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Alternative School Students Help Birds

The seven students in Jay Skeen and Evelyn Buhler's Vocational Training Class at Salmon's Alternative High School have kept themselves busy this past quarter building a variety of nesting boxes and platforms for birds. "This was the perfect project for our students." Said Jay Skeen, teacher and Alternative High School Administrator. "The plans for the nesting boxes were perfect for the students' ability and skill levels." Upon completion, the students donated their nesting boxes to Fish and Game, which received 117 nest boxes for bluebirds, 3 kestrel boxes, and 3 osprey platforms thanks to the efforts of these hard-working students

The donated nest boxes will go to a variety of projects including the Outdoor Classroom. All three kestrel boxes will be placed at the Outdoor Classroom to attract these small cavity-nesting falcons. In addition, a number of bluebird boxes will be installed in the hopes of attracting mountain bluebirds, tree swallows, violet-green swallows and black-capped chickadees. The osprey platforms will be used as the need arises, but one is already designated for the Sacajawea Interpretive Center.

Bluebirds return to Idaho in late February and early March. During this time, Fish and Game plans to hold an event to celebrate bluebirds, provide information on bluebird habitat enhancement and give away bluebird boxes. The 117 boxes donated by the Alternative School students will end up on properties throughout the region providing valuable nesting spots for our state bird. Fish and Game staff thanks Amanda England, Laura Phillips, Dominic Buccarelli, Auston LeMaire, Shane Neccochea, Aaron Jarshaw, and David Knott for all their hard work!