Birding and Biology


Displaying an admirable interest in ornithology and the local ecosystem, 14 juniors and seniors – most of them enrolled in the AP Biology course – recently participated in the first annual Seatuck Birding Challenge. Organized into teams of three or four, the students competed against accomplished birding teams from across Long Island in an effort to identify as many bird species possible in a 12-hour period.

“Long Island is a major migratory stopover for many bird species during the autumn, making it a perfect time to discover bird biodiversity,” said biology teacher Wayne Mennecke, who attended with his daughter Katerina, a first-grader in Islip Schools.

After the competition, a reception and barbeque was held at the Scully Estate at Seatuck’s Suffolk County Environmental Center, and prizes were awarded to the teams with the most birds found. 

“I am proud of the effort so many of my students showed in coming out on a Saturday, in such difficult rainy weather, to take part in the Seatuck Birding Challenge,” said Mennecke. “It’s wonderful to see high school students take an interest in community-related events and support the Environmental Center’s educational activities.”