Four peregrine falcon chicks that recently hatched in a nesting box on the roof of North Quad have new names: Betsy, Bursley, Mojo and Markley.
The four names represent residence halls on the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus: Betsy Barbour Residence, Bursley Hall, Mosher-Jordan Hall and Mary Markley Hall.
The university selected the winning names after receiving hundreds of suggestions in a recent online naming contest.
The falcon chicks were banded in early June and will be tracked by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Staff identified three female chicks and one male chick.
This is the first year for the breeding pair of falcons. The mother falcon has been identified as KJ, who was hatched and banded in May 2016 at the Racine County Courthouse in Racine, Wisconsin. The male was identified as Beacon, banded in 2006 in Akron, Ohio. The previous female falcon, Thunderbolt, had been in Ann Arbor from 2011-17.
This is the fifth year the university hosted an online naming content for falcon chicks. In 2016, the community selected Jim (Harbaugh), Chad (Carr), Hail-y and Ann (Arbor). Last year, the breeding couple welcomed three chicks, but they were not banded or named.
In urban areas, peregrine pairs tend to nest on tall buildings or bridges, which simulate high cliffs and ledges, making the North Quad rooftop a prime location.
The peregrine falcon has been removed from the federal endangered-species list, but remains an endangered species in Michigan. The male bird is about the size of a crow. Females are slightly larger.