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January 6, 2021


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Title: Ed-Venture Connecticut: Birds of Prey Along the A.T.
Age: Middle School and above
Discipline: Biology

Description: For some it’s the first glimpse of a Red Tailed Hawk soaring through the sky, or sudden flash as a Coopers Hawk whips between trees after a songbird, or for the lucky few, a Great Horned Owl tucked into the nook of a tree.  Regardless of the experience, for most an encounter with a bird of prey is a magical moment that sparks a lifelong fascination with these apex predators. Please join Jim Hunter and Matt Hoyt, as they walk you through an engaging journey exploring the raptors along the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

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At a young age Matthew Hoyt fell in love with nature and never turned back.  That love stemming from catching amphibians, reptiles, and insects in his neighborhood patches led him to study wildlife ecology at the University of Maine during which he worked with a variety of species, including birds of prey.  After bouncing around the country post school, and working on various wildlife projects, he finally returned to his home state of Connecticut and took a position with the CT Audubon Society developing their live animal displays and training their animal ambassadors for educational programs.  This job turned out to be more teaching than anticipated and where the move to education and trip leading takes hold, leading to Matt’s current position as a full time Science teacher at Wilton High School and leading trips as a contract guide when the opportunity presents itself.

When not in a classroom or with his family , you can find Matt out in the wild spaces of Connecticut, hiking, photographing, birding, sketching, teaching, or just simply observing and enjoying the wonders the CT habitats have to offer.

From an early age, Jim Hunter spent most of his time in nature fishing, catching dragonflies, butterflies, amphibians, and anything else he could find while growing up in Ohio. In middle school he started to volunteer at a nature center in Westport, CT. where he continued his enthusiasm for nature and learning about natural history through high school. He then worked for two years as nursery school teacher and naturalist full time then chose to attend Southern Connecticut State University where he got his degree in Biology with a focus in Natural History and Ornithology. During college he continued to teach the same volunteer program that he grew up learning with and being a tour guide for them as well. After graduation from college he started teaching at Wilton High School and has been there for the last 19 years teaching Biology and AP Environmental Science. Additionally, he has had the privilege of traveling and doing research abroad in South Africa and Australia as well as across the United States.  During his free time Jim can be found outside birding, hiking, and doing nature photography all over Connecticut.