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‘Jump,’ ‘Mae’ and ‘Golden’ soar to the top of peregrine falcon naming contest

This year marks 30 years since Wisconsin Public Service and We Energies began their efforts to...
This year marks 30 years since Wisconsin Public Service and We Energies began their efforts to restore the peregrine falcon population in Wisconsin.(Wisconsin Public Service/ WE Energies)
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 11:18 AM CDT
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ROTHSCHILD, Wis. (WSAW) - Wisconsin Public Service announced the top 10 names chosen by voters for the peregrine falcon chicks born atop WPS and WeEnergies power plants.

Wisconsin Public Service and We Energies began installing peregrine falcon nest boxes on power plants in the early ‘90s. To mark the milestone anniversary, the naming contest tied into pop culture from 1992. So far, 421 peregrine falcons have hatched at WPS and We Energies facilities — that’s 20% of all peregrine falcons born in Wisconsin.

The falcons are named during a contest and banded for monitoring.

The male falcon named Sheldon is nesting at the Weston Power Plant for his seventh straight year. He’s caring for the egg with an unbanded female falcon who arrived at the nest box earlier this month. The peregrine parents will take turns incubating their eggs over the coming weeks. If all goes well, the first chicks will begin hatching soon.

The top 10 choices, from more than 7,000 votes, were (listed alphabetically):

  • Barney — Everyone’s favorite purple dinosaur made his TV debut in 1992 with “Barney & Friends
  • Dream — in honor of the 1992 Olympics gold-medal Dream Team
  • Favre — Brett Favre joined the Green Bay Packers 30 years ago this year
  • Garth — “Wayne’s World,” a feature film based on a “Saturday Night Live” skit, starred Mike Myers as Wayne and Dana Carvey as Garth
  • Golden — for “The Golden Girls,” which aired its last TV episode in 1992
  • Jump — for “Jump Around,” by House of Pain, now a rally song used by the Wisconsin Badgers
  • Mae — honoring Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, who orbited Earth in 1992
  • Mario — Nintendo’s “Super Mario Kart” was released in 1992
  • Scrunchie — the hair tie was chosen to recognize the era’s unique fashion sense
  • Whitney — Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” was the best-selling song of 1992

The names that are most popular with voters will be assigned to the peregrine falcon chicks when they’re banded later this spring. WPS might need to check the 11th and 12th most popular names, too. The utility says there are nine chicks now “and likely more to come.”

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