The naming contest winners have been declared for the three baby peregrine falcons atop the Berkeley Campanile, and going forward the fast-growing chicks will be known as Luna, Rosa, and Zephyr.
The Bay Area always gets its feathers in a bunch this time of year watching the new brood of baby peregrine falcon chicks whose nest is high atop the UC Berkeley Campanile, and whose family life is broadcast over the live Cal Falcons Nest Cam. The first of the li’l baby falcons hatched on April 10 this year, and by April 13 there were three falcon chicks. And as they have done each of the last seven years, the live cam operators Cal Falcons held a naming contest for this brood of chicks.
Meet Zephyr, Luna and Rosa: UC Berkeley’s new falcon chicks get namedhttps://t.co/xshagegkmQ— UC Berkeley (@UCBerkeley) May 12, 2023
This year’s contest ended at 5 p.m. Thursday, and we have our winners, according to a UC Berkeley announcement. The male of the bunch will be named Zephyr, and the two females will be named Luna and Rosa. The names were suggested by Berkeley biologists and librarians, plus a batch of Berkeley-area schoolkids, and an online poll determined the winners.
The results of the voting can be seen above. “We’ve never had a race as close as this one,” Cal Falcons environmental biologist Sean Peterson told UC Berkeley.
The Berkeley press release points out that “A fun fact in this competition is that children suggested two of the three winning names, and that’s a first in the contest’s seven year history.” They add that “Rosa, proposed by an 11-year-old boy, is for Rosa Scrivner (1851-1914), the first woman to receive an academic degree from the University of California. Luna, which means ‘moon’ in Latin, was a popular name suggested by six children, ages 6 to 12.”
The three chicks have been informally known as Red, Blue and Yellow, the colors of the bands on their feet. University biologists have already banded the chicks’ feet, while parents Annie and Lou were out looking for food or just doing falcon things.
Annie fought off a juvenile interloper just now. The juvenile was banded (49/BA), but is not one of Annie's offspring from a previous year. As soon as we know more about this individual, we'll let you know!https://t.co/KmI6kUc1is— CalFalconCam (@CalFalconCam) May 9, 2023
In other Berkeley peregrine falcon news, an outsider falcon interloper tried to disrupt the nest on Monday, but Annie fought him off. (The conflict is not visible in the video above, but you can hear the falcons squawking at one another). In a subsequent tweet, Cal Falcons identified that other falcon as one who nests on Mount Diablo, some 30 miles away form Berkeley.
It’s amazing how quickly these baby peregrine falcons grow up, as seen in the video above taken Thursday, when the chicks are only around 30 days old. And Sunday, May 21 begins Fledge Watch, or when the baby falcons are expected to attempt to start flying. “So, we still have about nine days... to enjoy the chicks on the tower before they start to fly,” Peterson said.
Image: Cal Falcons