Young peregrine falcons are named


The young Kalamazoo peregrines received their community names today.  The birds will still be identified by their official federal and state band numbers, but the Fifth Third Bank hosted a contest to give community names to three of the four 2015 hatchlings.  A panel of judges, including Kalamazoo mayor Bobby Hopewell, sorted through the forty names submitted from the community.  The fourth bird was previously named by a local classroom.


Because the Audubon Society of Kalamazoo has a strong mission in education outreach and engaging students to learn about birds, nature, and conservation, one area class room that had incorporated the webcam into their curriculum was invited to name one of the birds.  Jodi Heaney, 6th grade teacher at Parchment Middle School, has been engaging her classroom in the outdoors and bird behavior since 2006.  They start each day by checking out five nest cams they are watching and keep a tally of various behavior such as breeding, courting, sibling rivalry, preening, food begging, etc.  They also watch an Osprey nest that is close to their school.  Heaney’s class chose the name Athena for one of the female birds.  Athena is the goddess of wisdom, courage, and inspiration and has a special relationship with her city of Athens, just as our falcons have a special relationship with Kalamazoo.  Athena is also considered a “bird goddess” even though this referred to owls, the students thought she deserved such an epic name.


The community contest asked that the submitters of the names to explain their choice of the name and how it related to Kalamazoo.  The names chosen from the forty submissions were Kazoomi, Gibson, and Birdick.


Kazoomi is a combination of the common abbreviations for the city and state, Kazoo and MI. It also incorporates the airport code for Kalamazoo, AZO.  And, peregrines certainly zoom around since they are the world’s fastest bird.


Gibson tips the hat to a long term business in Kalamazoo, Gibson Guitars.  Gibson was a fixture in Kalamazoo from 1902 until 1984 and employed many people prior to their relocation to Nashville, TN.  The building and chimney that once housed the guitar manufacturer are still icons in the city.  The name Gibson was submitted by Galesburg-Augusta 6th grade students, Alexis Jones and Bradley Ontis, and para-professional Kim Delfsma who started watching the webcam in their Check and Connect Homework Club before the first egg was laid. 


Birdick is take off on Burdick, a common name in Kalamazoo which currently includes a street and a restaurant.  The Radisson Plaza Hotel which houses Old Burdick’s Restaurant is the site of previous  hotels dating back to 1850.  The hotel was named The Burdick Hotel in 1854, in honor of General Justus Burdick, one of the founding fathers of Kalamazoo.

Tags: Kalamazoo falcons, Peregrine falcon cam