Four falcon chicks nesting at Evanston Public Library to be banded, named in June ceremony

Marissa Page, Assistant City Editor

Representatives from The Field Museum will come to the Evanston Public Library early next month to band and name four newborn peregrine falcon chicks currently nesting at the library.

Mary Hennen and Josh Engel, both of whom work specifically with peregrine falcons in the Field Museum’s Bird Division, will visit the library June 3 to put identification bands on the chicks’ ankles and answer questions about peregrines, the library announced last week.

Evanston residents can submit names for the baby falcons online by May 26. Those whose names are selected will receive front row seats for the event, which is free and open to the public, but with limited seating, the library said.

Falcons have nested at the library for the past 12 years, EPL said. This specific pair of falcons, Nona and Squawker, have lived at EPL’s nesting site for the past decade. Nona hatched the chicks earlier this month.

Peregrine falcons were formerly classified as endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but today there are around 20 pairs of peregrines in the Chicago area, the library said.

The banding process is key in monitoring and protecting the local peregrine population. In the process, Hennen and Engel will sample blood from the chicks, band them and show them to the public before putting them back in the nest, the library said.

Residents can watch the chicks on EPL’s “FalconCam” livestream on the library’s website.

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