Three new peregrine falcon chicks that hatched last month atop University of California’s famous bell tower now have names after a contest that received thousands of votes.
The chicks on UC Berkeley’s Campanile tower are now named Zephyr, Rosa and Luna after nearly 3,700 votes were cast in a contest held by the Cal Falcons group of scientists and volunteers who monitor the birds and share photos and information about them on social media, the group said Friday.
The falcons — two females and a male — were celebrated at a “Hatch Day” party in April at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and are nearly full-sized a month later under the watchful eyes of parents Annie and Lou, UC Berkeley officials said.
Each chick had leg bands placed on them that will stay in place for the rest of their lives and are used to differentiate the falcons from others in the area. Blue electrical tape is on one female chick’s leg band and red tape is on the other female, while the male chick received yellow tape on his band.
The red-taped falcon has been named Rosa in honor of Rosa Scrivner, the first woman to graduate from UC Berkeley in 1874, while the other female with a blue band was named Luna after the moon. The male chick was named Zephyr after the west wind.
Adult peregrine falcons are some of the fastest birds in the world and can dive at speeds of up to 200 mph. Scientists say new chicks will usually try to leave the nest and fly on their own after six to eight weeks but will still rely on their parents for food for a while longer.
Webcams of the falcon nest on the Campanile tower and more information about the birds can be found on the Cal Falcons website.