Piedmont High School bird calling contest celebrates 50th year

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For the past 50 years, students at Piedmont High School have been doing bird calls and competing for the number one squawk or chirp. (KGO-TV )

One East Bay city is going to the birds. In fact, for the past 50 years, students at Piedmont High School have been doing bird calls and competing for the number one squawk or chirp.

Joseph Shan masters the cardinal, the same call which won his dad first prize 30 years ago.

"Winning would be cool, but just the experience of being here, knowing that my dad did it a while ago too," Shan said.

The late Leonard J. Waxdeck started the first bird calling contest in 1963. He and his students became a fixture on the "Tonight Show with Johnny Carson."

Science teacher Ken Brown now rules this roost.

"I get stopped all the time when people find out that I teach at Piedmont High School," Brown said. "'You're the bird calling school, right?' We're known across the nation."

In the end, the call of the Pacific loon took first place.

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societybirdsschool competitionhigh schoolstudentsdistractionbizarrewatercoolerPiedmont
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