San Jose City Halls newly hatched three falcon chicks are, in fact, all chicks.
That's the proclamation made Wednesday morning by Glenn Stewart, director of the University of California Santa Cruz’s Predatory Bird Research Group, who rapelled down the side of the City Hall tower to reach the nest where the three eyasses hatched just more than three weeks ago.
There, Stewart put identification bands on their legs and found out all three are female. The scratches on the biologist’s hands attest that they are feisty females at that.
Their mother Clara flew protectively overhead the whole time.
“She’s produced 32 babies and we know where 12 of them are months and years later and at least 5 of them are reproducing,” Stewart said, adding, “That’s quite a legacy.”
It’s an especially poignant legacy on this Earth Day, Stewart said.
“The first Earth Day was back in 1970 and back then, we could only find two pair of peregrine falcons in the entire state," he said. "Today, there are close to 300 pairs out there. The lesson there is that we can make a difference. Thanks to recovery efforts, thanks to the Endangered Species Act, thanks to the banning of DDT there are probably about as many as there ever were."
In the next three weeks, the eyasses will replace their down with feathers and then will begin to test their wings.
School children in the city of San Jose have until Friday to enter a contest to name them. Contest details are here.
To donate to the research group and find out more information about the San Jose and other falcons, visit www.scpbrg.org. For a link to the live falcon cam for Clara's nest, visit the predatory bird research group.