Kuna High School

What's New

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. 

The start of the second season

January 31, 2018 - 3:30pm -- adale

We just started the new semester two weeks ago and that means we get a whole new crop of ornithology students. It is a lot of fun hearing from one student that they are taking the class because a friend of theirs did or they will tell me their friend took the class last year and now they are really annoying because they are always pointing out birds. Even though the students are new and enthusiastic for the most part sometimes I need a little reminder about how important this could be for some kids. I was reminded of that last Thursday. There was a report of a snowy owl being sighted out in the Wilder area so a friend of mine and I went out to see if we could find it again. We happened to run into a person my friend knew. He was also out looking for the owl and it just so happened that he was a former student of my friend. He was a biology student in the late SEVENTIES! The very cool thing was not that my friend was that old but that he at gotten this guy interested in birds way back then and he was still really into it. How inspiring is that?! I can't think of anything better than running into a student and know that I had a part in getting them started with birds. This is what B3 is helping us do. Onward and upward for a new semester of birds.

Slim and Monte

December 18, 2017 - 7:33pm -- adale

Mr. Monte Tish came to Kuna with Slim the golden eagle last Tuesday and was a hit as always. The students were amazed at the size of Slim and the fact that when Slim was rescued they all thought she was a male because of how small she was. We also had a big treat the day before Monte and Slim came to see us. We were taking a walk around the school counting birds and there right in front us was a Cooper's Hawk sitting on the ground. We also saw Marilyn the Merlin last week. This is the fourth year in a row that she has come to spend the winter in Kuna. 



What we've seen this school year


Species Count Disposition Date and Timesort descending Link

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum)
1 Flying 09/16/2015 - 7:00pm Details

Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
2 Perched 09/16/2015 - 7:00pm Details

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
18 Perched 09/17/2015 - 11:15pm Details

Rock Pigeon/Dove (Columba livia)
6 Flying 09/17/2015 - 11:15pm Details

Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
1 Perched 09/17/2015 - 11:15pm Details

Common Raven (Corvus corax)
1 Ground 09/17/2015 - 11:15pm Details

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
1 Perched 09/17/2015 - 11:15pm Details

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
7 Flying 09/17/2015 - 11:15pm Details

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
1 Flying 09/17/2015 - 11:15pm Details

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
60 Flying 09/17/2015 - 11:15pm Details


Allen Dale, Grade 10
Kuna, Idaho USA



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