While the pigeon may be the first bird that comes to mind when talking about winged creatures that inhabit San Francisco's Financial District, several peregrine falcons could soon be swooping through the area.
Four falcon eggs in a nest on a ledge at PG&E's San Francisco headquarters at 77 Beale St. are expected to hatch any day, according to Glenn Stewart, director of the University of California at Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group.
The first egg of the season appeared Feb. 19, and incubation, which typically begins after the appearance of the third egg, usually lasts about 33 days. According to Stewart's calculations, hatching was expected to begin Wednesday.
PG&E has partnered with the research group for decades, according to the university, and the utility helps underwrite educational events the research group holds throughout Central and Northern California.
Members of the public can keep an eye on the eggs' progress thanks to live nest web cameras.
"PG&E has been a terrific host to the birds since we established the first nest camera in 2005," Stewart said.
The first sign of hatching will be when the mother falcon, "Lil," rises up off the eggs upon hearing chirping from inside the shells, according to the university.
The chicks will then "pip" the eggs, or barely puncture them, and rest for a few hours before undertaking the exhausting task of cutting their way toward freedom.
Within hours of her chicks' hatching, Lil will begin to feed her young small bits of food, although they will also continue to receive nourishment from the egg yolk for about a day, university officials said.
When the chicks are two to three weeks old, Stewart will visit the nest to place identification bands on their legs so that UC biologists can study how the fledglings travel from natal areas to their own eventual nesting territories.
The nest web camera can be found at www.scpbrg.org.
Bay City News