Jul 27, 2014
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EPL's Baby Falcons Get Names

Meet Wilbur, Lincoln, Dewey, and Rosalind.

EPL's Baby Falcons Get Names

From the City of Evanston:

Today at the Evanston Public Library, scientists from Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History , the Shedd Aquarium and the Brookfield Zoo banded four baby peregrine falcons, three boys and one girl. They are the eighth batch of baby falcons to be born at the library. About 150 residents, bird watchers and elementary students were in the audience to view this spectacular event.

View photo album here>>>

The library had a ballot (both on-line and paper) with seven male and seven female names asking folks to pick their top four. Squawker and Nona’s (the parent peregrine falcons) latest hatchlings are named:

Wilbur – named after Wilbur, the runt pig in E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. The runt of the litter, Wilbur is saved from a terrible fate by his friend Charlotte the spider.

Lincoln – named after Abraham Lincoln, born in Illinois and our 16th president. He led the nation through Civil War and brought an end to slavery in the United States.

Dewey – named after Melvil Dewey, American librarian and reformer. Dewey established the Dewey decimal system of classifying books and played a prominent role in developing professional institutions for librarians.

Rosalind – the central character of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Some critics call Rosalind one of the most complex, fully realized Shakespearean characters. As an added bonus, there is a falcon reference in As You Like It (Act 3, Scene 3 - Touchstone: “As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse his curb and the falcon her bells, so man hath his desires; and as pigeons bill, so wedlock would be nibbling”).

The scientists also took blood samples for DNA tracking purposes along with feather samples. When they were finished, the fledglings were successfully returned to their nest.

“For the past several years, a pair of peregrine falcons has nested on one of the columns along the south side of the library and at least one baby falcon has successfully fledged each year,” explained Evanston Public Library Director Mary Johns. “While the nest cannot be viewed directly from either inside or outside the building, the library has set up a webcam which transmits a streaming live image for all to enjoy.”

The falcon cam is accessible here>>>

The peregrine falcon is a raptor, or bird of prey. Adults have blue-gray wings, dark brown backs, a buff colored underside with brown spots, and white faces with a black tear stripe on their cheeks. They have a hooked beaks and strong talons. Peregrine falcons are the fastest flying birds in the world – they are able to dive at 200 miles per hour and catch their prey in mid-air. There are an estimated 1,650 breeding pairs in the United States and Canada.

Peregrine Falcons have adapted to living in many cities and make use of tall buildings that provide suitable ledges for nesting and depend on the large populations of pigeons and starlings in cities for food. Peregrine falcons mate for life and breed in the same territory each year.

Learn more about the Library Falcons here>>>

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