UC Berkeley Falcons have names

Annie and Grinnell are very famous Peregrine Falcons. They first established their territory in the beautiful Campanile on the UC Berkeley Campus in December 2016. It is the penthouse that looks out all over the campus.

“The Campanile” by Joe Parks is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

What an amazing place to raise falcons! The scrape box is located above the bell tower and apparently the ringing of the bells does not bother Grinnell, Annie, or the eyases. It is a well protected and safe place to raise chicks.

Annie and Grinnell have hatched 13 chicks. Three of those are in the nest now. The other ten fledged. Of those ten, one died by window strike and another, a female, Lawrencium, who hatched in 2018 is nesting on Alcatraz Island. The whereabouts of the remaining eight is unknown.

We do not know how old Annie is but Grinnell hatched in Martinez, California which is near to San Francisco in 2013. So Grinnell is eight years old.

Here are the eyases on banding day. The oldest two were born on the 17th of April and the youngest was born on the 19th of April.

From left to right: Kaknu, Fauci, and Wek’-Wek’. Banding Day. 15 May 2021

Every year a contest is held to name the UC Berkeley falcons. The names this year are Fauci after Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases (Red Band), Kaknu which is the name ‘falcon’ in the Ohlone Tradition (Yellow Band), and Wek’-Wek’ which is the traditional falcon of the Miwok Tribes.

The Ohlone lived along the coast and the land around San Francisco was the traditional lands of the Ohlone. In the mythology of the Ohlone, the coyote is the advisor and grandfather of the mythical hero of the people, the Kaknu or peregrine falcon. Kaknu features in the creation myths of the Ohlone as well as in the mythology of another San Francisco native tribe, the Miwok where the falcon is known as Wek’-Wek’. The Coyote was also the creator god of the Miwok and his grandson is also the peregrine falcon. Wek’-Wek’s father was the condor.

The three falcons chicks of Annie and Grinnell are all males. Indeed, out of the thirteen eyases of Annie and Grinnell only three of them have been females. Because the males are much smaller than the females, it does not take as long for their bodies to be covered with feathers. As a result, male falcons fledge earlier than females. (This is a similar situation with hawks). The biologists at Berkeley feel that the feathers will have completed their growth by 28 of May and are expecting the two oldest, Fauci and Kaknu to fledge 28-29 of May with Wek’-Wek’ joining them on the 31st. The eyases will then be trained by their parents for a couple of months to hunt so that they are independent and ready to live in the world successfully. They will do prey drops and aerial exchanges. Oh, can you imagine? The fastest birds in the world doing prey exchanges with their children. Wow!

You can see how quickly their plumage has changed from the image above which was on banding day, 15 May, only six days ago. In one week, they will have their juvenile feathers and be ready to fly.

Look at all that beautiful peach feathering. Gorgeous.

21 May 2021

Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope that our friends in Bird World are bringing you much joy!

Thank you to UC Berkeley Falcon cams that is where I grab my screen shots.

They will be flying in a week!

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