Kuna High School

What's New

Marilyn is Back

October 25, 2017 - 12:35pm -- adale

Our regular winter resident Marilyn the Merlin is back again. We first saw her last week when a pigeon crashed into the window followed closely by Marilyn. She tried really hard but to no avail. The pigeon escaped but we did find her again on the top of a power pool eating a much smaller meal. Yesterday she flew right past us so we got a good closeup of her and we were able to put our really nice B3 spotting scope on her and get a good prolonged look at her. I took Deniz's advice last month and applied for the class set of binoculars through the Cornell Bird lab and we ended up winning a class set. Really nice set of 10 Celestron 8x30 binoculars. Over five hundred teachers applied and we were one of twelve winners. I think that most of the credit goes to Bird by Bird. This program helped me get the ornithology program up and running here at Kuna which helped me to be able to write a strong application.  

Those Stealing Birds

September 12, 2017 - 1:17pm -- adale

I have commented several times about how nice it is to be able to teach about birds at Kuna High School. It being a rural school like it is increases the chance of seeing some really fun and amazing things. Like all other schools though sometimes we witness crimes. What kind of crimes you ask, STEALING! Yesterday we started out on a field trip to the hay field across the street. We were are at our staging area right in front of the school when it happened. Up in the sky a student noticed a Swainson's Hawk it was in a stoop with it wings folded and diving at a 45 degree angle to the hay field we were going to go to. BAMB! It hit the ground, through its wings out and started flapping to gain some altitude. Just as it got up we could see it had caught a large vole, and then it happened. Another Swainson's Hawk flew in from the side, it rolled onto its back and flew in from underneath the one carrying the vole AND GRABBED IT! It stole the vole from the talons of the first Swainson's Hawk and made its escape. Leaving the first bird to go hungry. It flew over and landed on a hay bail and chowed down on its ill gotten gain. I set a scope up on it and we were able to get some great looks at an immature Swainson's Hawk. Once again, thank you B3 for some great optics for students to make really cool observations with. One student said this bird was now at the top of his top ten birds. I asked how many he had in his top ten and he said, "this is my first one but its a great one"

Second Field Trip

September 2, 2017 - 3:16pm -- adale

On our second field trip of the new year last Thursday we were able to see a couple of very cool sightings. First, we were just leaving the build and a Red Tailed hawk flew right over our heads about fifty feet above us. It was a great look and if that wasn't enough it flew around the building and lit in some trees right across the road. I was able to put a spotting scope on it and all thirty one students got a great close up of a mature Red Tailed Hawk. The other sighting was just a bunch of very common Eurasian Ring Necked Doves that were feeding on the ground by the dairy across the street from the school. A couple of students said, "hey Mr. Dale that one looks kind of white". When I saw it I got really excited because it was not all white but had white sploches all over. So it is still really early in the semester but we found a leucistic dove. I'll talk about this later in the semester but we were treated with an excellent teachable moment, a moment we could not have had being couped up in the classroom. We are going to have a great bird year!

We're Back!

August 25, 2017 - 3:33pm -- adale

Kuna is back for another year of learning about birds and turning kids into birders even if they don't know it. Today was the first day of Ornithology so we hit the ground running and we went on our first field trip around the school. I wanted to make sure they were able to see some of the common birds that are here through the summer but are on the way south right now. We were able to find two Swainson's hawks and about ten Brewer's Blackbirds. This is going to be a great year!


What we've seen this school year


Allen Dale, Grade 10
Kuna, Idaho USA