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He’s been dubbed the most authentic of E-town Blue Jays. Conrad, or C-Jay for short, is a brilliant-hued Cyanocitta cristata with a big personality. In fact, the College was so taken by him that he has become one of us, an honorary E-town alumnus. House-raised since being illegally removed from his nest as a fledgling, he is now about two years old and has been at home at the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove since March 2016.
Because he has spent so much time with humans, Conrad will never be able to successfully forage for food or defend himself against predators in the wild. The safest place for him is in his custom-built habitat, surrounded by photos of his “family.” The enclosure sits among the lush trails of the Audubon Center, a National Historic Landmark, in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and the former home of John James Audubon, best known for The Birds of America, a book of the most valuable and influential drawings of birds in history.
Our partnership with the Audubon Center offers internships for our students…”
“What some may see as unfortunate for Conrad—a bird confined to a man-made habitat—for the College, this connection to the Audubon Center has opened up myriad possibilities for our students, faculty and alumni who all identify themselves as Blue Jays,” said Elizabeth (Bauer) Braungard ’86, executive director in the College’s Office of Marketing and Communications.
“Our partnership with the Audubon Center will offer internships for our students in the areas of business, communications, art, history and biology,” Braungard said. “Biology majors will have the opportunity to work with Conrad as his socialization continues.” The College-Audubon Center partnership also offers students the chance to work with two great horned owls and two smaller eastern screech-owls.
And the opportunities to get up close and personal don’t stop with E-town students. This year at Homecoming, alumni and friends of the College also can meet Conrad. He will “fly” into Elizabethtown Saturday, Oct. 15, and make appearances throughout the day. If you’ve always wanted to get up close and personal with a live blue jay, Homecoming Day is the time to do it.
Check the Homecoming schedule for opportunities to “Connect with Conrad.” The Audubon Center will offer blue jay information sessions with Conrad as the special guest and, for alumni, he will make an appearance during the Alumni Oktoberfest Party at the Kids’ Zone area. And, for those who aren’t able to “come home,” check out a day in the life of Conrad on the “Conrad Cam,” streaming on the homepage of the College’s new website! Remember to follow Conrad and the Blue Jay mascot @BlueAndConrad and #JaysOfAFeather on twitter.