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South Effingham sophomore leads Honey Ridge Plantation birding hike
Participants in Saturday’s birding event at Honey Ridge Plantation received a fact sheet featuring drawings by South Effingham High School sophomore Isaiah Scott.
I tried to make this event attractive for all ages.
South Effingham High School sophomore Isaiah Scott

GUYTON — Isaiah Scott isn’t one of those students who thinks learning is for the birds. He believes birds — and many other things — are for learning.

A South Effingham High School sophomore, Scott hosted a birding hike at Honey Ridge Plantation on Saturday. The event, attended by about 20 birders, was a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) that is required per Georgia’s agriculture education curriculum.

“This is a way to grow his SAE,” said Alisha Richardson, a South Effingham agriculture teacher who lives at the 347-acre planation owned by Effingham County Schools. “The ideal student starts a small SAE as a freshman and they continue to grow it each year. Last year, he was interested in bird watching and just filled bird feeders and things like that.

“This year, he’s conducting this bird-watching event and, hopefully, next year he will grow it a little more. By his senior year, he will have this nice, well-rounded agricultural project that he does outside the classroom.”

Scott has many interests — he is an excellent artist — and he will try most anything. Archery and tennis are recent sports he has attempted.

“I’m more of an outdoors person,” Scott said. “Since I was little, I’ve always enjoyed animals, nature and being outside. I didn’t really focus on birds until last year when I went to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in New York.

“While there, it really got me to notice birds a little bit more — how there are so many different kinds, how they inhabit all kinds of habitats and their role in the ecosystem. That really interests me a lot.”

Scott put his art skills to use for the hike. He presented each participant with a fact sheet that featured his colorful drawings of birds likely to be seen near the nine feeders he erected on Honey Ridge grounds.

 The area is teeming with Eastern kingbirds and cattle egrets, he said.

“You can also see birds of prey, the red-shouldered hawk or the red-tailed hawk,” Scott added.

During a break in the hike, the birders painted small birdhouses and made their own suet. They young ones enjoyed slathering peanut butter on pine cones that could be tied to a limb.

“I tried to make this event attractive for all ages,” Scott said.