The Student Newspaper of Catawba College

Catawba’s GEO and Center for the Environment to Host Birding Bonanza

Sydney Smith, Writer, Co-editor

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Gorgeous golden leaves, cute squirrels, and sprawling green grass — many wonderful, natural features highlight the beauty of Catawba College’s campus. Another creature adding to our picturesque campus includes birds. However, birds do much more than add to the ideal picture of Catawba, and the Center for the Environment and GEO wants to educate Catawba’s campus and outer community about their many importances.

The Birding Bonanza will take place from 2PM to 5PM on November 1st. The event will take place in the Center for the Environment building, located on Catawba’s campus. The event is open to the Catawba community and the surrounding community.

Participants will have the chance to make bird origami and play bird Jeopardy, which will base questions around birds in art, literature, and history. Also, Jonathan Cooley will teach participants about identifying some common backyard birds and proper binocular usage while leading a birding hike.

Kyra Thurow and Dr. Poston will also speak about bird banding. Bird banding is the act of placing a band on a bird to keep track of which birds a researcher has already captured and recorded information for in the area. Banding and tracking devices can also determine a bird’s territorial boundaries, helping researchers understand their habits more.

Special guest Dr. Jeff Pippen from Duke University will also have a special presentation the same day at 6:30PM. The program, entitled “First in Flight (Before the Wright Brothers!): North Carolina Birding,”  will conclude the Birding Bonanza events.

Why should people learn more about birds? Catawba students Kyra Thurow and Jonathan Cooley both agree: “birds are awesome!” Thurow explains knowing about birds is important because they play a role in everyone’s day-to-day life — even if people don’t realize it. Birds are one of the few creatures on Earth that can be found on every continent. Without birds, seeds would lose a vital mode of natural transportation and dispersion. Also, birds come in a mass array of species, making them an interesting animal to study.

Bird studies on Catawba’s campus are active with student interest. Some students choose to independently research the birds found around Catawba’s campus. Students’ studies include radio telemetry (radio tracking), social networking between different bird types, and prevention methods for birds accidentally flying into the side of the Center for the Environment building.

More information will be available within the next few days — posters and e-mails will circulate with more information about the Birding Bonanza. Anyone with questions about the event may contact Kyra Thurow at or Jonathan Cooley at

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The Student Newspaper of Catawba College
Catawba’s GEO and Center for the Environment to Host Birding Bonanza