A new generation of winged library lovers was officially welcomed into Evanston's extended family Thursday.
Field Museum staff banded four baby peregrine falcons born this spring outside the Evanston Public Library. This is the eighth year the same pair, named Nona and Squawker, has nested and bred outside the library.
Evanston's library is no stranger to the excitement of it all. It started a Facebook page, titled Evanston Public Library Falcons, to track the progress of the babies as well as a webcam to watch the feathered family in real time.
The first chick hatched May 6.
Mary Hennen from the Field Museum's bird division retrieved the hatchlings Thursday from their nest and brought them inside for banding and naming.
Hennen notes the births are especially important as only about 12 pairs of breeding falcons exist in Illinois.
"The appearance of a hatchling is an important milestone for the Peregrine Program. Once a federally endangered species that had all but disappeared from the Midwest in the 1960s, the Chicago Peregrine Program has helped reintroduce the birds to the Midwest; the banding process is a critical tactic in supporting the Peregrine population."