Village Charter School

Birding continues at the Village Charter School on Orchard his year.  Sixth grade is making a study of birds in science this year, and middle math students take daily birding breaks.  House finches, lesser gold finches, sparrows, and doves make living in our classroom a delight, and binoculars are ready to be pulled out in seconds.  I love this way to being with kids; oh and we do learn math too.  

What's New

The Golden Jackets are Nearly Complete

April 11, 2017 - 4:04pm -- helenfisher

It has been so interesting to watch the American goldfinch boys shed their greys for golds.  Sometime in February we noticed the transition beginning.  We read that only the body feathers are molting at this time of the year, and the beautiful black and white barring on the wings is already fresh and new after an earlier flight feather molt.  Over the spring break we returned to see our golden boys flitting around the feeders, and the lesser goldfinches returned after being gone for some months. Spring is certainly exciting.

Where did the birds go?

February 16, 2017 - 10:28am -- helenfisher

A few days of clear skies and sun, and the birds were no longer coming to our feeder.  We had better luck finding birds perched high in trees and singing in the near neighborhood.  But this morning the grey skies and raindrops returned, and so did the birds.  Our feeders are busy again.

The Snow-pocalypse and Birding

January 24, 2017 - 3:56pm -- helenfisher

We all now how the Boise Valley snow affected school days, but the birds keep coming, even when the food runs low and the snow covers the ground-feeder.  American goldfinch seem to have replaced our hoards of lesser goldfinch.  Dark-eyed juncos are now frequent and numerous visitors.  The juncos will dig beneath shallow snow to find buried seeds, and the doves quarrel over freshly spread seed.  The first signs of territorial behavior is happening among the doves.  Although the mourning doves are more numerous, the Eurasian collared doves thrust out their chests and throw their larger size around.  Surprisingly the house finches are fewer these days, perhaps because the sunflower feeders have run out first on snow days.  A large flock of robins move in the neighboring trees past our windows, geese fly overhead, and bird life is ever present despite the extreme cold and snowy conditions!  

"There is a New Bird!"

December 5, 2016 - 4:37pm -- helenfisher

Leave it to the 6th grade math class to notice a new bird.  Xanden and Spencer K noticed right away that there was something different about our lesser goldfinches today.  The new birds were noticeably bigger, less yellow, and had two very distinct wing bars compared to our normal lesser gold finches.  We were lucky to notice both species together so that we could compare sizes and color-pattern more easily, and quite sure that we were now watching American goldfinches too!  We are looking forward to more visits!

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What we've seen this school year

Observations

Species Count Disposition Date and Time Link

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
2 Feeder 04/11/2017 - 2:00pm Details

Lesser Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria)
5 Feeder 04/11/2017 - 2:00pm Details

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
16 Ground 04/11/2017 - 2:00pm Details

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
4 Feeder 04/11/2017 - 2:00pm Details

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
1 Ground 04/11/2017 - 2:00pm Details

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
1 Perched 04/11/2017 - 2:00pm Details

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
23 Feeder 03/22/2017 - 2:00pm Details

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
1 Ground 03/22/2017 - 2:00pm Details

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
3 Feeder 03/22/2017 - 2:00pm Details

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
5 Feeder 03/22/2017 - 2:00pm Details

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Helen Fisher, Grade 6
Boise, Idaho USA

Bird by Bird

Educating children one bird at a time!

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