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Local Medina County News

Buzzards a bust, but lots to do at Buzzard Day

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    Debbie Parker, of the Medina Raptor Center, is shown with Matilda, the buzzard, during Buzzard Day in Hinckley. Matilda was the only buzzard in sight Sunday morning.

    BOB SANDRICK / GAZETTE

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The turkey vultures apparently were hiding in treetops and ledges during the Hinckley Township Chamber of Commerce’s annual Buzzard Day celebration Sunday that heralds the coming of spring.

As of 11:30 a.m. Sunday, no turkey vultures, also known as buzzards, had been spotted.

Pam Taylor, a naturalist with Cleveland Metroparks and the buzzard spotter for the day, said the no-show was attributable to heavy fog.

Still, the misty, gray weather didn’t keep people away from Buzzard Day festivities.

People enjoyed a pancake breakfast, an arts and crafts fair, a traveling zoo, historical lectures and a pet contest and got to meet Matilda, a live buzzard.

Parma residents Mike and Shawna Gorchek, with their children, Elly and Colin, both 4, enjoyed the all-you-can-eat pancakes at Hinckley Elementary School. The breakfast raised scholarship money for graduating high school seniors.

“My husband and I came here to see the buzzards once before, but this is the first time we came for the entire experience,” Shawna Gorchek said. “And our kids like being out in nature.”

After breakfast, the Gorcheks strolled down the hallways of the school building for the arts and crafts fair.

Vendors sold souvenirs, handcrafted items, jewelry, soaps and lotions.

Then it was a short hike to the Hinckley Historical Society museum, which was open for the day at the corner of state Route 303 and Ridge Road.

At the museum, Mike Skufca and Sharon Doyle, of Granger Township, checked out arrowheads and a historical classroom exhibit.

They said they came to learn more about the Great Hinckley Hunt of 1818, when Medina County settlers killed hundreds of wild animals in one day. According to legend, buzzards arrived to help clean up the mess, and they’ve been returning here since.

Another Buzzard Day stop was Hinckley Town Hall, where John Burke, a re-enactor and lecturer, talked about the 1818 hunt, early Medina County settlers and Native Americans. Burke is Medina County’s treasurer.

Across the hall, children played games and visited with zoo animals, including Eleanor, a speedy turtle that entertained the crowd. Eleanor was a part of the Our Zoo to You exhibit.

From the town hall, everyone headed next door to Brongers Park, where Debbie Parker, of the Medina Raptor Center, showed off Matilda the buzzard. Cell phone cameras snapped photos and took videos.

Meanwhile, Taylor, the Metroparks naturalist, searched the skies with binoculars. But Matilda was the only buzzard in sight.

Messages may be left for Bob Sandrick at (330) 721-4065.

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