"Official" Bird of Rockford, Illinois

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As an Illinois Young Birder and a Rockford resident, I would like to request that the peregrine falcon to be declared the “official” bird of Rockford, Illinois.

In 2018, Rockford welcomed its first pair of breeding peregrine falcons. Three years earlier in 2015, the species was removed the Illinois’ threatened species list. The formal removal process began after the bird made a comeback in the state.  

The peregrine falcon was once on the U.S. endangered species list, as the use of the pesticide DDT in the mid-20th century caused its population to decline severely.

DDT, which is now banned in agricultural uses, caused eggshells to thin and break more easily, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The falcon was removed from the national threatened and endangered species list in 1999.

The peregrine falcon’s comeback is a conservation success story! This makes it the perfect bird to represent the comeback that Rockford has been making too.

It wasn’t clear this spring if there would be eggs again this year because the male (Gigi) did not return, but the female (Louise) returned. Late in the season, another male (Lil Kool) arrived and three eggs hatched. Soon there will be three more peregrine falcons flying around the Rockford area.

City of Rockford Officials, please consider naming this bird the “official” bird of Rockford, Illinois.

Thank you!