Have You Spotted the Speckled Hornbill at Mills?


Seagulls, squirrels, and students–oh my! Mills has always been home to a wide variety of wild animals. But in a recent turn of events, a South African Speckled Hornbill has been spotted flying across the Mills campus.

As their name suggests, these birds are native to South Africa and rarely seen in the Bay Area. It is believed that the birds may have migrated into Millbrae due to the recent change in temperature.  

Freshman Audrey Kim spotted the mysterious bird on the sunny afternoon of March 10th. She explained, “I was sitting on a bench in the Freshman Courtyard, minding my own business, just doing my homework, when this bird came out from nowhere.”

Kim continued, “He, or I suppose it could have been a she, flew right over my head, making this terrible squawking sound. I heard the the squawking and immediately looked up, only to see a blur of brown feathers before they disappeared.”

Fortunately, Mills has a prized ornithologist among its faculty staff members, able to identify the bird in question. History teacher, Alexandra Dove, studied ornithology through college, and has received many esteemed awards on the subject. In fact, she boasts a prized collection of over 200 different bird photographs, all of which she captured herself.

Dove commented, “Well it had to have been a South African Speckled Hornbill. These birds have incredibly specific temperaments, exactly as the witness described.”

When asked about these specific temperaments, Dove offered, “They’re a crafty group of birds, nearly impossible to capture, or even to photograph. They have baffled ornithologists for ages.”

In light of this recent event, the Thunderbolt issues a challenge to the Mills community. As the creature continues to fly around campus, we ask students, teachers, and even administration to try to capture the best picture of the bird. It will be challenging. It may be painful. And it most certainly will not be easy.

If a photo is captured, we ask it to be sent to MHSThunderbolt on Twitter or Instagram at millsthunderbolt, or to editors@millsthunderbolt.com.  

Keep your eyes peeled Vikings! Just maybe, you will be the next lucky individual to see the Speckled Hornbill at Mills!



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