SJ Falcon Chicks: Trio of Males, Female

Biologist determines gender of falcon chicks on San Jose City Hall.

By Lisa Fernandez
|  Tuesday, May 1, 2012  |  Updated 2:51 PM PDT
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Glenn Stewart, director of the University of California at Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group, had a tough assignment this morning.

Glenn Stewart, director of the University of California at Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group, had a tough assignment this morning.

Clara, the mama falcon living on a ledge outside San Jose City Hall, has her hands full: She's got three boys and a girl.

That's the determination made by Glenn Stewart, director of the University of California at Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group.

"It was delightful," Stewart said. "I just sit down and relax with the birds and ignore the fact that mom and dad are racing around at high speed."
 

Stewart, who rappels down a bit of city hall onto the ledge, said the falcon chicks are vigorous and robust. "They look great."

Schoolchildren in San Jose will be able to participate in an annual contest to name the birds, and the winners will be announced next month.

Stewart has been banding falcon chicks' legs since 2007, the same year Clara, the adult female falcon, and her first known mate, Jose perched on a ledge outside city hall. Since then, Clara, and a series of falcon lovers, have given birth to a total of 23 eggs, including this year's nest.

In 2008, one of the eggs didn't hatch, and in 2010, one bird died after three days.

Clara's mate is a new one this year, and he's been named Fernando El Cohete, which means Fernando the Rocket.

If you're interested in donating to the research group or watching the falcons live on a FalconCam, click on To donate to the UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group and see the falcons on a live falcon cam, click here.

Contact Lisa Fernandez at 408-432-4758 or lisa.fernandez@nbcuni.com. Follow her at Twitter.com.

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