Fifth-grader wins contest to name California Condor in new exhibit at the World Center for Birds of Prey

13 December 2010

BOISE, Idaho – A Hagerman fifth-grader won the honor Friday of naming one of the endangered California Condors on display at The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise.

Mallory Henslee, a student at Hagerman Elementary, was named the grand prize winner for her essay to name the female condor “Piyopyoot’ alikt,” a Nez Perce term that means “bird alighting.” Mallory, who won the 5th-6th-grade category, was selected from three finalists. The winners were chosen from 187 entries received from 27 schools.

The other finalists are:
- 1st-2nd-grade category: Joaquin Ruby, a second-grader from the Idaho Arts Charter School in Nampa, for “Eyewi,” a Nez Perce word for “peace.”
- 3rd-4th-grade category: Jordan Wilhelmsen, a fourth-grader from Desert Springs Elementary in Nampa, for “Wewexp”, a Nez Perce word for “spring.”

Mallory said the inspiration for her winning entry came as she watched a film of California Condors flying in the Grand Canyon and was impressed by how smoothly the large birds were able to land.

The naming contest, sponsored by Wells Fargo, invited Idaho schoolchildren to submit a Native American name from an Idaho-based tribe along with a short essay explaining their choice. The finalists in each category and their classmates attended a ceremony at the World Center for Birds of Prey on Friday to learn who had won. The kids also were treated to a free tour and live bird demonstrations, courtesy of Wells Fargo.

“I want you to know how proud we are of all of you for the research and other activities you did that focused on naming the condor,” Debbie Westmoreland, Community Bank President of Wells Fargo, told the crowd of students and teachers.

The newly named female condor is on display in a new outdoor exhibit called Condor Cliffs, which opened in June. The male condor in the display will be named next summer in an online contest for the general public.

The Peregrine Fund produces captive-bred condors at the World Center for Birds of Prey and releases them to the wild near the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

The interpretive center at the World Center for Birds of Prey is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.

For more information, contact:

Erin Katzner

Director of Global Engagement
Main Phone: 208-362-3716
Direct Phone: 208-362-8277
The Peregrine Fund