Sunday, February 25, 2024

Community votes to decide names for baby peregrine falcons raised at MSU

April 1, 2023
<p><span style="background-color: rgb(248, 248, 248); color: rgb(29, 28, 29);">Fisheries and wildlife senior Endi Piovesana at the MSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club's Chili Cookoff on March 31, 2023.</span></p>

Fisheries and wildlife senior Endi Piovesana at the MSU Fisheries and Wildlife Club's Chili Cookoff on March 31, 2023.

Photo by PJ Pfeiffer | The State News

Pickles, Muhammad, Egbert and Swooper. 

These are the names of soon-to-be-hatched baby peregrine falcons cared for by the Michigan State University Fisheries and Wildlife Club (FWC).

Over five years ago, a pair of peregrine falcons named Freyja and Apollo flew around Spartan Stadium. FWC noticed them and decided to create a nesting box to see if they could create offspring — and they did. 

There are currently four eggs in the "haven" box that can be watched on a 24/7 live stream video online. The nesting box is supported by the Michigan State University Forestry department, ASMSU and private donors. 

The FWC held a Chili Cookout on Friday to announce the names of the baby peregrines. Name suggestions were submitted by both Jonesville Community School District students and the FWC. Attendees cast votes for their picks by way of monetary donations to the club. 

After hearing about the FWC's work to create the box, Jonesville Community School District was inspired to create its own nesting box, which is placed on the top of a school building.  

The FWC chose the district to submit names after hearing of the inspiration their work sparked.

Fisheries and wildlife senior Molly Engelman is the president of the FWC. She was glad to host the event at the Corey Marsh Ecological Research Center. According to her, FWC is a great way to meet people in the department and experts in different fields of study. The cookoff is her favorite event of the year because it is a great and easy way to incorporate different people into fun activities, she said.

“We all have a really good time and enjoy each other’s company and we look forward to it every semester,” Engelman said. 

chilicookout_PP_2

Dozens of people gather around before trying different chili, side dishes and desserts at the MSU Fisheries and Wildlife Chili Cookoff on March 31, 2023.

The Chili Cookoff event also included several competitions: a side dish competition, a dessert competition and a cornhole tournament. Nearly everyone who came brought at least one dish and 16 teams participated in games of cornhole.

Cynthia Galvan, a criminal justice junior at Wayne State University, came to the event because her best friend is in the club. It was her first year attending and she was excited to see the number of events happening — and participate in the cornhole tournament. 

Galvan believes that the FWC event “creates a good community” and is “able to bring the students out and make connections with people” who are in similar fields. 

According to fisheries and wildlife senior Evan Griffis, the Chili Cookoff was previously held in a classroom where very few students and almost no faculty came to support the club. 

This year was different. 80 people from across Michigan and different backgrounds — MSU students, professors and students of surrounding schools — came to take part.

Griffis said that the attendance continuously grows each year and although he is leaving next year, he is enthusiastic about the future of the FWC and the support they receive from the community.

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