Glenn Stewart, director of the University of California at Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group, had a tough assignment this morning.
The four young peregrine chicks waiting to fly off into the wild from their home atop San Jose City Hall now have names, thanks to the children who won the annual contest run by the mayor's office.
The female is Hope, and the three males are Horacio, Thunder and Cobalt.
Those four names were chosen by a panel of 10 judges who selected them from 80 students who entered the contest, according to the office of Mayor Chuck Reed.
Hope, Thunder and Cobalt were named by students at Ben Painter Elementary School.
Horacio was named by a 3rd grader at Horace Mann School.
The winners will receive a mayoral commendation and passes to Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, and a school assembly with Glenn Stewart of the UC-Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group, the lead biologist who studies falcons in the Bay Area.
The four young falcons were born to two adults falcons, who also have names. Clara is the biological mother. And Esteban Colbert is the biological father. But in March, Esteban was driven from the nest by a new falcon, named Fernando El Cohete, which means Fernando the Rocket. Folks have taken to calling him Nando for short.
This is Clara's sixth season of giving birth on top of San Jose City Hall. To date, she has given birth to 23 eggs since 2007. In 2008, one of the eggs didn't hatch, and in 2010, one bird died after three days.
Contact Lisa Fernandez at 408-432-4758 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at Twitter.com/ljfernandez.