Grace checking the placement of the Blue bird box
Our last activity this school year at Githens was to do a community service project that benefitted students and the school grounds. The students elected to hang Bluebird boxes on the edge of the natural area at the school. This project provides habitat for the bluebirds the students had seen flying around nearby, and provides all students at the school an opportunity to observe the birds more closely, learn their habitats, pique interest and build a connection with nature.
Many of our nature encounters at Githens involved lots of bird sightings prompting discussions. As mentioned in the last report, the students really got intrigued by bird movements. They found several signs of different species including a few nests that the students continually checked to see the progress of not only the nest building, but eventually to see if eggs were laid, and then if they had hatched. With the large Citizen Science projects run by Cornell University Lab of Ornithology like, the Great Backyard Bird Count, Project FeederWatch, and Project NestWatch, the students had a chance to record their observations. Naturally, the Bluebird box installation as a community service project idea was a hit.
The students broke into groups to decide where they wanted to hang their boxes. They considered the direction the entry faced, ease of access for the birds (meaning the forest edge), and in enough line of site for other students to be able to observe some bird activity and draw interest. Grace said,"I think this will be a good location for a box because I watched some bluebirds flitting around this area for a while. They will be close to food and have some protection from the trees." Adrian said, "We picked this location due to the easy access with an open area close by." The students plan on stopping by during the summer to see if there is any activity in the boxes.
Although we have completed the session at Githens for the year, we still are a few hundred dollars short of our goal for funding it and would like to continue this next year. Please consider donations in honor of Fathers' Day this month so we can reach our goal! We are extremely grateful for the support from all our donors. Because we have been successful on Gloval Giving, we were honored with being added to Microsoft Youth Sparks. This means we are elibigle for the Microsoft YouthSpark's Bonus Day on June 25! Our Githen's Middle School Project only needs $548 to complete funding, however, any adiitonal money raised on June 25th will go towards next year's program. If you can help us spread the word to friends and family, that would be fantastic! Any amount from $10 to $1000 given from noon to midnight on June 25 will be 100% matched by Microsoft while funds are available, so donate just after NOON to be sure your investment is doubled!. The project that raises the most funds on Bonus Day will receive an additional $2,500 and the one with the most unique donors on Microsoft YouthSpark's Bonus Day will receive an additional $2,500. Only online donations (credit card or PayPal) are eligible for matching funds.
Two new projects are also eligible for matching funds on June 25th. Check out our Elementary School Afterschool Project and our Summer Camp Scholarship Fund
Thanks again, for believing in our project and for giving us great support!
Joe placing the Bluebird box on the selected tree
Adam and Adrian attaching the box
Adrian holding the box in place while Adam drills
Success with the installation. Welcome bluebirds!