Hawk Mountain Sanctuary's raptor egg hunt challenges children

Item photo by Shea Singley Egg Hunt
Item photo by Shea Singley Egg Hunt

While others were looking for brightly colored and decorated eggs left by the Easter Bunny over the weekend, a group of 50 egg hunters took the challenge of finding hidden eggs left over by the Easter Raptor Passover at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton on Saturday, April 19.

“I am so excited that you’re here, you’re eager,” said Rachel, of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. “I would love to welcome you to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary on this beautiful spring day.”

Rachel explained to the hunters the special mythological guest who visits the sanctuary which is celebrating its 80th year right now. The Easter Raptor Passover has many adaptations of many raptors. While she explained its features, she named a variety of different raptors and features associated with each.

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“Unlike the eggs that you are hunting tomorrow that are brightly colored, these eggs are very camouflaged,” she explained.

As Rachel explained both the birds and their eggs to the audience, she used visual aids and asked the eager hunters questions eliciting quick responses from the children. Right before explaining the rules of the hunt, Rachel and the group discussed the different places that raptors and other animals lay their eggs and that not all of them were in a nest in a tree.

After about ten minutes it was time for the hunt to begin. Rachel asked who was ready for the egg hunt and hands shot up throughout the audience in the outdoor amphitheater.

“It is not going to be easy. You will have to search high and low for camouflaged eggs,” cautioned Rachel. “You’re competing with yourself. Do you have the observation skills to find these highly camouflaged eggs? I wonder if you’ll even be able to find one.”

Each age group then met with their section’s volunteer who explained the rules of the non-traditional, non-competitive egg hunt. Depending on the age group, the hunters were to look for a certain number of eggs. Once they found those eggs they were then supposed to take them up to the front in exchange for their prizes. Everyone who participated received a prize in the pre-registration required event.

When accepting their prizes the children were then invited to ask any questions they may have had and look at the various displays.

Some were back quick with their set number of eggs, but the oldest age group had quite the challenge as they searched through their section of the woods turning over leaves and branches in an attempt to spot the hidden eggs. A few even teamed up in hopes of having a better chance.

Following the egg hunt that day, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary held their “Raptors Up Close” program that the attendees were also invited to go to for the opportunity to see a raptor and learn more about the animal.

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About the Author

Shea Singley

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She grew up in Berks County and spent three years at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English before transferring to Kutztown University where she majored in Professional Writing. Shea graduated from Kutztown University in 2012 and during that time completed an internship in the publication department of a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. She joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in March of 2013 and had enjoyed getting the chance to explore the Hamburg area and meet the readers. Reach the author at ssingley@berksmontnews.com or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.