Sage International School

What's New

Busy School Year

October 13, 2016 - 12:49pm -- kgnojewski

What a whirlwind this year has been.  Sage sixth graders have been learning about a new bird each week as part of our "bird of the week" activity.   Some of the birds included in our studies are the black-capped chickadee, house finch, great blue heron, American crow, downy woodpecker and a few other common feeder birds.  The lesser goldfinches have been very active at our feeders this year.  At times every one of the eight feeding stations has been full.  Just recently however, a few American goldfinch have joined them.  I am pleased to report that the dark eyed juncoes are back for the winter as well.  The students noticed two downy woodpeckers on the crab apple tree outside our classroom a few weeks ago.  We are hoping to lure them back with a suet feeder.

Two weeks ago we were able to visit the IBO river site.  The crew caught a lesser goldfinch with an unusual beak deformity.  This poor bird was a great learning opportunity for the students about the challenges of surviving in the wild.  The students were also able to see a female California Quail up close.  

We look foward to continuing to develop a deeper understanding of the birds around our school and across the globe.


IBO Visit and Wetland Visitors

April 19, 2016 - 2:15pm -- kgnojewski

On behalf of Sage Middle School students, I want to extend a huge "Thank You" to Heidi Ware and the staff at the Intermountain Bird Observatory river site for hosting us a couple of weeks ago.  The students had a fantastic experience.  We were able to see a male California Quail, a Lincoln's sparrow and a song sparrow up close.  The students also learned a lot about the challenges of migration.  

Last week, Sage celebrated an early Earth Day by taking an entire day to interact with the outdoors and community.  As part of this celebration, sixth and seventh grade students hosted a mini bird festival for students in first - fourth grades.  All students involved had a fantastic experience.  I would encourage other teachers to connect with Lori Adams at Idaho Fish and Game to check out the kits that can be used to host an event.  

Finally, we have seen some interesting birds around campus.  The California gulls seem to like to visit the field when nobody is around, a pair of mallards has taken an interest in our wetland, and finally a wild turkey was spotted behind the little building.  I am looking forward to seeing who else visits this spring.



Special Visitors

March 18, 2016 - 4:03pm -- kgnojewski

Sage students have been busy learning about birds from some very special visitors recently.  Last week, Barb Forderhase visited our classroom with Little Hawk and Merlin.  Nothing quite captures the attention of students like live birds in the classroom.  Thanks so much to Barb for facilitating such a special learning experience.  This week, Heather Hayes from the Intermountain Bird Observatory shared her knowledge and experiences working with long-billed curlews with the students.  During the first period class a student noticed that the curlews had started migrating!  Heather was able to pass this information on to the IBO staff who then updated their website.  What an exciting couple of weeks. 

Our feeders seem to have slowed down a bit.  We have still been seeing lots of pine siskins, but fewer goldfinch.  We also saw a downy woodpecker last week.


Sick Birds

February 7, 2016 - 10:58am -- kgnojewski


Unfortunately we have had a number of house finches visiting our feeders with the house finch eye disease.  These birds stand out not only because of their eyes, but they have a dissheveled look about them.  My students first noticed a bird that looked particularly fat.  Upon closer inspection, her feathers were a mess and she was puffed up to stay warm.  For now, we are avoiding filling our sunflower feeder to hopefully discourage the sick birds from hanging out.  

The goldfinches seem to be getting brighter day by day.  Many days our feeder is full of both American and lesser goldfinch.

I want to invite all B3 students to participate in the Audubon family bird walk on February 14th from 1 - 3 pm at Barber Park.  We will have binoculars and guidebooks available.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Happy Birding,




Species Count Disposition Date and Time Link

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
2 Ground 01/03/2017 - 12:00pm Details

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)
1 Perched 12/06/2016 - 12:00pm Details

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
8 Feeder 12/06/2016 - 12:00pm Details

Lesser Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria)
10 Feeder 12/06/2016 - 12:00pm Details

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
2 Feeder 12/06/2016 - 12:00pm Details

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
1 Ground 12/06/2016 - 12:00pm Details

Lesser Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria)
12 Feeder 11/30/2016 - 3:15pm Details

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
1 Feeder 11/30/2016 - 3:15pm Details

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
2 Ground 11/28/2016 - 8:15pm Details

Lesser Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria)
2 Feeder 11/28/2016 - 8:15pm Details


Kristin Gnojewski, Grade 8
Boise, Idaho USA


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