This year, our Ecology and Human Impact units at Rutland Town School will focus on our Vermont local environment and citizen science projects that allow students to explore their backyards (literally!) and collect real data that can spark meaningful connections.
Katie McDougall applied for and was awarded a grant to have access to Cornell Ornithology FeederWatch programming. “Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in the US and Canada. FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch.”
Rutland County Audubon has been gracious by providing shepard’s hooks, bird seed, bird books, and a wealth of knowledge. Russ Edwards and Marvin Elliott visited our science 7 class to talk about their passion for birding and how it has influenced different types of bird feeders. Mr. Elliott showed several types of feeders that he has made based on his observations of birding in Vermont. He was gracious enough to donate them to our classroom. Mr. Edwards donated several pairs of binoculars which has allowed more students to identify birds during our Project Feederwatch and their own personal investigations.
Students will continue to collect data throughout the winter and report it to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology program. Stay tuned for more activities and highlights of this amazing project!