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

House Finch Fledglings

June 1, 2017 - 4:45pm -- helenfisher

For much of the month of May, a pair of house finch, two male American goldfinch, and a pair of lesser gold finch found morning and evening sustenance at our feeders.  It was a quiet time at our window.  But for the last week, clown-like baby finches, have been shaking their wings and arching their greedy mouths at frantic adults.  Filling the sunflower feeder is a twice a day task.  One of the best additions to our feeding poles is a clamp to attach natural branches.  The babies perch on the twigs by their adults, begging for food.  And we have watched the regurgitation process. We think that the young American goldfinch are much more independent.  The adults drop them off at the thistle feeder and leave them to it. Vegetation in the garden is attracting more feeding away from the feeder too.

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!  


What we've seen this school year


Helen Fisher, Grade 5
Boise, Idaho USA

Bird by Bird

Educating children one bird at a time!

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