San Jose's Falcon Chicks Get Sexed

Biologist checks the sex then cuffs the City Hall falcon chicks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    FanconCam
    Clara and Esteban with their 2010 clutch.

    "To hear her and to watch her chase this guy away. She wins every year, it's just exciting," said Sharon Sweeney of San Jose as she watched a UC Santa Cruz biologist with the Predatory Bird Research Group rappel down the side of San Jose City Hall to get a closer look at three peregrine falcon chicks.

    "Mom's very aggressive at the nest and at this point, she thinks she won, she drove me away, her babies are untouched and she's happy now," said biologist Glenn Stewart. "I banded two boys and a girl. They are in robust health and each had eaten before I arrived there this morning."

    The San Jose Peregrine Falcon Alliance posted video of Stewart as he held each fuzzy little chick in his lap. Hard to believe that in just three weeks, the chicks will go from white puff balls to birds of prey. 

    Take me to the video

     The City Hall falcons drew fans out to top floor of the Fourth Street garage to watch parents Clara and Esteban bring the chicks food. The Falcon Cam draws fans from around the world.

    "It's an addiction. I watch them on the computer when I can at home and also come over when I can, " said birdwatacher Liane Kennedy. "I mean, live peregrines -- 10 years ago, you wouldn't have seen this anywhere."

    She's right, according to the biologist Glenn Stewart, 40 years ago it looked like the peregrine falcon was headed for extinction.

    "In 1970, it looked like they'd be gone forever." Stewart said. "We could only find two pairs in California and zero east of the Mississippi River. Today we have over 250 pairs in the state. Compared to two pairs in 1970, I think it's terrific."

    You can watch the falcon family anytime of day on the City of San Jose's FalconCam. And, you can find them on Facebook too, where they have way more friends than this NBC Bay Area Reporter.

    Kris Sanchez is an NBC Bay Area anchor and reporter who remembers watching the first batch of falcon chicks hatching live during her weekend morning newscast, as she was about to hatch the first of her own two chicks