SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RI—Hoping the financial incentive will help classify that thing circling around in the sky, ornithologists at the University of Rhode Island were awarded a $10 million grant this week to research whether that big bird way up there is a hawk. “It was pretty far away when we first saw it, but it looked huge,” said Dr. Elizabeth Starcher, assistant director of the Avian Ecology Program, stating that the significant sum would be used to help the symposium of top ornithologists ascertain whether the bird is a hawk, an eagle, or possibly even a falcon. “A preliminary inquiry, which utilized a simple combination of squinting and shielding our eyes from the sun, determined that there is a 60% to 70% chance it’s a hawk, all right. We plan to expand our investigation by passing around the binoculars, maybe snap some pictures and hope they’re not too grainy. You got to admit it would be pretty cool if it were an actual hawk.” At press time, the researchers have been unable to conclude whether the bird up there was a hawk, as they could not be sure it was the same bird they had spotted earlier.
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