Citizen Science in Action 
Shelly Levin, Middle School Science Faculty

By Shelly Levin, Middle School Science Faculty

Have you ever noticed the bird feeders hanging from the cherry tree outside the middle school art room? Hummingbirds frequently visit the red hummingbird feeder, and in the fall the seed feeder attracts many birds preparing for winter, including dark-eyed juncos, black-capped chickadees, chestnut-backed chickadees, song sparrows, and even red-breasted nuthatches! These feeders have been placed and filled based on research done by our middle school scientists.  

Each fall, the fifth graders start the year in science by designing and conducting their own investigation about birds here at Forest Ridge. Each investigation question is unique and chosen with the goal of seeing more birds on campus.  

This year, the fifth graders chose to investigate the question, “Do birds prefer a feeder hanging from a tree or a pole?”

After completing the investigation, the girls combined their reports and submitted an article to the BirdSleuth Investigator magazine. BirdSleuth Investigator is published by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and includes scientific investigations, creative writing, and art about birds by students around the country. Hopefully, you’ll see the Class of 2027’s report in the next edition! 

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