Monday, May 11, 2009

Details on naming "contest"

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 Scottish Corners Elementary in Dublin (a suburb of Columbus). From over 200 names our panel** has narrowed the choices to 11*. The web poll is up as of this morning and will be available until about 5 p.m. on Friday, 5/18 on the Ohio Division of Wildlife's website for all the falconcam fans out there to cast their vote. The top 4 names with the most votes will be used.

*There was originally 12 names selected for the poll, however, it was discovered that one student had submitted 2 entries and both made it to the poll! Rules of the contest are given to the school and state only one submission per student. So, the name "Glider" was deemed ineligible. It still may appear on the poll, however, should it place in the top 4, we will take the name with the next highest number of votes as a winning name.

Names will be "assigned" to the young falcons when the nestlings are banded, date TBA. 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 2009 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), Jane Beathard (columnist for the Ohio Outdoor News) and Billie Norris (Division of Wildlife).