Come for the Falcons, Stay for the Books

May 26, 2016

falcon%20banding%2013[1]This Friday at 11 a.m. on the third floor our annual falcon banding and naming ceremony will take place and you’re invited to come watch.

Mary Hennen and Josh Engel from The Field Museum will band falcon chicks hatched at the Evanston Public Library Peregrine Falcon nesting site. The baby falcons (eyases) will also be named at the event which is free and open to the public. Hennen and Engel will take questions from the press and the public. Limited seating is available on a first come, first serve basis.

Falcon T-shirts are now for sale at the Main Library with beautiful original artwork by local Evanston artist Beth Adler, who recently donated a falcon painting to the library where it now hangs on the Library’s third floor.

This is the 13th consecutive year that a pair of Peregrines has nested at the Evanston Public Library.

Once on the Endangered Species list, Peregrine Falcons have made a dramatic recovery. The banding process is a critical tactic in supporting the Peregrine population. The baby falcons will be removed from the nest, brought indoors for banding, blood sampling, and viewing, then returned to the nest. While some bird species are sensitive to human disturbance at the nest, Peregrines are able to handle it. The adults exhibit defensive behaviors such as yelling and flying at the intruders, but they are willing to accept the young when they are returned to the nest.

The EPL falcons can be viewed live at There is also a Yahoo group for Evanston Peregrine Falcon Watch. More information about the Chicago Peregrine Falcon program can be found at

Can’t come but like to read?  Then check out some of these great peregrine falcon-related resources:


For the Adults

On the Wing: To the Edge of the Earth With the Peregrine Falcon

 On the Wing

Where do Nona and Squawker go when they aren’t in Evanston?  “Alan Tennant, a passionate observer of nature, recounts his all-out effort to radio-track the transcontinental migration of the peregrine falcon–an investigation no one before him had ever taken to such lengths.” Place the book on reserve here.

Urban Nature: Poems About Wildlife in the City

Urban Nature

Daniel Tobin’s poem is to the peregrine falcons of NYC but that won’t make you enjoy this collection any less.  Be sure to place your copy on reserve here.

Peregrine by William Bayer


Considering the fact that peregrine falcons are bloodthirsty killers (raptors tend to be) perhaps it just makes sense to put them in a murder mystery.  Even better, the killer in this book “terrorizes New York with a lethal peregrine falcon.”  The quickie description reads, “Circling high over Rockefeller Center is a peregrine falcon, the most awesome of the flying predators. She awaits a signal from her falconer. It is given: the bird attacks, plummeting from the sky at nearly 200 miles an hour, striking a young woman and killing her instantly. So begins Peregrine, a chilling tale of obsession.”  Place the book on reserve here.

Return of the Peregrine : A North American Saga of Tenacity and Teamwork by editors Tom J. Cade and William Burnham

Return Peregrine

One review of this book began by saying, “There are few success stories in the recovery of endangered species, and the return of the peregrine falcon to North American skies is one of the best.” In this book you will find the most comprehensive history of the massive efforts to save our falcons.  A beautiful coffee table book, be sure to place your copy on reserve here.

The Rites of Autumn : A Falconer’s Journey Across the American West by Dan O’Brien
Rites of Autumn
Just the story of a man, his two dogs, and his young peregrine falcon.  A true story, no less.  This is one for you outdoorsy types. Place your copy on reserve here.

For the Kids

Skydiver: Saving the Fastest Bird in the World by Celia Godkin


Turns out, it was DDT that was significantly responsible for the downturn in the number of peregrine falcons in the wild.  This book chronicles how most of the eggs laid by falcons in the past were lost. This book covers the story of how scientists brought the birds back from near extinction.  Reserve a copy here.

Peregrine Falcon: Dive, Dive, Dive! by Natalie Lunis


Learn about where the peregrine falcon lives, how it hunts, and the special ways its body helps it reach its record-breaking speeds. Place it on reserve here.

Frightful’s Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Frightful's Mountain

From the author of Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain comes a book series where the heroine is a falcon!  Place a reserve on the book here. And once you’re done reading this you can follow up with the sequels Frightful’s Daughter and Frightful’s Daughter meets the Baron Weasel.

The Falcon’s Feathers by Ron Roy

Falcon's Feathers

This is part of the early chapter series A-Z Mysteries.  The premise? “Josh and his two friends look for the person who stole a peregrine falcon from its nest.”  I find this plot particularly terrifying.  I mean, have you seen the claws on those babies?  Place a copy on reserve here.

What’s Faster Than a Speeding Cheetah? by Robert E.Wells


You get three guesses and the first two don’t count.  Put the book on reserve here.

Falcons Nest on Skyscrapers by Priscilla Belz Jenkins


Or libraries for that matter. Put the book on reserve here.

For the Teens

Wildwing by Emily Whitman


And what falcon booklist could be complete without a little falconry on the side?  In this time traveling tale, a girl is sent back to 13th-century England where she is mistaken for a Lady engaged to a local lord.  Naturally she falls in love with a falconer’s son instead.  Consider it Outlander for teens. Place it on reserve here.


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