Jim Keighton of Blue Ridge Birders hosted BRDC and 19 Grayson Highlands seventh graders for a day of counting migrating hawks.
Jim has been monitoring the migration from Mahogany Rock Overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway since 1986. The day did not disappoint with hundreds of hawks and several eagles being spotted. Broad-winged hawks were the most numerous with large groups or kettles flying over periodically throughout the day.
The students enjoyed spending the day with local birding experts and the treasure trove of knowledge they carry. By participating in this citizen science project the students learned how to count and record data, how to identify species, how to use binoculars and spotting scopes, learned about migration patterns and techniques, but most importantly they were introduced to phenomenal bird migration happening right in their backyards.