As is tradition, this past Friday, June 6, members of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), a veterinarian from the Detroit Zoo, Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel and local media crammed into a small, warm room on the 11th floor of the Old County Building at 10 N. Main Street, near where peregrine falcons Nick and Hathor nest every year, for the annual banding of the falcon chicks.
Members of the MDNR go out onto the ledge and place the four chicks into cardboard boxes to transfer them inside so the banding can take place. Once inside, the MDNR reps and veterinarian give the chicks a full review to make sure they are healthy. The birds aren’t fans of the exam – they squawk the whole time while Nick and Hathor fly around nervously in circles around the nest outside.
The examiners move quickly and, in just a short amount of time, each bird is banded so it can be properly tracked. The peregrine remains protected federally under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In Michigan, peregrines remain listed as an endangered species under state law.
As part of the annual event, Executive Hackel names the chicks. This year, three are female and one male. The first is named Hero in celebration of all of those involved in the defense industry that is so prevalent in Macomb County. June 6 also marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the official end of World War II. The second female is named COMTEC, which is the same name as the county’s premiere communications center that opened in December 2013. Executive Hackel wanted to honor the two women that are tasked with running COMTEC, Laura Peeples, dispatch supervisor with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office and Vicki Wolber, director of Macomb County’s Emergency Management Department. The third female is named Jo after Jo Kudela, a former chaplain with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office. The fourth falcon, a male, is named Max after Max Thompson, the visionary behind Macomb County Community College.
“I named these four falcons after people that have made a special impact in Macomb County,” said Executive Hackel. “I am honored that they have once again chosen to make Macomb their home.”
Other successful nests by Nick and Hathor in Macomb County include:
- 2014: Hero, COMTEC, Jo and Max
- 2013: Oakland and Wayne
- 2012: Webber and Otis
- 2011: Diana, Edna and Rosie
- 2010: Harwell, Martha and Packard
- 2009: Cass, Tucker and Wetzel
- 2008: Clair, Clementine and Lenny
- 2005: Alexa
To learn more about Macomb County’s peregrine falcons, visit http://www.macombcountymi.gov/peregrine.
Sarah Cormier works for the Macomb County Executive Office, often writing about interesting activities taking place in Macomb County.