June 6, 2014 - 1:15pm
BY SAM GRINGLAS
Everyone’s tweeting about it.
The three peregrine falcons nesting at the University Hospital have been named Mary, Sue and Coleman.
For the third year in a row, the University launched a contest on its Facebook page to solicit name suggestions. The University reports it received thousands of ideas, but naming the chicks after retiring president Mary Sue Coleman was ultimately the most popular.
“This is by far the most unique honor in a final year as president that has been so rewarding,” Coleman said in a statement. “It’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine, and it’s also nice to be a falcon, if in name only. They are beautiful birds and it’s an honor to be connected with them this way.”
In previous years, newly hatched chicks received names such as Maize, Blue, Yost and Bo.
The population of peregrine falcons was devastated by the use of the pesticide DDT during the 1950s. After DDT was banned, reintroduction efforts were launched to restore the population of peregrine falcons. Falcons were released at historic nesting sites in the Upper Peninsula, as well as in Grand Rapids and Detroit.
However, peregrine falcons are still listed as an endangered species in Michigan.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials banded the falcons last months so they can be tracked. The chicks hatched in a nesting box on top of University Hospital, where they will likely remain with their parents until the end of the summer.