Eyes on the sky

Students attend local Raptorthon event

Hourly%2C+the+bird+watchers+record+the+weather+conditions%2C+which+are+important+to+the+how+easy+it+is+to+see+the+birds+and+if+they+were+flying.
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Eyes on the sky

Hourly, the bird watchers record the weather conditions, which are important to the how easy it is to see the birds and if they were flying.

Hourly, the bird watchers record the weather conditions, which are important to the how easy it is to see the birds and if they were flying.

Carly Kusich

Hourly, the bird watchers record the weather conditions, which are important to the how easy it is to see the birds and if they were flying.

Carly Kusich

Carly Kusich

Hourly, the bird watchers record the weather conditions, which are important to the how easy it is to see the birds and if they were flying.

Carly Kusich, Features Editor

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On Saturday, April 13, six students from FHS’s Naturalist Club went to Allegheny Front in Bedford for an all-day event called Raptorthon. Led by science teachers Brian Wargo and Linnea Homa, the group, constructed of juniors Philip Choflet, Alex Kerr, Cade and Cole Skuse, Ella Walden and Charles White and Wargo’s family, ventured out from the school in the morning to begin the day. Having been anticipating chillier and windier weather at their location, the students and chaperones were pleased by the surprising 65-degree weather and intermittent sunshine.

The event was based around the observation of the raptor category of birds, such as turkey vultures, though the day included others as well. The beginning of their day was at 9:30 a.m., when they went to a hawk watch. Using spotting scopes and binoculars, the group was able to see plenty of hawks up close.

Following this, they had lunch around noon and continued their watch until moving on to the next part of the day. Around 4 p.m. they went on a duck walk, accompanied by a duck specialist and other groups of people; for this, they ventured along the edge of a lake to observe various types of the birds as the specialist went through proper ways to interact with ducks.

Throughout the course of the full day, they were able to see a wide variety of birds, including turkey vultures, tree swallows, mallards, red-tailed hawks and chickadees, along with many others.

Initially, the club had been planning a camping trip for which they would have journeyed out on Friday, April 12; however, this had been cancelled due to potential thunderstorming throughout that evening, which led to them going all day on Saturday, April 13.

Coming up, they are planning a camping trip the first weekend of May for the Biggest Week in American Birding, which is a festival taking place from Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 12. On this trip, they plan to partake in bird walks, presentations, workshops and other activities that all focus on birds and their migration.

For the upcoming trip and others to come, the group hopes to get more students involved to enjoy an interesting and educational experience, according to club president Walden.

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