Calling on our falcon followers to help name our inspirational little chick

Food for thought: We need you to help name our popular peregrine chick

Food for thought: We need you to help name our popular peregrine chick

As you are no doubt aware, there has been a huge swell of interest on this blog about the possible naming of our surviving peregrine chick. The chick has become an unwitting star since all three of its siblings sadly died as a result of those terrible storms almost two weeks ago. Since then its been getting all of Mr and Mrs P’s attention – as well as yours of course – and has been growing bigger and stronger every day.

We felt that it was now time to start talking about a suitable name – and we wanted to offer you, our growing army of falcon followers, the chance to put your suggestions to us.

We would like people to email us their suggested names before 5pm on Friday, May 18, so that we can select our favourites and ask people to vote for them via an online poll, which we’ll link to from our falcon pages. Please don’t post your suggestions on this blog as they won’t be recorded, it’s important that we receive them via email – so if you’ve seen a name you like in previous comments, then please do email it to us!

We are also planning to give away a peregrine falcon toy to one person who suggests the name that is finally chosen for the chick via the online poll. The terms and conditions for this are set out below.

Last year the chicks were named Will and Kate – in homage to the royal couple who were married the weekend they hatched – and Isaac and Newton, a nod to the university’s flagship building which the adult falcons have made their home.

Unsurprisingly many of the suggestions which have appeared on our blog so far have focused on the story of the chick’s survival following those appalling storms. There have been too many to mention, but some of those which have caught our eye include Unity, Robinson Crusoe – inspired by the fictional castaway – and Jack, a reference to the chick’s tendency to take shelter in the corners of the nest box.

Maybe you’ll take the forthcoming Olympic Games as inspiration? The name ‘Bolt’, after the fastest man on the planet – Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt – might be very fitting for the world’s fastest animal. Or, in keeping with last year’s royal theme, how about something related to the Queen’s Diamond jubilee?

Then again, perhaps Robin Hood, with the legend’s links to Nottinghamshire, will strike a chord with some of you – ‘Arrow’ is a personal favourite of mine.

Whatever your thoughts are, we’d love to hear them, so please do get thinking and start sending your suggestions through to us as soon as possible.

Dave Rogers
Nottingham Trent University

Terms and conditions

NTU is running a free-to-enter competition to find a name for the peregrine falcon chick nesting on its Newton building. From the names suggested by competition entrants, the university will draw up a short list, from which the actual name of the chick will be decided via a poll. Entrants who suggested the name which  is finally chosen will be entered in a prize draw, from which one winner, chosen at random, will receive a peregrine falcon toy.

The competition is open to anyone  who submits a suggested name via email to environment.team@ntu.ac.uk.

By entering the competition, you agree to your name and image being used in the announcement of the competition results. We may choose to contact the winner directly asking them to send us an image of themselves with their falcon toy.

The closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday, May 18.

The decision of the judging panel upon selecting the winner of the falcon toy is final.

No alternative to the stated prize will be offered.

The competition result will be announced week commencing June 4 via the university’s falcon blog and social media channels.

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72 Responses to Calling on our falcon followers to help name our inspirational little chick

  1. geofft says:

    I’ve followed the progress of all the birds this year and was devastated with the way things worked out but then that’s nature. I’m sorry but I don’t agree with this whole “let’s name the chick” thing. This is a wild bird not a pet hamster. I’ve been very impressed with the blog so far and the way that you’ve handled concerns with regard to intervention, covering the nest etc. This whole thing about “come up with a name and win a fluffy toy” is just plain tacky. I can appreciate that people have bonded with this chick after all it’s been through, just like I have, but let the birds get on with it. It doesn’t need a name.

    Like

    • daventu says:

      Hi Geoff – thanks for your comment. It’s great to hear that you’ve been following the falcon cam and the blog. Sorry to hear you’re not keen on the naming idea, we really do appreciate your thoughts. There’s been such a strength of feeling on the blog for doing something like this – and an enormous amount of suggestions put forward – and we just wanted to offer people the opportunity to get involved.

      Like

    • Helen A-F says:

      I too do not feel comfortable with the ‘name a chick’ idea, because by giving the chick a name, it suggests ownership of a bird which is wild and in my view this is very wrong. However, I do also understand that many people who have been following the fortunes of the adult peregrines and their chicks, have become so emotionally involved in the story as it has unfolded and as such have shown a keen interest in naming the surviving chick. While I may not agree with this, I can see why NTU & NWT may embrace the idea, since encouraging the support of all those who show an interest in these birds may lead to donations and membership of the NWT etc. Funds are always needed and I understand wildlife charities need to appeal to the masses in order to achieve good membership, raise funds for and promote the work they do. So yes, I don’t feel comfortable with, so I won’t be suggesting names, or voting, but at the same time I appreciate that NTU and NWT are promoting the competition to encourage support for and to promote their peregrine project and I would never shoot them down for it. Folks you are doing a fantastic job and I so appreciate all you are doing for these wonderful birds and other wildlife. The images from the camera have been stunning and I am simply in awe of these magnificent birds 🙂 So thank you!

      Like

    • freda says:

      Is the chick asleep now – It isn’t worse news I hope?
      Perhaps it is ‘snoozing off’ a large meal.

      Like

  2. Penny says:

    Whilst I respect the opinion of people who do not agree with naming chicks, I also do not feel it does any harm. They do not know we have named them, they would not respond if we called them, and it takes nothing away from them. It simply makes it easier to identify them and also shows the affection that we humans have for them. If they are seen or found anywhere in months or years to come we will know which bird it is if it has a name and not just an unmemorable number.

    Like

  3. Steve says:

    Goodness me – lighten up folks. It’s only a bit of harmless fun. What difference does it make if we call it “Baby P”, “the chick” or “Boris Johnson” 🙂 🙂

    Like

    • Helen A-F says:

      Sorry Steve – it’s the naturalist in me 😉 😀

      Like

    • Claire says:

      DITTO!!!! Don’t be so uptight!

      Like

      • Helen A-F says:

        I am not uptight, not one bit – just giving my views and in fact my post was actulally more in support of NTU and NWT and what they were trying to achieve, than anything else than anything else. I have been a naturalist for just about all my 43 years, as my Dad, (a keen naturalist and environmentalist long before it was cool!) introuduced me to the natural world before I would walk. I was taught by him and others around me that we should not anthropomorphise wild animals and birds. That is why I have my opinion, but as I stated above I accept and appreciate that others do not share my view and that I understand & support why the competition exists. I am already a longtime member of the RSPB and my local Wildlife Trust and last weekend joined my daughter to NWT, as she is a student at NTU, studying Wildlife Conservation, so they have my support. I respect the views of those who wish to name the chick, so in return it would be good for people to respect those of us who have the opposite view, without labelling us as uptight! Cheers 🙂

        Like

    • geofft says:

      Steve. I’m a member of the RSPB. If you want a bit of harmless fun then join or make a donation to them or NWT. You can see my previous posts on this blog and these birds have always been Dad, Mum, Chick 4. I’m no party-pooper but calling the chick Jack or Unity or whatever changes nothing. If you give a chicken a name it’s much harder to eat it when Sunday dinner comes around (and I’m not a veggie).

      Like

    • geofft says:

      Ha Ha! Good post Steve. I always find that roast falcon is a bit boney for my liking. And the scaffolding required to get the last one cost me a fortune.

      Like

      • justme says:

        ha ha very funny!!! i think give little un a name its harmless fun that we ADULT humans tend to indulge in…its just light banter!!!! Gives us all a smilexx

        Like

  4. Josh says:

    Surely the aspect of naming it, giving it our man-made concept of “name” is a clear sign of the connection we have with the bird? It helps people relate and i think its a fantastic idea to get people involved in the conservationist side of the University.

    Like

  5. Anne says:

    Completely agree with Penny & Steve. Naming the chick does not in any way alter the fact that it is a wild bird & obviously will have no effect on its life! Lets not take it too seriously, as Steve said, it’s harmless fun

    Like

  6. Tom says:

    If ever there was a name for a Peregrine Falcon, it has to be Perry.

    Like

  7. Steve says:

    Little Boris is really finding his feet and fairly tearing around the nest. Flexing his wings too – he’s growing so fast – you can see a real difference from day-to-day.

    Like

  8. Anne bishop says:

    How about the name Bonny? Meaning fine attractive or pretty. I would say it suits the chick currently with its ever increasing waistline due to being well fed by it’s parents.
    It has been a wonderful privilege to see the progress of these amazing birds and look forward to the ‘Bonny’ chick leaving the nest and going on to further increase the population of these wonderful birds….

    Like

  9. SueAtt says:

    Well, never thought that the naming of our chick would cause such an uproar! Wanting to give the chick a name doesn’t make us any less interested and concerned for the wildlife around us. I also think we should remember that some schools were originally involved in following the Peregrine family – and I would presume that they still are – and that there are probably lots of children out there who would love to get involved in choosing a name – I know my grandchildren would! Choosing a name would get them more involved in the Peregrine Project, and if their particular school should win, that would would be even better! 🙂

    Like

  10. Maria says:

    Well considering the debate on whether or not to name the chick I think “the one who shall not be named” would be very fitting. Awww little Voldemort chick 🙂

    Like

  11. Flutterer says:

    I’m for calling it Ringo, as he’s the only one of the Fab Four still alive (and before you say anything, I don’t believe Paul is alive … you can tell from his eyes!)

    Like

  12. Steve says:

    Home, sweet home……….

    Like

  13. Lesley says:

    Just catching up with the chick, oh so cute and such big feet!!
    All I can say is “I want one”, however my husband says NO!!!!!!!
    Long may this chick grow and survive – just gorgeous!

    Like

  14. PamUK says:

    I have watched birds and animals on the internet for many years now. I would argue that if such a creature is not branded or tagged or ringed in a way that identifies it them (and sometimes even if it is) it makes life easier for all concerned and equally does no harm to give it a name.
    Many of our UK Ospreys have become internationally known by their given names.
    The folk at Rutland Water obstinately refuse to name their Ospreys but a newcomer to watching them either live or on the internet would find it very difficult to identify the various birds by their ring numbers. My halfhearted campaign in respect of RW has fallen on deaf or obstinate ears.
    In Canada members of the various resident Orca pods are given numbers as they are born but they also get a name and become well-known by those names.
    Many bald eagles in the USA have become internationally known by their given names.
    We all know the brown bears of Minnesota by their names.
    As you may guess, this is a pet hobby horse of mine…. :-)) Go ahead folk….get those names in :-))

    Like

    • daventu says:

      Thanks Pam!

      Like

      • Pat says:

        I agree with Pam so much, I have started to watch the Ospeys at RW just this year and find it impossible to follow who is who with the letter/number system they use.
        I call the chick Tubby;)… but have we considered he could be a female?

        Like

    • Julie says:

      Do you follow the Dyfi Osprey? The chicks were named last year and it has been amazing to follow them by name not number (even if I can’t pronounce them).

      Like

    • Russ Hardingham says:

      The daft thing is, by identifying the Ospreys by their ring numbers, the Rutland Water folk ARE naming them. A name is a method of identification – it matters little whether the identification uses recognisable words or a set of random numbers and/or letters.

      That said, unless an animal has a unique method of identifying it in the future [i.e. a ring, tag, brand, mark or microchip, sometimes it becomes difficult if not impossible to make a positive I.D. in the future simply from a name.

      Give ’em both, I say. It isn’t as if little Falkland is going to have a pop about it on his Facebook page…

      RussH

      Like

  15. NTU Environment Team says:

    Hi Falcon fans!

    Just a quick message to say thank you for all of your suggestions so far. We have already received over 90 emails with some fantastic ideas for names so are going to have our work cut out whittling them down to a short-list for the poll.

    Keep your thoughts and ideas coming in!

    Like

  16. doggie says:

    I see several racing pigeon rings in the nest, after Mr & Mrs P have finished with the nest will the rings be gathered and will the owners of the unfortunate pigeons be notified of their demise.

    Like

  17. Caroline says:

    I know….. lets those of us who want to name him, which includes me, send in a suggested name and those of us who don’t want to… don’t. Sorted.

    Seriously though, I agree fully with Penny. The birds have no idea whether we give them a name or not, so it does no harm.

    Like

  18. STEVE says:

    Geofft, i can not understand what your problem is with naming a chick that is wild, and will always be wild…..and will not lose a wink of sleep if we name him/her or not …….i myself have named birds just out of jest ie, a baby wagtail flew into my window so i called him wolly the wagtail….an hour later he dusted himself of and flew off never to be seen again, and then a racing pigeon camped out in my garden for a few days, so we called him rory the racing pigeon, a few days later he to flew off never to be seen again aswell, and niether bird ever complained, lighten up man its called fun.

    Like

  19. Tracey says:

    Have the chicks in previous years been named?

    Like

  20. Christine says:

    Of course the chick is female! It has survived against all odds like many women before her,so long live GLORIA ! I WILL SURVIVE !! I am just so pleased that the chick is doing so well, it has a long and difficult time to come as it learns to fly, catch it’s own prey, find a mate and a decent nesting site to give us more peregrines. If only it knew how many eople were rooting for it’s survival, it won’t give two hoots wether we name it or not so let’s have a bit of fun after all the sadness

    Like

  21. julie907 says:

    I agree, its light hearted banter and harmless 🙂

    Like

  22. PamUK says:

    Thanks for the close-up shots of the chick. Caught the chick just taking a peck at parent’s tail feathers again this morning:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/66339356@N00/sets/72157629524594786/detail/?page=2
    Nice day…hope it lasts !
    Thanks for your dedication – working on Saturday 🙂

    Like

  23. geofft says:

    I’ve just had a great idea. Bearing in mind I don’t want to name the chick and there are loads of people out there who want to give the fluffy bundle a name and think I’m some kind of party pooper then how about calling it Geoff. I’m starting the “Let’s call it Geoff” campaign and this is about to go viral on the interweb.

    Like

    • Steve says:

      I like Boris…….. because it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Jub-Olympics, the weather or standing in corners.

      Vote for Boris!!!!!

      Dang….. there IS a connection!!!

      Like

  24. doggiedc says:

    MMMM…….guess the RSPB would like you to make a bracelet with the rings from all the wild birds they ring that meet their maker also…..or maybe they would prefer to be informed as to where the ring was found and what happened the bird……whats good for the goose should be good for the gander……after all that is why birds are ringed or do you care, probably not so I’ve better things to do now than respond to your ‘competition’ that is desigened to incite.

    Like

    • geofft says:

      Doggiedc. You sound like a pigeon fancier and i really sympathise with you if you’re rearing birds that you release and never see again. I’m a peregrine fancier and we’re a bit higher up the food chain I’m afraid. Sorry if you don’t like my posts. If you check them out they (a) make observations on the birds, (b) encourage healthy debate, (c) encourage a bit of humourous banter. You’ll see from another poster that a healthy racing pigeon can outfly a peregrine when going in a straight line. NTU have already said that they fill in the form when they recover the rings at the end of the season.

      Like

    • doggie says:

      Geofft – I don’t appear to be able to reply directly to your post below. I am a country person who has always been a bird lover – of all birds including birds of prey – I am a pigeon fancier in a small ‘hobby’ way with less than 40 birds, I have no problem with Peregrines taking my birds as that is nature but it would be nice to know what happened the bird.

      I had not seen the post by NTU saying they would report the rings recovered, if so good on them, I wish more were reported.

      I have been an interested observer of the site and was already aware that in a straight line a pigeon can outfly a peregrine, although generally the peregrine is coming from a height at a speed that is far faster than the peregrine can fly in a straight line : )

      I have not read many of your posts so cannot comment on them or cannot say that I don’t like them. I was just asking a simple question as to whether the rings would be reported and only wanted a simple answer.

      Cheers

      Like

  25. justme says:

    The little un is almost sprinting around his home pecking away at discarded feathers….those feet are massive…!!!!!

    Like

  26. justme says:

    baby has been fed…just an observation i think its mrs P…when she sits on the ledge she has her left claw up under her body on some occasions i havent seen the other bird do this, is there a reason for this?….or am i being a little dense!!!!!

    Like

  27. Anny says:

    Great view along the ledge. Looks as tho’ one parent is sitting amongst the remains of a kill – what a mess!! Thanks for all your great coverage of this pair – It is a privilege to see.

    Like

  28. Anne says:

    Have just seen the chick tottering along on its feet as opposed to the usual shuffle. Back in the corner now to recover! Thanks again for the brilliant coverage, Can hardly tear myself away from it, getting nothing done!

    Like

    • daventu says:

      Thanks Anne 🙂

      Like

    • Belinda says:

      Has anybody seen them have any food today? I’ve been watching on and off since about 10 am and not seen the chick feed and its now 13:53.

      Like

      • John S says:

        Bit of food at: 7:52 and 14:22 from what I’ve seen.

        Chick also seems to be practising trying to jump up onto the ledge and out of the box. Little hops so far but the chick will soon be wandering the ledge at this rate.

        Like

  29. Hetty says:

    I’ve been watching on and off for the last two hours and haven’t seen either parents and the chick is huddled by the wall. I hope he is ok!!

    Like

  30. julie907 says:

    He has been fed, mum was with him a while earlier… if you look at other cams they are all getting left more, guess he just stands out as he is on his own, doesnt help when he cries too but i am sure he is ok

    Like

  31. julie907 says:

    Think he is hungry, one of the parent just came by and he sprang up so I am guessing its almost food time, he is c.urrently trying to eat a feather lol…. food here

    Like

  32. Anne says:

    Can’t believe how much steadier on his feet he is since earlier in the day. He will be hopping out of the box next!

    Like

  33. NTU Environment Team says:

    Hello Falcon Fans,

    We’ve had a couple of concerned e mails regarding the measuring chart at the back of the nest box and how much it is wobbling in the wind. We have been in contact with our maintenance team who put the board up for us and we have been assured that the board is securely screwed to the nest box and shouldn’t pose any risk to the chick or the parents. We will keep a very close eye on this though.

    Thank you to all those who have entered the falcon chick naming competition, the Environment Team have received a massive 230 names already and there is still 3 days to go! It just goes to show how much attention this little chick is attracting!

    Like

    • Penny says:

      With regard to measuring board, it seems as though the top of it is flapping about and although it seems secure at the bottom, I do hope the top half cannot crack and break off in the wind?

      Like

  34. Hetty says:

    I quite like the name Hercules…strong and a survivor (also a bit greek to do with the olympics this year?) It has been such a pleasure watching these birds. Thank you NTU!

    Like

  35. Sue says:

    Look at those beautiful wing feathers … and he’s getting really particular about preening them. When do we expect him to fledge (I know a few weeks yet ..)?

    Like

  36. Alison says:

    Will the chick be ringed this year? I seem to remember last year’s chicks were ringed at about this time.

    Like

  37. desi says:

    The kid looks to me like a bit of a tearaway;judging by some posts there’s already been strife around the hood.To that end,how about naming the kid Asbo.Just think of the instant street/sky cred with that tag.

    Like

  38. Stuart. Nottingham says:

    I noticed this morning that there is the head of what looks like a Blackbird or Starling in the centre of the nest box, I am some what suprised that it has not been eaten or removed by one of the parent birds, they usually keep the nest free of any body parts

    Like

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