Kuna High School

What's New

Babies already

April 30, 2018 - 1:12pm -- adale

Today we went on a short walk around the neighorhood today just to see what might be around that we haven't seen yet. We saw a killdeer by the dairy across the street and she was sitting ontop of a mound of manure. One of the kids said, "it looks she's sitting on something". We looked closer and the killdeer stood up and two babies ran out from under her chest and she ran the oppisite direction trying to draw our attention away. We also walked down to the red tailed hawk to see how the babies there are doing. There are three in the nest that can be seen all the time. They are twice the size that they were the first day we saw them which was the first of last week.

April has been hopping

April 26, 2018 - 7:40pm -- adale

A lot has been happening around Kuna in the month of April. Monti Tish and Slim came out to see us again and were a hit yet again. The students asked some great questions and got some great pictures of Slim with their phones. We have been keeping an eye on a large stick neck just about half a block from the school and especially in the last month or so, we have been watching the female red tailed hawk diligently incubating the eggs. About a week ago we noticed that the female was acting a little different, like she was being more attentive but as up moving around and it definately looked like she could be feeding babies. Sure enough, Monday of this week we could see little fuzzy heads poking up and today the babies are big enough that we are able to see the entire head. The nest is so close to the school we can walk over there from the front door and make observations for a while and the students love it. Yesterday while we were there the male flew in with lunch and feed the babies. It is so nice to have two spotting scopes so we can keep our dstance and not disturb anyone. In March the class started reading The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman. It is a book all about bird behavior. The next part is kind of a long story so I will just give you the highlights. Jennifer Ackerman,  the author,  found out I was using her book in my class and she wrote me an email and asked me if there was anything she could do to help us. She lives in North Carolina so she cannot just pop over to Kuna but she did agree to have a Skype session with us so we can discuss bird behavior and the stories in her book with her. So in about a week we will Skype with a New York Times Bestselling author. How cool is that.

Not a lot of birds but observations are plentiful

March 19, 2018 - 10:37am -- adale

We a decent numbers of English House Sparrows and House Finches at our feeders but the diversity eludes us. Even though we only see house sparrows at the feeders we have noticed a couple of pretty cool observations while out wander around the shcool for a field trip. Last week we watched a kestrell hovering and it went down to the ground and caught a large vole. Just as it caught it a Merlin zoomed in from the side ride at ground level, grabbed the vole and kept going. I'm pretty sure the Merlin  was laughing as he flew away carrying his ill gotten booty. On he same day we saw a large flock of Snow Geese flying over about 270,000 miles above us; They were so high we could barely see them. Miss Cory brought Merlin and Little Hawk to the class a couple of weeks ago. It was a lot of fun and Merlin was really hooting it up. He's never done that before. We are going to be taking a big field trip to Wilson ponds on Thursday. We are hoping to see  a big variety of ducks and other birds.

The Great Backyard Bird Count in Kuna

February 16, 2018 - 9:17pm -- adale

What an exciting afternoon! Today was an official vacation day for students but three of them came to school on there day off to take part in our first official Great Backyard Bird Count. It was started in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society and was meant for people to be involved in a citizen-science project that collects data on wild birds. This was a great way for me to involve students in the ornithology in a real science project. I was so thrilled that three kids showed up I just kept thanking them for coming. One of them asked me, "how many kids did you expect to show up" to which I honestly addmitted that didn't didn't expect any. It's alway iffy with high school kids on a day off, they are usually working. We finished going over "Tips for identifying unknown birds" so this was a great time for us to practice using things like size and shape and behavior to identify unknowns birds. They really were getting good at it. One saw the lightning fast flight of dark eyed juncos and was able to use their flight behavior to identify them without any help from me. One of them spotted a very large bird in the distance that turned out to be a mature bald eagle. We also got really good looks at a pair of red tailed hawks that were sitting in and right around their nest. What a great day. The thing that made it so great was not just seeing the birds we don't normally see that much but it was watching them get truly involved and having fun seeing and observing the birds. One of them told me he just took the class because he needed the credit and thought ornithology would be a fun class. As time went by today I could tell he was getting hooked. 


What we've seen this school year


Species Count Disposition Date and Time Link

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
1 Feeder 05/14/2018 - 1:00pm Details

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
2 Feeder 05/14/2018 - 1:00pm Details

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
8 Flying 05/14/2018 - 1:00pm Details

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
1 Ground 05/14/2018 - 1:00pm Details

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
5 Feeder 05/14/2018 - 1:00pm Details

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
12 Feeder 05/14/2018 - 1:00pm Details

American Coot (Fulica americana)
1 Perched 05/10/2018 - 12:30pm Details

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
1 Flying 05/10/2018 - 12:30pm Details

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
4 Feeder 05/10/2018 - 12:30pm Details

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
2 Feeder 05/10/2018 - 12:30pm Details


Allen Dale, Grade 10
Kuna, Idaho USA



Bird by Bird

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