers of owl. They are continuing to learn about these amazing creatures. In our opinion, owls are amazing birds! What do you think?

FEED THE BIRDS

September 28, 2015 - 9:58am -- jenniferbond

by Izzy and Tabitha

On September 16 of 2015, Mrs. Bond's class hung up their bird feeders. So far we have three feeders.

On Thursday September 24, 2015 we saw one squirrel, 2 mourning doves, and six house finches. Only one of the finches was a male house finch.

On September 25, 2015, we saw a female chase off two males at a feeder. We have also been seeing some fighting female house finches. We think that they are fighting for a ledge on one feeder or they don´t want to sit next to each other and eat. You would never expect that girls would chase of the boys for just a silly feeder. Now that is 3 males so far. It is weird that the mourning doves don't chase each other off like the house finches do. In fact they don't chase or scare each other at all.

The time they mostly come out on to the bird feeders is early in the morning like 9:00 or 10:00.One of us checked at about 11:00 and there was only 2 birds. We wonder why they are out in the morning but not in the afternoon? This is a really good question.  We will have to either watch when they leave the feeder, or do some research about it.  

Our Exciting Field Trip!

May 12, 2015 - 4:05pm -- jenniferbond

by Hannya and Sadie

      On Thursday May 7 Mrs. Bond’s class went on a field trip to the Boise Foothills Learning Center to look at birds. The class was very excited to go. When they arrived they broke up into separate groups to look at birds in different areas. One of the groups saw a Belted Kingfisher with a goldfish in it’s mouth! The group’s leader, Mr. Rich said he had never seen that in his entire life! The group saw a pair of Say’s Phoebe and the nest too!  Someone spotted two amazing Great Horned Owls and the baby owl.

                                                                                           

 Also, they saw lots of wonderful birds.The birds were all scared of the students so the kids tried to be really quiet. The students saw 22 different species of birds. The birds they saw were 4 California Quails, 82 Bank Swallows, 3 Western Meadowlarks, 4 Black-billed Magpies, 1 Belted Kingfisher, 16  Red-winged Black Birds, 6 European Starlings, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Baltimore Oriole, 2 Say’s Phoebes, 5 Pigeons, 2 House Wrens, 1 House Finch, 1 American Goldfinch, 1 Great Blue Heron, 17 Song Sparrows, 4 Robins, 14 Mourning Doves, 3 Great Horned Owls, 3 American Kestrels and 2 Lazuli Buntings.

 

One student said their favorite bird was the Great Horned Owl because the baby bird was so small and adorable! The students were excited to learn lots of amazing facts about all the types of birds they saw! They were also curious to explore in nature. Mrs. Bond’s class was hungry after the tiring field trip. The students ended their day hiking to Camel's Back Park, running up and down the hill. Therefore, Mrs. Bond’s students had a very exciting field trip!

 

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Ian Neely, Grade 6
Boise, Idaho USA

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