Bird, Bird…Bird is the Word!

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Our class is so excited to start our Project Feeder Watch program this year!  This is the third year in a row that Mrs. Fraher’s class has participated in this project through Cornell University.  Why not start it out with a bang?

Mrs. Goucher’s fourth grade class joined us one sunny Friday morning along with parents from both classes.  There was a great deal of excitement from both rooms.  Students had a great time participating in activities centered on birds.  Owl pellet dissection, making bird feeders, learning bird calls, going on a bird hunt, and creating bird art using different materials were just a few fun projects they were involved with.

Are you interested in seeing what we did?  Well, check this out:


Here some things our class likes about birds:

Trevor:  I like that there are so many different kinds of bird and that they are so colorful.

Avery:  I think it is cool that some birds can talk.

Tyler:  I like birds because they look so cute when they peek into our classroom window.

Brooke:  Birds puff up their feathers and it makes them look like a puffball.

Alexis:  That all species of birds make different sounds and you can tell the different birds by their sounds. 

Check out what these students think about birds.

Garrison:  It is interesting to look at all of the species of birds because they have different beaks, feet and feather colors.

Kyle:  I think it is cool that they can takes a bunch of sticks and with their beak they can make a nest.

Emma:  I like birds because you can have them as pets and feed them.

Trinity:  Some birds are nocturnal, like an owl and that you can’t hear their wings flap because of the special feathers they have.

Tyler:  I like birds because they help spread pollen to make flowers.

Skyler: I like birds because they are so different and some don’t even fly.  

Anne:  I like watching how their patterns change on their feathers and they get more beautiful as they grow.

What do you like about birds?

Project Feeder Watch Comes to a Close

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Our class has had a wonderful time this year on our Project Feeder Watch.  Check out what we did and learned during this great birding project!

First, we live in the Sonoran Desert so our goal was to examine and learn about the birds found in the Sonoran Desert.  Here is a Tagul from Justin about the bird species we saw.

Here are the bird species we saw from our class window and some facts about them by Nathan and Cassidy…

Here are some of the species we have seen using Blabberize:

Do you know the different features birders use to identify birds?  Take a look at this Show Me from Elly, Zach, and Cody to find out.

We hoped you enjoyed learning about birds with us.

Please comment and tell us something you learned.

There is another post with more information! Check it out!




iPads, MacBook Pro, Binoculars, Oh My!

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In the world of technology, our class is sitting pretty thanks to the money we received from Century Link and AzTEA through the technology grant Mrs. Goucher and I won.  It is absolutely a dream come true for both of us.  Both Mrs. Goucher and myself really appreciate the generosity of Century Link and their commitment to the community.  Every time I think about the phone call we received letting us know we won, I get a big smile on my face!  All of the hard work writing the grant was definitely worth it!  Most of the grant was set aside to help us purchase iPads, two Mac Book Pros, and binoculars for our Project Feeder Watch.  Kids will be using them to help with data collection and recording of bird species.  We haven’t received our binoculars yet.  When we do, it will help us identify the species because we will be able to see the bird’s features much better.  

Here are a few pictures that show our excitement when the iPads and Mac Book arrived:

Feels like Christmas!


Another box to many more are there?


We're getting closer!



The anticipation is killing us!


Yes! The iPad has left the box!


Yes, Mrs. Fraher is looking a little possessive of that Mac Book! Do you think she is thinking, "MINE!"

To try them out, we took a few pictures of a cactus wren and its nest in our school parking lot with the iPad.  A male and a female were building the nest and foraging for food in the median of the road.  They were very interesting to watch.  Check them out…


The Cactus Wren...Arizona's state bird.


Do you have the Cactus Wren where you live?  

If not, what bird do you have that is similar in looks to the Cactus Wren?


Cactus wrens are common in cactus country (which is us) and arid hillsides. They forage on the ground for food.


It likes to make its domed nest in thorny trees, like this Palo Verde, or Cholla cacti. This is to protect its young from predators.


Two of the prominent features of the Cactus Wren is the white eyebrow and speckled feathers. Uh, oh, he's watching us.


Listen to the chug, chug, chug of the cactus wren:

CactusWrenCallFade PE916201

It’s Superman, It’s a Plane….No, It’s A Bird for Project Feeder Watch!

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We are doing a project called Project FeederWatch.  It is about finding different bird species, graphing and recording the number we see, and then reporting it to Cornell University.  
We are doing it for the Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University.  We are doing it October through March.  We are doing it in Mrs. Fraher’s class, Mrs. Goucher’s class, our school habitat, and by the desert wash outside our class.  
We are feeding the birds, observing the different feeder locations throughout the day, and recording what we find. 
The first steps of this project was to get to know the birds and their features and their habits so when we are ready to tally their numbers we know what species we are seeing.  
We did this through observing birds,
keeping a record of the species we have found using a digital camera and a birding  journal.  
                 So far, we have observed nineteen species!
       Cactus Wren                                      House Finch                                                White Crown Sparrow
Song Sparrow                                    Curved Bill Thrasher                              Gila Woodpecker
Gilded Flicker                                    Gamble’s Quail                                           Mourning Dove
Northern Cardinal                         American Robin                                        American Crow
Abert’s Towhee                                 Western Wood Pee-Wee
Take a look at some of the species we have seen:
Make your own slide show at Animoto.

Every week there are two new bird feeders that go out twice a day to fill the feeders by our window.  They put food on the window sill and the feeders.