BUZZARDS: Return

For most folks, the sight of vultures usually signifies death lurking in the distance. But for the town of Hinkley, Ohio, the return of the buzzards each year means the dawn of a new season. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont.

We’re listening to a crowd gathered to watch the annual arrival of Hinkley’s favorite bird on Buzzard Sunday.

Bob Hinkle is chief naturalist for Cleveland Metro Parks. He’s also this year’s official buzzard spotter.

“Not the most handsome bird in the world, but I think for us here in northeastern Ohio the return of the buzzards marks the beginning of spring. The celestial calendar tells us that, next week really is the spring equinox and the official beginning of spring, but March 15th every year the buzzards come back and for us in this part of the world, spring’s returned. ”

Since 1957 the citizens of of this small town have officially commemorated the buzzards arrival. Dozens of people scan the skies for the first sight of V-shaped wings. But it’s still up to the official spotter to pronounce that, indeed, the birds that put Hinkley on the map – have arrived.

“It’s never a buzzard til the official buzzard spotter says it’s a buzzard. And we get a lot of other birds here too. We see crows, and bald eagle once or twice, ospreys, hawks this morning, flying by, so it takes a pretty good eye to separate a buzzard out of all the other birds that are here. But we certainly depend on all the pairs of eyes that are here to scan the sky in all directions. Someone points and looks and I help verify it.”

On the weekend following the bird’s arrival the town of Hinkley celebrates Buzzard Sunday, with displays, exhibits, buzzard spotting and a costume contest.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

BUZZARDS: Return

For the town of Hinkley, Ohio, the annual return of a flock of buzzards signifies the return of Spring.
Air Date:03/13/2000
Scientist:
Transcript:

For most folks, the sight of vultures usually signifies death lurking in the distance. But for the town of Hinkley, Ohio, the return of the buzzards each year means the dawn of a new season. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont.

We're listening to a crowd gathered to watch the annual arrival of Hinkley's favorite bird on Buzzard Sunday.

Bob Hinkle is chief naturalist for Cleveland Metro Parks. He's also this year's official buzzard spotter.

"Not the most handsome bird in the world, but I think for us here in northeastern Ohio the return of the buzzards marks the beginning of spring. The celestial calendar tells us that, next week really is the spring equinox and the official beginning of spring, but March 15th every year the buzzards come back and for us in this part of the world, spring's returned. "

Since 1957 the citizens of of this small town have officially commemorated the buzzards arrival. Dozens of people scan the skies for the first sight of V-shaped wings. But it's still up to the official spotter to pronounce that, indeed, the birds that put Hinkley on the map - have arrived.

"It's never a buzzard til the official buzzard spotter says it's a buzzard. And we get a lot of other birds here too. We see crows, and bald eagle once or twice, ospreys, hawks this morning, flying by, so it takes a pretty good eye to separate a buzzard out of all the other birds that are here. But we certainly depend on all the pairs of eyes that are here to scan the sky in all directions. Someone points and looks and I help verify it."

On the weekend following the bird's arrival the town of Hinkley celebrates Buzzard Sunday, with displays, exhibits, buzzard spotting and a costume contest.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.