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RHS students keeping an eye on blue birds, their habitat

Published on Thursday, March 30, 2017

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RHS students keeping an eye on blue birds, their habitat

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Riverside High School students are keeping an eye on blue birds and studying their habitat.

Science teacher Sandra Taylor’s Environmental Studies class have built and installed five blue bird houses around the school campus.

The project was done in conjunction with a research project in which students learned about blue birds, blue bird habitats and how to increase populations.

Students will continue to monitor the houses and the population of blue birds around the RHS campus.

There are three species of colorful North American blue birds. Eastern and western bluebirds have a reddish brown breast, which contrasts with their predominately blue plumage. Their relative, the (male) mountain bluebird is entirely blue.

Eastern bluebirds are primarily found east of the Rockies, and range from Canada to Mexico and Honduras. They are much admired for their lovely coloring and for a distinctive song that many hear as "chur-lee, chur-lee." The eastern bluebird is the state bird of both New York and Missouri.

Bluebirds eat small fruits and hunt insects, spiders, and other creatures from above. The birds perch, watch, and then swoop to the ground to pounce on their prey.

Pairs mate in spring and summer, when they construct small, bowl-shaped nests. Females lay four or five eggs and incubate them for about two weeks. Young remain in the nest, cared for by both parents, for an additional 15 to 20 days. Bluebirds often have two broods in a season. Sometimes, a young bluebird from the first brood will remain in the nest and assist its parents in caring for the second.

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