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April 20: Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering, Steinbrenner Institute Host Kite-Flying Contest and Endangered Bird Exhibition To Celebrate Earth Day

Contact:  

Chriss Swaney      
412-268-5776
swaney@andrew.cmu.edu

Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering, Steinbrenner Institute
Host Kite-Flying Contest and Endangered Bird Exhibition To Celebrate Earth Day

Event: Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering and the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research will host "Taking Flight," an exhibit of peregrine falcons, and a kite-flying contest to heighten awareness of the need for environmental conservation.

Earl Schriver, a veteran falconer and former steelworker from Baden, Pa., will demonstrate how the birds feed and survive in today's ever-changing fragile eco-system. Schriver, a breeder of rare raptors since the late 1940s, will display live birds including: Lizzy, a 2-year-old hybrid falcon with an Asiatic pedigree; J.R., a 2-year-old peregrine falcon; Lucky, a 2-year-old red tail hawk; and an 8-year-old Goss hawk.

The live bird demos will be augmented by kite-flying demonstrations and contests by members of the Fly Pittsburgh Kite Club. Tom Baumgardner, a master kite flyer from Slippery Rock, Pa., who has won the American Kite Flyers Association precision-flying events, will demonstrate several kite styles, including the traditional diamond-shaped kite with a long tail. In addition to box kites, there will also be a Japanese rokkaku on display — a six-sided kite used in battles where the goal is to knock down other kites or cut their strings.

Other kite experts, including Patricia Mills and Marlene Blazczak of Allison Park, Pa., will bring a collection of original kites designed by national kite competitor Calvin Mills, including one of seven kites used to complete the reenactment of a historical kite flight from the 1800s. In 1847, a young boy won a kite-flying competition by landing his kite across the wide Niagara River in upstate New York. Following the competition, the kite lines were used to pull larger cables over the river, enabling work to begin on the first railway bridge between Canada and the United States. Both events are open to the public.       

When: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, April 22.

Where: Scaife Hall Garden and Schenley Park's Flagstaff Hill off Frew Street, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.

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