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

A Frozen Warbler in Morris Hill Cemetery

November 20, 2014 - 5:05pm -- helenfisher

Recently we met with Heidi Ware our BSU Masters graduate of Ornithology.  Mr. Mason our school technologist found a dead bird in the park on a very cold day.  It was a young colorful bird that was frozen in the cold.  Heidi identified the find as a yellow-rumped warbler, sub-species Audubon's warbler.  Our teacher, Dr. (soil scientist) Fisher thought it was a kinglet, but first grade teacher Mrs Gardner suggested it was a warbler.  Doc was so wrong because a kinglet is half the size of a warbler!  We wanted to know if it was female or male and how it died.  Heidi told us that a male has a bright yellow chin and the female has a faint yellow chin, so she identified it as a young female.  We have baby teeth and birds have baby feathers.  Our bird still had some juvenile feathers on the wings and the skull bones were not fully developed.  Heidi said that the young female was one of this years nestlings and that winter survival is difficult for juveniles.  Heidi could tell that this bird did not have extra fat reserves and so could not survive in the cold.  Heidi also told us that warblers eat insects in the summer in winter will survive on berries - juniper berries are a favorite.  They even grow a longer intestinal tract to digest the winter diet!  Wow we learned a lot from a dead bird.  

Adding Peanuts

November 13, 2014 - 11:38am -- helenfisher

We added a peanut feed this week after observing an interested flicker.  We also hope to attract the nuthatch that frequented last week.  


November 11, 2014 - 10:12am -- helenfisher

The birds were out in force around the feeders after our first cold night!  Students saw a first junco and a flicker showing interest.  

Birding and Citizen Science

November 5, 2014 - 9:36am -- helenfisher

TVCS was visited by Heidi Ware on Tuesday.  We talked about the importance of birds and why mapping migration is important information.  A word we learned was "bioindicator".  Bioindicators are species that can be used to monitor the health of an environment or ecosystem.  Birds are easy to observe and are sensitive to changes in climate, pollution and habitat loss. (Sabriena)

Our visit from ornithologist, Heidi Ware, was great and we would love to tell you about it.  She taught us the importance of citizen science.  Citizens are important to science because there are many of us, we have time, we can attract birds to our schools, we can observe over many more locations together than scientists can do alone.  We thought it was very cool where she told us our data was going.  We liked the questions she presented to us and the moving bird maps of the US that are generated by e-bird.  E-bird is the data base where citizen data ends up.  The data can show if bird numbers are decreasing or increasing, environmental changes that affect birds, and migration routes and times.  For 1 hectare of tropical rainforest, it would take 500 scientistis many years just to find all the living organisms.  When citizens help, more information can be gathered.

The TVCS middle school is monitoring species of birds that are around the Morris Hill Cemetary-Bench area.

Village 7th grade class


What we've seen this school year


Species Count Disposition Date and Time Link

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
3 Feeder 02/16/2017 - 10:00am Details

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
3 Ground 02/16/2017 - 10:00am Details

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
1 Ground 02/16/2017 - 10:00am Details

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
7 Ground 02/16/2017 - 10:00am Details

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
1 Perched 02/16/2017 - 10:00am Details

American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
5 Perched 02/15/2017 - 11:15am Details

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)
4 Perched 02/15/2017 - 11:15am Details

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
1 Perched 02/15/2017 - 11:15am Details

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
1 Perched 02/15/2017 - 11:15am Details

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
7 Perched 02/15/2017 - 11:15am Details


Helen Fisher, Grade 5
Boise, Idaho USA


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