Living Together

By Mary Ann Zehr — August 09, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Colleen Wambach, the principal of Irondale High School in New Brighton, Minn., has learned a thing or two about ospreys since one built a nest on a light pole at her high school’s football field last spring.

She learned that the bird of prey, which has a wing span of 5 feet, is federally protected, so an osprey nest cannot be disturbed while it is in use. She also learned that ospreys usually have two or three offspring each year and return to the same nest annually.

The osprey at the 1,600-student Irondale High is raising two young chicks in the nest this summer.

The birds were first discovered this past spring when workers were redoing the turf on the football field.

Late last month, some of the school’s science teachers and others interested in birds watched as a naturalist climbed the light pole on the football field and banded the two young birds, so they can be studied as part of the Twin Cities Osprey Project, run by the suburban Three Rivers Park District.

Ms. Wambach said the teachers took some photos and are likely to talk about the ospreys in their classes this fall. “It’s certainly been fun and interesting,” she said.

Irondale High School isn’t the only school in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis to have had an osprey nest on its campus.

Larry Gillette, the wildlife manager for the park district, said ospreys nested for a couple of years on a disconnected light pole on the soccer field at Wayzata Middle School, just west of Minneapolis.

The birds then changed the site of their nest to a structure nearby, off school grounds, perhaps to avoid a predator, such as a great horned owl, he said.

And a few years ago, an osprey built a nest on a pole on the track and field at Rockford High School in Rockford, Minn.

“We weren’t sure how much activity they’d tolerate,” Mr. Gillette said. “We ended up putting up another pole near the property, and the birds did move there and have been nesting there ever since.”

The Twin Cities Osprey Project began releasing ospreys into the area in 1984. Ospreys have since built about 40 nests in the area, according to Mr. Gillette.

“These birds are adapting to living with people,” he said.

One concern remains over the Irondale High ospreys: The hot lamps from the stadium lights could ignite the birds’ nest. Students, teachers, and naturalists will monitor the situation.

A version of this article appeared in the August 10, 2005 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Science Webinar
Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning
Hear from student inventors and K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds, and preps students for the future.
Content provided by The Lemelson Foundation
Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Curriculum Opinion A Search for Common Ground: Navigating Tough Classroom Conversations
Should parents or legislators have a say in what subjects educators teach?
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Curriculum Spotlight Spotlight on Curriculum
This Spotlight will help you explore parental involvement in curriculum choices, how curriculum can help students’ media literacy, and more.
Curriculum Letter to the Editor Banning SEL Puts Students at Risk
Do those trying to ban social-emotional learning even understand what it is? asks this letter to the editor.
1 min read
Illustration of an open laptop receiving an email.
Curriculum Spotlight Spotlight on Creative Learning
This Spotlight will empower you with findings about student motivation, the case for real-world problem-solving, and more.