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A crowd gathered on the third floor of the Evanston Public Library on May 31 to watch as the four young peregrine falcons that hatched three weeks ago were banded and named. Blood and feather samples were also taken.
“The excitement in the people’s eyes – I don’t think you see this every day,” said veterinarian Barbara Royal.
Wilbur, Rosalind, Lincoln and Dewey were the names chosen for the four latest additions to the falcon family.
Ms. Royal was at the Library to assist in the banding and sample collection and said that they checked the birds’ health and that each one was strong and healthy.
“When we see an animal like this, and you know that they’re incredibly wild but are this close, it makes you feel like you really belong,” Ms. Royal said.
Matt Gies from the Shedd Aquarium and Mary Hennen, an ornithologist from the Field Museum, carefully removed the birds from the nest and brought them into the Library. All this was going on while the upset parents circled the Library.
Ms. Hennen has been working with the Chicago Peregrine Program for 23 years. She said that it could be three more weeks before the birds take their first flight, and the Library has been preparing for when that day comes.
The young birds’ first flight is now the big concern for those caring for the falcons at the Library. Gravel has been placed on the area below the nests for the birds’ protection.
Those looking to see falcon siblings flying around downtown Evanston will have to wait another three weeks as the parents teach them how to fly before the chicks can go farther out.
Mother Nona has been nesting above the third floor of the Library for seven years, and father Squawker has been at the Library for six years.
Peregrine falcons have been nesting at the Library since 2004, and Ms. Hennen said the parents will be back when courtship time begins next year
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