One of San Jose City Hall's prized falcons was found dead Sunday morning.
Gabriel Mcclelland said he was walking by city hall at 10:15 a.m. Sunday morning when he stopped and noticed a falcon on the ground. The bird wasn't moving, so he called police.
Mcclelland said he recognized the bird as one of the celebrated Peregrine falcons that hatched on top of the city hall this spring.
According to Glenn Stewart, a local bird expert from the University of California at Santa Cruz, the death was an unfortunate but completely natural event.
"They're still kind of clumsy at this age," Stewart said.
The bird was one of the latest offspring of mother falcon Clara and her mate Fernanfo El Cojete. Clara has nested on the south wall of city hall, about 20 stories off the ground, for the past seven years.
The three male falcons hatched this year in early April and were later named Orion, Comet and Striker by Mayor Chuck Reed's office after local school children submitted their name suggestions.
The names came right in time for the bird's first flight earlier this month.
It is not the first time that some of the young falcons have died.
In 2010, two of Clara's four chicks died before reaching adulthood.
This time, Steward, explained, "mom and dad deliver food to the babies, there was a midair delivery, and the baby grabbed the pigeon and looked for a place to eat it. They fly well but they don't land very well. It just crashed and died immediately," he said.
About two-dozen pairs of peregrines are known to live in the Bay Area.