Remember when I told you that you should vote for my class' falcon name? Well - WE WON! We named a falcon! For serious. It was ALMOST like winning the lottery (at least to me, and my nerdy falcon-loving heart).
Back story: On Monday I found out we won. I was SO excited and my students were too. We hadn't been approved to GO to the banding, so I tried not to get their hopes up. When I talked to my principal after school I was told - "no, you can't go…one field trip a year…no, you can't find someone else to pay for it…sorry." Needless to say, I was pretty bummed. Okay, I was ticked. THIS IS EDUCATIONAL and AWESOME. I came home in a bad mood and spent most of the night preparing my argument for the next day. My principal often asks us if we are "prepared to die on 'that' hill?" (when it comes to pushing issues with parents) and I set off for school Tuesday "prepared to die on that hill." My kids HAD to go to the naming/banding ceremony. They had to (period). Luckily, Tuesday morning I was met with - "I thought about it all night…you're right…once in a lifetime…you're going." HALLELUJAH!
Fast forward to today:
We boarded a bus with another winning Kindergarten class from our district and went downtown. We ate lunch in the Winter Garden of the Summit Building (and even saw Denny!). Then we had a presentation by Soarin' Hawk Raptor Rescue…which was AMAZING. And finally it was time to see the DNR Biologists pull the babies from their nest. They brought them right down to the room we were all in. Three females and our lone BOY, Maverick. Hands down - one of the coolest things I've been a part of!
Maverick (far left) with his sisters: Electra, Soara, and Skyler
Here are some things you should know about Peregrine Falcons:
1. They are the fastest flying birds. They are like the cheetahs of the sky. They fly at 60mph but can dive at speeds of 180-240mph.
2. Falcons mate for life and usually return to their nest each year. They only change partners if one of them dies or if one of them is a "poor mate." For example, a female falcon might ditch her dude if he doesn't provide her with enough food. Sounds reasonable.
3. Falcon legs are fully developed by 18 days of age - which is why the DNR does their banding between 18-25 days. Maverick is 21 days old today.
4. Falcons eat other birds. They like pigeons and water fowl. The roof of the Summit Building is littered with dead birds right now…because the Daddy (Jaime) is really working hard to keep the Mommy (Moxie) happy. Everyone is well fed.
5. Although they are endangered in the Midwest, Peregrine Falcons can be found on every continent except Antarctica.