Trio of Peregrine Falcons Make Debut in Rockford Ceremony

The three chicks were named Peaches, Freddie VanTweet, and Sweeney

A trio of peregrine falcons has made their debut in Illinois.

The Rockford Register Star reports the chicks received identification bands during a Saturday ceremony. Their names are Peaches, Freddie VanTweet and Sweeney. They're believed to be among the first to hatch in Rockford.

The federally-protected birds of prey were extinct for decades in the Midwest.

Mary Hennen is director of The Field Museum's Chicago Peregrine Program. She says the Rockford nest is the ninth where chicks were banded this year in Illinois.

The birds' names were chosen in a newspaper contest.

Peaches was named after the World War II-era women's baseball team the Rockford Peaches. Freddie VanTweet is after Toronto Raptors basketball player and Rockford native Fred VanVleet. And Sweeney honors newspaper columnist Chuck Sweeny, who died in May.

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