Recently, Project Endeavor, an after school science club at Swain High, made their annual trip to Madison County in search of birds and bird research opportunities. Mark Hopey is the Master Bird Bander of SARR (Southern Appalachian Raptor Research) a research and education group that is passionate about all types of birds and their habitats. SARR operates MAPS stations, raptor trapping, owl banding, hawkwatch, songbird migration monitoring and public education efforts at Big Bald, Cowee, and Kituah. SARR is a non-profit, staffed mainly by volunteers. Swain students took turns documenting physical attributes of the birds caught in mist nets at the Big Bald station. Students also were involved in weighing birds and identifying birds using field guides. Students learned how to correctly hold and release birds as well. Project Endeavor hopes to partner with SARR in the future so that Swain students have volunteer/research opportunities closer to home at the Kituah and Cowee sites. Project Endeavor was funded on this outing by GearUp. Sponsors of Project Endeavor are Kathy Gray, Max Lanning, and Norma Pattillo.
Front Row - Jaxon Payne-McCullough, Jacob Dunford, Audrey Seagle, Dhruti Senghani, Rianne Stokes, and Olivia Watty-Harris
Back Row - Booth Bassett, Cef Killebrew, Landon Matz, Matthew Gray, Kathy Gray, Norma Pattillo, Phoebe Carnes, Mark Hopey, and James Posey
Overlooking Big Bald.