Liberty Elementary

What's New

We LOVE birds in February!

February 13, 2017 - 5:05pm -- amber.armstrong

Mr. Monte and Slim came to visit Liberty Elementary in early February.  Slim is a golden eagle, which is exciting because our school mascot is a bald eagle!  Ms. Silver's class joined us in the cafeteria to hear all about Slim's experiences in movies.  We loved asking questions about the size of food Slim could eat!  It was pretty exciting to feel the wind on our faces from a golden eagle flapping.  We learned more about birds of prey and how even the feathers are protected by law.


Also in February, Ms. Heather from the Intermountain Bird Observatory came to tell us all about the curlew!  She was an amazing speaker who shared so much information and stories with us.  Curlews are a shore bird with long legs and a LONG beak that live in Idaho during the nesting season.  Most of our Idaho curlews migrate to California in the colder months.  She gave us a website where we can track where the curlews are and we can't wait to check it out!  We also loved the stories about poor Emmett, the lonely curlew, and not-so-smart Potato, who lays her eggs by the cattle trough.  She kept 50 students enthralled with her presentation for over an hour!  They loved every minute!  Thank you Heather and IBO!



Who Knew We Knew?

January 3, 2017 - 1:45pm -- amber.armstrong

In December, Miss Ally and Miss Kristen came to visit us to show us how much we'd learned about identifying birds!  They had made bird bingo boards that included many birds we've seen and identified on our walks and near our feeders.  

We couldn't believe how many we were able to identify.  They would call out a bird name and, some of the time, we wouldn't need to even see them hold up what it looked like...we knew! We are master identifyers of the Burrowing Owl, the Canda Goose, the Mourning Dove, the Mallard Duck, and many more.  We are still working on Dark-Eyed Junco, the European Starling, and some others.  We were also able to use what we've learned about birds of prey to help us narrow down our choices when it came to the Cooper's Hawk.  One of our students even identified one in his yard over Christmas break (along with some American Robins).  We are so excited about all we learn and are able to take out into the world with us!  


Owls Pellets - A ball of bones and fur and other things

November 10, 2016 - 5:10pm -- amber.armstrong

Today Miss Kristin, Miss Ally, and Mr. Bob came to Liberty with long-eared owl pellets!  A few weeks ago, Miss Vicky had brought the burrowing owl from the MK Nature Center for a visit so we were really excited to SEE owl pellets after hearing about them!


We found and identified tons of bones including skulls, jaws, scapulas, pelvic bones, ribs, and vertebrae.  Most of the bones we found in the owl pellets were from rodents.  We dissected the pellets with so much enthusiasm and wonder; our facilitators didn't hear a single "eww" or "gross".  Many kids now want to grow up to study birds and other owls after this amazing lesson.  We were surprised to get magnifying bug boxes to take some of our skeletal remains home to tell our parents about.  Thank you Bird by Bird, and especially Miss Kristin, Miss Ally, and Mr. Bob!




And, if you don't know, there's an owl pellet song we thought was hilarious and fun to sing....That's what this post is named after.







Our Busy Birding Fall

October 12, 2016 - 6:15pm -- amber.armstrong


Last week, on October 5, both Lower Montessori classes took a walk to the Boise River.  We had taken the same walk last spring and were excited to see similarities and differences.  In the spring, we saw many Great Blue Herons because we walked near a rookery.  This fall, we did not any Great Blue Heron but we were super excited to see another large white water bird!  We discovered, after looking in our field guides, that we had seen a Great Egret.  Lucky us!  We saw a few Mallard ducks as well and some songbirds that we couldn't quite identify.  We were surprised that we didn't hear many Red-Winged Blackbirds like we had last spring.  


This week, on October 11, we got to go visit Heidi and the IBO River Site.  Just like our walk to the river, we were excited to see if different types or numbers of birds were caught than when we came last spring.  We loved learning about the mist nets and how their used.  We had fun going on net runs and also playing a habitat game.  Only sparrows were caught in the nets while we were there.  There were song sparrows and white-crowned sparrows.  The last few runs we got "skunked" and then saw a hawk flying from tree to tree.  Now we know why there weren't any birds in the nets!


What we've seen this school year


Species Count Disposition Date and Time Link

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
1 Feeder 05/01/2016 - 9:30am Details

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
4 Feeder 05/01/2016 - 9:30am Details

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
5 Flying 05/01/2016 - 9:30am Details

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
6 Ground 05/01/2016 - 9:30am Details

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
4 Feeder 05/01/2016 - 9:30am Details

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
5 Flying 05/01/2016 - 9:30am Details

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
1 Feeder 10/01/2015 - 9:30pm Details

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
3 Ground 10/01/2015 - 9:30pm Details

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
7 Perched 10/01/2015 - 9:30pm Details


Amber Armstrong & Amy Silver, Grade 2
Boise, Idaho USA
Latitude: 43.569
Longitude: -116.162


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