It's April, which means it's time for our annual "aww look at these baby falcon chicks" report. And here it is, because today four baby falcons have hatched in their nest/box on top of San Jose's 18-story City Hall.
This brings the total number of wild peregrine falcon chicks (known as "eyasses") to be born in that nest up to 29, SJ Mayor Chuck Reed's spokesperson Michelle McGurk said.
San Jose falcon Clara and her mate, Fernando El Cohete, have nested and raised families atop City Hall since 2012, McGurk said. In March, Clara lay four more eggs, and yesterday, two hatched.
"Clara and Fernando exchange a few cacks, then Clara leaves. Fernando brings in some leftovers and gently gives his two newborn babies their first food," the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group reported following the birth.
At 6:35 this morning, two more had hatched:
And a couple hours later the fourth eya had emerged:
By 8:42 AM all four were ready for breakfast, which mom served up. "Two are still a little damp, but they sit up and hold their beaks open to be fed," the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group said.
Before these eyasses are old enough to fly, Glenn Stewart, the director of the Predatory Bird Group, will place a band on each of their legs, so they can be identified after they leave the nest, McGurk said. "They kind of go out and bird watchers in the Bay Area can keep track of them from their bands," she said.
Though peregrine falcons have been considered an endangered species in California since the 1970s, the future looks good for these little chicks. McGurk says that most of the chicks born at City Hall have survived past the fledgling stage, and have been seen in places like Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Because you can't live with your parents forever!
Until then, you can follow these kids' adventures with the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Group's livecam. If that's down (which it sometimes is), never fear: their YouTube channel is updated on the regular.