I met yesterday with my small group of Meeker Courtyard Naturalists for an hour after school. After some instruction on how to take field notes, we went outside and walked around the building.
We spotted a bird on a utility wire near the trash dumpster, singing beautifully. I knew it was a male House Finch, but I withheld that info so the students would focus on describing the bird, taking notes, etc.
It soon flew to the roof of the school, perching on the rain gutter. It allowed us to approach fairly closely and we got good looks at it. As we moved toward the northwest corner of the building it flew toward one of the birch trees at the front of the building, and a second bird joined it there. We had difficulty locating the second bird, and were unable to get a description of it (I presume it was a female House Finch). Soon, the male flew back to its previous position on the gutter and started singing again.
We went back toward it again, and soon heard soft "peeping" coming from one of the tall evergreen shrubs. Turns out the House Finches are raising a family.
We soon returned to the classroom, and the students were able to use a field guide to correctly identify our bird. I was very excited for them!