Clapping, flapping mark signing of red-tailed hawk law

  • Eighth-grade students at Lincoln Akerman School in Hampton Falls appear in Concord to support a bill designating the red-tailed hawk the official state raptor. In 2015, a bill that the class championed as fourth graders failed on the House floor, attracting national attention. Ethan DeWitt

Associated Press
Published: 6/14/2019 5:08:12 PM
Modified: 6/14/2019 5:07:59 PM

Enthusiastic clapping – and some furious flapping – marked the end to the saga of designating an official New Hampshire state raptor.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu on Friday signed a bill honoring the red-tailed hawk. As applause broke out, a bird being held just over his shoulder began flapping its wings.

The bill was proposed Hampton Falls fourth-graders four years ago, but it was killed after one lawmaker injected the issue of abortion into the debate by saying the hawk’s habit of tearing apart prey “limb from limb” would make it an ideal mascot for Planned Parenthood.

The students, now in eighth grade, lobbied for a new bill this year, and were successful. Sununu told them they exemplified a lesson in perseverance.

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