Thursday, May 22, 2008

You can help choose names for the nestlings!

Names for falcon chicks are selected different ways for the different nests around Ohio. Here in Columbus we use a process that involves school children. First, we choose a local school (usually one that is certified as a WILD School Site) to hold a "contest" for the falcon names. Students in the school submit names. Generally we request names not be human names, they be gender-neutral and represent the majesty and power of a peregrine falcon. From there the list of names is narrowed down by a panel of local wildlife enthusiasts. The pool of names is then put on our website for the public to decide the final outcome.

This year's school is Hartford Elementary School in Licking County. Hartford Elementary was certified as a WILD School Site last May and was actually set up to hold the contest last year except that the eggs didn't hatch in 2007. So, we lined things up with them again this year. From over 100 names our panel** has narrowed the choices to 12. A web poll will be available starting tomorrow on the Ohio Division of Wildlife's website for all the falconcam fans out there to cast their vote. The poll will accept one vote per IP address per day. The top 4 names with the most votes will be used. Classrooms with one computer that are following the Columbus falcons will have to decide as a group which name to vote for. The web poll will remain up for about a week.

Names will be "assigned" to the young falcons at banding on Wednesday, June 4. The students who submitted the winning names will be invited to attend the banding. At this time we hope to broadcast the banding on our website via the live streaming video. More details to come as we finalize plans.

**The 2008 panel included: Larry Mixon, Sr. (a member of the Ohio Wildlife Council, the 8-member board appointed by the Governor that approves all Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations), John Switzer (columnist for The Columbus Dispatch), Tom Sheley (owner, Wild Birds Unlimited) and Dan Huss (Division of Wildlife District One Manager).