Each day, yesterday and today I took 22 kindergarten students (total 44) outside with the sun shining, the grass is green, and signs of spring are budding around our school. Our purpose was to go to a special spot. K students love the idea of going to a special spot. We went to our bluebird trail. We have four nesting boxes. Each class is going to monitor two boxes and we will learn from each other. I modeled for them how to monitor nesting boxes and answered their questions about bluebirds and house sparrows as we went along.
When you are bluebird monitoring you have to carefully do these things.
1. Approach the box from the back.
-No need to walk in front and have a bird dart out at you.
2. Knock on the door first.
-To announce you are here and let the mother bird fly away.
3. Unscrew the door, which is a hinged side.
4. Have a look inside and remove house sparrow nests.
-This is to discourage house sparrows from nesting here.
They had so many thoughtful questions about bluebirds, house sparrows, nesting boxes, and monitoring. I think this will drive our further observations, writing, reading, and thinking. I haven't even shown them a picture of a bluebird, read about bluebirds, or other cavity dwelling birds.
Bluebird monitoring is important because their natural habitat is being reduced and house sparrows are as I described to my students, are not nice - "bully" birds. House sparrows are non native species to our country which makes discouraging them from increasing in population, okay. Our goal is to increase the bluebird population.
I love being outside with my students. I love being engaged with them. I love watching them think, wonder, and question. I can't wait to talk more with them tomorrow about bluebird monitoring.