Kuna High School

What's New

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. 


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.  


What we've seen this school year


Species Count Disposition Date and Time Link

Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
1 Ground 12/14/2018 - 9:30pm Details

Merlin (Falco columbarius)
1 Perched 12/14/2018 - 9:30pm Details

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)
3 Perched 12/14/2018 - 9:30pm Details

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
2 Perched 12/14/2018 - 9:30pm Details

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
1 Perched 12/14/2018 - 9:30pm Details

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
6 Flying 11/08/2018 - 10:00am Details

Rock Pigeon/Dove (Columba livia)
2 Perched 11/08/2018 - 10:00am Details

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
30 Feeder 11/08/2018 - 10:00am Details

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
14 Flying 11/08/2018 - 10:00am Details

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
1 Perched 11/08/2018 - 10:00am Details


Allen Dale, Grade 10
Kuna, Idaho USA
Latitude: 43.5018
Longitude: -116.406