Liberty Elementary

What's New

Archimedes, the Great Horned Owl

December 18, 2017 - 5:14pm -- amber.armstrong

On December 14, Ms. Corrine, from the BLM, brought Archimedes, the Great Horned Owl, to our classroom.  It was so amazing to see such a beautiful, often camoflaged, bird so close up.  We noticed right away that he was missing an eye and Ms. Corrine told us it was because he had been hit by a car.  He has beautiful feathers and we learned that the long feathers that we've often thought of as "ear tufts" are actually called plumicorns!  It's our vocab word this week, we liked it so much!  Ms. Corrine talked to us about how owls are raptors or birds of prey and that they have a lot of special adaptations to help them be camoflaged and hunt.  We got to look closely at feathers to see how owl feathers are different than hawk feathers.  Here are a few pictures Ms. Ally took! (and we have no idea why they show up upside down here :( ..

Owl Pellets, Take Two

November 30, 2017 - 5:41pm -- amber.armstrong

Earlier this month, Miss Ally and Miss Kristin brought owl pellets to our classroom.  We did owl pellets last year and, with 2/3 of the class being the same as last year, didn't expect to do them again this year.  The 2nd and 3rd graders begged our B3 facilitators earlier this year to bring them back because "the first graders didn't get to do it and it was SOOOO COOOOL!"  The long-eared owl pellets this year were collected by a gentleman that works for Idaho Fish and Game and he came to help us disect the pellets and show us some cool bones.

I, as the teacher, was so excited to see the level of excitement and engagement which was even higher than last year's!  Last year there were a few students that would barely touch the pellets and these same kids, this year, dove right in!  I had a few first graders get down and dirty cleaning and identifying the bones.  You can see in the photos just how awesome they thought this activity was.  We are really excited to be able to see a Great Horned Owl come visit our classroom next month!

In bird feeder news, we are still dilligently cleaning, filling, and watching our feeders but still have seen no evidence of birds eating at them.  We are very sad, but are hopeful that the birds will discover the seed as the weather gets colder and other sources of food are covered with snow.  Fingers crossed! 




Bird Magic

October 8, 2017 - 4:38pm -- amber.armstrong

On Wednesday, October 4 our class went to see bird banding at the Intermountain Bird Observatory River Banding Site.  As we are a 1st-3rd Montessori classroom and the students loop in our classroom, some of the students have now been 3 years in a row.  They are convinced, rightly so I suppose, that they have bird magic!  We have seen some pretty epic bird action on our trips to IBO, our walks to the Boise River, and even our field trip to the Boise Watershed, where we got to see a bald eagle face off with a great blue heron.  My 2nd and 3rd graders had convinced the 1st graders that they were about to be amazed at IBO.  I'm always a little nervous that their hopes will be dashed... However, this field trip only served to further convince the children of their inherent bird magic. 

I prepared the kids with guide books and binoculars as we set off and they were so excited to pull out their guide books and have any adult standing around help them find the bird in hand.  Ms. Ally and Ms. Kristin, our B3 biologists, met us there and helped us with guide books and other questions.  Ms. Heidi and Ms. Heather of IBO were there as well and the kids were so excited to see them again.  We saw at least 3 species of birds that were caught in the mist nets - Ruby Crowned Kinglet, Dark Eyed Junco, Yellow Rumped Warbler, Hermit Thrush, House Finch, and Song Sparrow.  We also had a great time looking at nature vs. non in trail cam pictures.  The big excitement came when the temperature dropped as it was raining and, suddenly, all the biologists were dashing off.  We found out that they had to close all the nets because they were catching TOO MANY birds!  When they came back, they returned with cloth bag on cloth bag containing ruby crowned kinglets.  Everyone got to release 3-4 birds that day!  It was pretty epic and I'm not sure if we'll ever convince them that they do not, in fact, have bird magic.... although they may have convinced me! Miss Amber and the Lower Montessori Crew


A Slow Start at Liberty

October 1, 2017 - 2:42pm -- amber.armstrong

We have moved classrooms at Liberty and, with that, we've decided to move our bird feeders.  The last few years our bird feeders have been at the back of the school near our small school garden; we couldn't see them from our classroom and they sustained some vandalism and destruction over the years.  Our new classroom is right near the front of the school and, from our cubby room, we spied a great new spot right out our door.  It's a small area and we are going to create a pollinator garden there to attract even more birds and insects.  We are sure this will be a better location, especially if we improve the area.  We have a school duck that nests right near here every year and we've often seen her walk all the way around the school to get to the ground feeder.  We also have quite a few swallows and other small songbirds that fly around the bushes.  Upper Montessori helped us out by tilling the soil and the district brought in some topsoil and mulch.  With the ground prepped, the feeders should get placed in next week.  We are so excited to observe our feeders from our cubby room!  (we're also hoping to put our bird cam in the cubby room to see what else comes around).  Miss Ally and Miss Kristin came by earlier this month to check out our new feeder site and help us with garden plans.  We are all excited!



Species Count Disposition Date and Time Link

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
3 Perched 02/10/2017 - 10:00am Details

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
11 Perched 02/10/2017 - 10:00am Details

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
13 Flying 02/10/2017 - 10:00am Details

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
1 Flying 02/10/2017 - 10:00am Details

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
3 Perched 12/16/2016 - 11:15pm Details

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
1 Flying 12/16/2016 - 11:15pm Details

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
2 Flying 12/16/2016 - 11:15pm Details

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
2 Flying 12/16/2016 - 11:15pm Details

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
3 Flying 10/21/2016 - 10:30am Details

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
2 Flying 10/21/2016 - 10:30am Details


Bird by Bird

Educating children one bird at a time!

Participating Schools