Student Highlights Photo Credits: Amanda Janusz ’21
Birds of a Feather Flocking Together AMANDA JANUSZ ’21 CREATES ONLINE COMMUNITY Photo Credit: Daniel N.
“With every feather I observe and each new species I learn to identify, a little more of the natural world sharpens into focus. At the same time, the sheer intricacy of nature drives me to learn even more.”
her knowledge through her job as a visitor service representative at Newlin Grist Mill Park. Following a visit to the Smithsonian Feather Identification Lab, she was invited to intern at the Smithsonian in 2021.
For Tatnall senior Amanda Janusz ’21, ornithology—the scientific study of birds—is more than just a hobby. “I hope to connect others to nature, one feather at a time,” she says.
Most notably, however, Amanda created Found Feathers, an online community dedicated to feather identification. Members of Found Feathers use iNaturalist, a popular global citizen science platform where nature lovers can share wildlife observations and crowdsource identifications from experts. The project enabled Amanda to aggregate existing feather observations and identify each feather by species, type, sex, and age.
Since Amanda was last featured in the spring/summer 2019 issue of Tatnall Today, she has continued her impressive work. She completed an internship at the Delaware Museum of Natural History and assisted with bird banding at Bucktoe Creek Preserve. Amanda has also shared 20 :: Tatnall Today :: Fall/Winter 2020-2021
Amanda’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. Today, there are more than 36,000 feather observations from more than 1,000 species logged from all seven continents on the Found Feathers project. “What’s even more exciting is that talented feather enthusiasts have joined me in sharing their expertise on identifications,” Amanda says. “Together we’ve inspired a community of citizen scientists to add feather identification to their birding toolbox and shed light on otherwise elusive birds.” The Tatnall campus has also helped fuel Amanda’s passion. During her junior year, Amanda founded the Naturalist Club, which uses the school’s campus and apiary to foster