October 06, 2017

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary publishes new children's book

Story about local vulture brings education and inspiration to the Mountain and children everywhere

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary staff and interns have published a new children's book, entitled Percy the Victorious Vulture, which is based on the true and inspirational story of a flightless black vulture in Kempton, PA. The publication serves as an education tool to teach children about vulture behavior, raptor conservation, and citizen science.

Percy the Victorious Vulture was written by Hawk Mountain Sanctuary staff and interns: Erin Brown, Director of Conservation, who authored the story, Dr. Keith Bildstein, Director of Conservation Science, who authored the introduction, Lauren Beauchner, former artist in residence, who created the illustrations, and Zoey Greenberg, education intern, who authored "The Importance of Vultures."

This book has been in development since Beauchner's artist residency in the summer of 2015. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary self-published the 28-page book, which includes the background introduction, story, educational section, and glossary, with support from the Pennsylvania Wild Resource Conservation Program of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

erin and zoey by bill urich at the reading eagle
Percy's story is one of perseverance and survival, while offering a wholesome lesson about wildlife and vultures specifically. This book will spark an interest in animal and conservation science in children everywhere.

Erin, the Director of Education at Hawk Mountain and author of Percy's story, expresses her excitement for this publication: "This story will not only delight the visual senses of young children as they learn about black vultures, but it will also teach them about the importance of perseverance."

The e-book is available for download online at, or the physical book can be purchased at the Mountain Bookstore in the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Visitor Center. 

Check out a rave review of the book from the Life section of The Reading Eagle newspaper here

Photo of authors Erin Brown and Zoey Greenberg with a black vulture feather by Bill Urich @ The Reading Eagle.