Liberty Elementary

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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!

A New Beginning

October 12, 2015 - 6:30pm -- amber.armstrong

We are so excited to be a part of the Bird by Bird program here at Liberty Elementary.  We are a Lower Montessori classroom, which includes students in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades.  My students were so excited to see and explore all the materials included in our big tub, as well as the feeders and bird seed.  We actually spent quite a bit of time exploring all of the items.  

We pretty quickly decided upon a location for our feeders and bath; we knew our school garden provided lots of shelter and food already so it was the perfect location! It is also a great location because it is outside some huge windows in the library; we can check them out from the inside and the outside of our school!   We had to get help from our custodian, Mr. Day, to actually install the feeders because it was so tricky.  

We've been checking and rechecking quite a bit looking for a bit of bird action but we had no visible takers for a while.  We wondered if birds or rodents were eating all the food from the ground feeder.  Last week we finally saw our first bird at the feeder: a male house finch!  We can't wait till he tells all his friends.  .0

As we've been talking and learning about birds more and more, the kids have become increasingly excited.  One of our students and his family actually found an injured owl in their backyard.  It died soon after, but they took this picture and we dug through our books to discover what type of owl.  We though it might be a saw whet owl and it was confirmed by Heidi, from the Intermountain Bird Observatory.  



Amber Armstrong & Amy Silver, Grade 2
Boise, Idaho USA


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