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The four peregrine falcons that hatched last month in a nest outside the third floor of the Main Library were banded and named on May 27. With a bicycle helmet for protection, Mary Hennen, head of the Peregrine Project at the Field Museum, assisted by several volunteers, gently removed the four chicks from their nest and tucked them into a box on the floor near the window.
The spectators within understood the process – banding the chicks for identification, drawing blood for genetic research and bagging the occasional louse for another project. Outside, though, the parents, Squawker and Nona (for “no name”), flew back and forth near the window, screeching in apparent protest, their laments echoed by the chicks’ mewling.
The first few generations of falcons received literary names (“Dashiell” and “Lillian” were among the first generation of names). This year only one chick, Elinor, bears a name with literary connotation.
Elinor Hoyt Wylie was an American poet and novelist who wrote a poem titled “The Falcon.”
Patrick and Liz Bartlow Breslin, owners of The Celtic Knot Public House, chose “Ean,” the Gaelic name for “bird.” The Celtic Knot is located across the street from the library, and Mr. and Ms. Breslin and others there have been keeping an eye on the nest since the four eggs were laid in March.
The chick Deborah was named for Deborah Cohen, whom the librarians termed a “dedicated caretaker of several generations of the Evanston peregrines.” The fourth chick, Aldo, was named for Aldo Leopold, an American ecologist, forester and environmentalist. He was influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness preservation.