Kuna High School

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First Annual KHS Bird Festival

May 16, 2016 - 8:57am -- adale

Last Friday May 13 the ornithology classes here at Kuna High School put on our first annual bird festival for the first grade at Crimmson Point Elementary. There were three classes, seventy seven first graders that came over to the high school. We had the kids in small groups that went to stations that had games from the Flying Wild Educatiors Guide. My orninithology students did a fantastic job teaching the games to the first graders and the first graders did an excellent job listening and playing the games. We went for about two hours playing and learning about birds and then we all had lunch together. I thought the first graders would slow down at that point but I think they just got and infusion of energy and they started playing tag with some of the ornithology students. Thank you to Lori Adams at Idaho Fish and Game for loaning us all of the games so the planning part was minimul. Also thank you to Miranda Poldosky at Crimson Point for helping us plan and getting all of the first graders here. For our first time I think things went really well.

It's been a good year!

April 14, 2016 - 12:28pm -- adale

For some reason we are not seeing as many birds at our feeder. We were having to fill it back up every day but for the past couple of weeks we haven't seen as many birds there. Our field trips around school are becoming a lot more fruitful though. A lot of the Spring migrants are finally getting back so the birds that were common for first semesters class to see have not been seen yet by the second semester students. Slowly but surely they are getting back though. We are seeing a lot of killdeer, Brewer's blackbirds, Swanson's hawks and even a couple of Long Billed Curlews flew over. Yesterday we were able to take a bus out to the Birds of Prey area and on our way we stopped at the water treatment ponds and were able to see tons (more than five) of species on the water. We saw Ruddy ducks, Northern Shovlers, Buffleheads, Lesser Scaups, Greater White Fronted Geese, Black necked Stilts, Mallards, Coots, Canada Geese, and probably a bunch that we didn't see. On our way out Swan Falls Road we saw three Northern Harriers flying around together (all appeared to be females) and my students called my attention to them and identified them with no help from me. As we watched them a Redtailed flew toward us and when it was almost to us it folded it's wings and almost dropped to the ground after a ground squirell. That sent a "Whoa Man" through the bus. On our way back we got to see a Ferruginous Hawk and a Prairie Falcon. We were supposed to go to see the Great Blue Herron rookery in Boise but when I went to scout it out on Saturday we were greated with a flooded greenbelt so we settled for the Birds of Prey area. Even though it wasn't long it was a great trip. My students are doing really well at identifying birds on the wing. I don't hear "Mr. Dale what is that bird?" As much anymore, I am started to here "here comes a ...." I just got the numbers for next years classes and we have enough students registered to offer another section of Ornithology. So instead of four we'll have five next year. 

Spring is here

March 14, 2016 - 2:31pm -- adale

We are starting to see a lot of nesting behavior right around the school. Everything from courtship to nest building. Last week we were in the library and were able to watch a pigeon going back and forth to her nest with nesting material. There are a lot of starlings, pigeons, and house sparrows building nests in down spouts on the builing. I feel bad for the baby birds if we get a big rain. We have also seen large numbers of waterfowl flying over in the morning. There have been more than one flock of larger birds that are so high that I couldn't tell if they were swans or snowgeese but all of the students are happy to things that they haven't noticed before. We also got to take a field trip over to the Wilson ponds in Nampa were we saw all kinds of waterfowl along with koots and an immature black crowned night heron.

Very Special Visitor

February 10, 2016 - 11:10am -- adale

Two nights ago as school was letting out at about 3:30 p.m. I was standing on the sidewalk in the front of the school talking to two of our most stellar administrators. Mr. Weidenfeld and Mr. Noteboom. We were chatting about, what else...birds. All of the sudden the sky was filled with Eurasian Collared Doves. There is a dairy across the street and it is loaded with them and they had all taken flight. There were literally hundreds in the air. Right away I started looking for a raptor it took me about three seconds to see the large falcon flying toward the football field carrying a Euracian Collared Dove in it's talons. I ran to my truck and grabbed my binoculars and found where the falcon had landed. She was on top of one of the banks of lights butchering her dinner. It was an immature Peregrine Falcon. What a cool experience and what a great thing to share with all of my students. I have seen a Peregrine on Meridian road closer to the interstate but not right on campus like that. Just a few years agao they were indangered and now we can see them flying through catching dinner as long as we stay observent.

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What we've seen this school year

Observations

Species Count Disposition Date and Time Link

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
53 Feeder 01/26/2017 - 10:00am Details

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
23 Feeder 01/26/2017 - 10:00am Details

Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
2 Flying 01/26/2017 - 10:00am Details

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
25 Perched 10/24/2016 - 9:30am Details

Merlin (Falco columbarius)
1 Perched 10/24/2016 - 9:30am Details

Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia)
1 Flying 10/24/2016 - 9:30am Details

Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis)
1 Flying 10/24/2016 - 9:30am Details

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
10 Feeder 10/24/2016 - 9:30am Details

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
20 Feeder 10/24/2016 - 9:30am Details

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
17 Feeder 10/24/2016 - 9:30am Details

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Allen Dale, Grade 10
Kuna, Idaho USA

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