One Busy Education Team

Posted on December 12, 2016 in Education

Trainee Ana and Educator Rachel give an Intro Program
International Conservation Science Trainee Ana de Osma Vargas-Machuca and Senior Educator Rachel Spagnola present an Introduction with Live Raptor program to high school exchange students from Leon, Spain.

October and November marks peak visitation at Hawk Mountain as the migrating raptors continue to pass, and the fall colors paint the mountain side. Along with the abundance of hikers and outdoor-loving families, the Sanctuary's Education team hosted many visiting groups with various programs this Fall. 

In recent weeks, Hawk Mountain offered programs for several senior groups, school field trips for elementary, middle, high school, and college students, and international exchange student groups. The international trainees collaborated with the education team to offer bilingual programs and a unique, additional view point of raptor migration. 

Hawk Mountain's Education Department provides a variety of informative and interactive programs that can be tailored to a group's size and budget. The education team offers programs for schools and other visitation groups of varying demographics. They can host these programs in the Visitor Center Gallery, Education Building, or Outdoor Amphitheater, depending upon weather, type of program, and group size. 
The Visitor Center staff can help group leaders plan a self-guided program that utilizes the Sanctuary's many available educational resources and interactive trail guides, such as the QR Code guide. However, if a group prefers a guided program, they can contact the education department to schedule a program. 


The Raptors Over the Ridge Introduction includes an overview of the Sanctuary by an educator or trained volunteer or intern. After the discussion of our history, raptor ID, geography, and migration, the group is free to explore the Sanctuary on their own as a self-guided group. Trail fees apply.  

To the left is an 8th grade class from Blue Mountain Middle School. The group received their Introduction from Director of Education Erin Brown in the Visitor Center Gallery before hiking the trails on their own. 

Introduction with Bird

The Raptors Over the Ridge Introduction Plus Live Raptor program also includes the Sanctuary history, raptor ID, geography, and migration information, but the discussion continues with a live bird presentation featuring one of our education raptors. Participants will see a live raptor up-close and be able to learn more about the species. 
To the left, Erin offers the live raptor portion of the program in the Education Building to a 6th grade class from Southern Lehigh. Here she is showing a red-tailed hawk while the children ask questions about the species and raptors in general. 

Introduction + Guided Walk 

The Raptors Over the Ridge Introduction with Guided Walk to South Lookout includes the same overview of Sanctuary history, raptor ID, geography, and migration information PLUS a guided walk to South Lookout with flight interpretation and overview of the local landmarks.  

To the right are elementary students from Souderton Charter School Collaborative that chose to have Educator Adam Carter lead them on a guided hike to South Lookout. 

Introduction with Bird and Guided Walk to either South or North Lookout

Groups can choose to have all three aspects included in their program! After the Raptors Over the Ridge Introduction Plus Live Raptor program, the group will break briefly before being guided by the educator to either the South or North Lookout. 
To the right is the Nikon Historical Society, a group with an older demographic that made use of our ADA accessible Silhouette Trail to hike to South Lookout for the final portion of the program. Members of the group were then free to complete the trek up the Lookout Trail or just stay and enjoy the view and interpretation at South Lookout. 

The Education team offers these programs year-round, and in addition to these on-site programs, the Education staff, volunteers, or interns will present the Raptors Over the Ridge Introduction and/or Plus Raptor program at schools and events. To learn more about the offered programs or to schedule a program for your group, visit or call 610-756-6961 and ask for the Education Department.