The school year may be over at Athens Community School, but students’ adventures in wildlife observation are just beginning! The gains made by students to establish their observation project this year will pay dividends for years to come.
By the conclusion of the school year, students had mounted the birdhouses they built with assistance from high school students Hunter and Tyler and instructor Dan Foss from Somerset County Technical Center. In addition, a feeder was built with help from Mr. Dave, the school custodian. Three wildlife observation cameras were installed and secured at different locations throughout the school grounds, near houses and feeders.
Before the school year ended, memory cards were pulled from the cameras to see what had been observed. The images were shared with the first grade class, who does a science unit on animals. They were thrilled to see a large crow and a squirrel-especially when they appeared together in one image! The cameras remained in place at least for the beginning of summer break, so pictures will be available to share with students at the start of school.
Lily Bailey, the Natural Resources Council of Maine intern, came to visit with the 4-H members at the end of May. They enjoyed taking her on a tour to show off the work they had accomplished. One of the members was especially excited on our walk to find that a bird had brought nesting materials into his bird house! We did not disturb the materials in hopes that our avian friends will make more permanent homes.
The foundation has been laid for an informative and interesting project that students at our K-8 school will enjoy and benefit from for years to come. We appreciate the support and guidance from NRCM as well as help from Mr. Foss and his students at Somerset County Technical Center!