November ’84 in the Exponent: Watching Hawks Like a Hawk

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Israelis Visit Cape May Point to Study Migration

Big Brother was supposed to be watching you in the year 1984, but a couple Israelis were more interested that year in tracking hawks.

During the Reagan era — and Reagan was often called a hawk — Jewish Exponent covers featured a photograph or graphic that encompassed the entire page and enticed readers to a lengthy story found within.

The Nov. 16, 1984 Exponent detailed the experiences of several visitors from the Israel Raptor Information Center who were visiting “two of the best spots in the United States to view hawk migration — Cape May and the Kittatinny Ridge in Pennsylvania, along the Appalachian Trail.”

Yossi Leshem, the Israeli center’s director, noted that Eilat, at Israel’s southern tip, was considered one of the world’s best places to view bird migration. The article said 45 species of raptors had been recorded in Israel, compared to 16 in Cape May.

The article detailed how the Israelis were working with other volunteers on a raptor banding project partially funded by the Cape May Bird Observatory.

“A slim bird a little smaller than a crow, the Cooper’s [hawk] comes in low in search of quick meal, shifting directions to avoid the various nets. Eventually it misses a sharp left and lands unceremoniously in the outstretched seine.

“With no time to waste, [Israeli biologist Edna] Gorney leaps off her elevated lookout perch, shooting across the field and begins untangling the bird from the net.”

Computer Sales Were Down?

While the “Going On Line” column found within the issue focused on using computers as tutors, the first paragraph makes for surprising reading some 33 years later.

“Home-computer sales are rapidly being eroded. About 1 million fewer computers will be sold this holiday season than last.

“Perhaps the market is saturated, or perhaps those people considering computers have decided to wait until clear uses emerge before they spend their money,” continued Sanford E. Weinberg, a professor of computers and education at Drexel University.

Decades later, it’s easy to play Monday morning quarterback, but remember that in 1984 computers were prohibitively expensive for many and they really weren’t all that useful for many people. And outside of a few military and academic folks, nobody knew what the internet was.

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