San Jose Nest Diary 2007:
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Note that diary entries list most recent events first
June 13, 2007: It seems that Esperanza (female O5R) not only is able to make it back up to the nest ledge, but during this warm sunny afternoon, she seems to like it up there. She showed up a little after noon today, and was seen devouring a large pigeon in the nest box. After a little running around on the ledge, she left, albeit briefly, and then returned to sleep off her rather large lunch. Although they don't routinely return to the nest after fledging, in this situation, there are very few high ledges in this part of San Jose, other than the business building at San Jose State University, and the Library on San Fernando St. As such, the City Hall ledge may be more appealing for these young falcons to return to over the next few days.
June 11, 2007: Early this morning Esperanza was perched on the southwest corner ledge of City Hall at the level of the 8th floor. Her sister, Spirit was perched on the southeast ledge of the Dr. Martin Luther King Library on San Fernando Street. Approximately 11 AM, Esperanza flew off the ledge, circled to the south of City Hall, and attempted to land on the west short ledge next to the nest box. Unfortunately, she missed, and circled again, this time trying to land on the south high parapet wall at the level of the nest box. Again, she mis-negotiated the landing, and slipped down one story, where managed to grip the cement with her talons and was perched almost woodpecker-style on the side of of the building. With a little encouragement from Clara, Esperanza let go, tumbled about a story, and then righted herself and flew south. By 2PM though she returned to City Hall and landed on the 18th floor louvers adjacent to the nest box. It is common for newly flighted falcons to have a little difficulty sticking their landings, but these young falcons are flying and landing very well around the City, and the coming days should provide people on the ground with some excellent viewing opportunities.
June 10, 2007: Early in the morning Spirit was found perched on the southwest corner of City Hall at about the level of the 9th floor. Late in the morning she made a strong flight out to the southeast toward the San Jose State Univeristy campus. Observers on the 4th street garage noted she had actually flown into the vicinity of the Clark Building. Observers on the ground found her perched about 12 inches off the ground on some discarded concrete rubble behind the building. SCPBRG staff attempted to capture Spirit to return her to the roof of City Hall, but she actually made a strong flight out on her own. She was later found perched back at City Hall. In the meantime, on Sunday afternoon, Esperanza made her first flight off the nest ledge and landed on the east side of the building in the fifth floor stairwell. She eventually made her way back to the 18th floor.
June 9, 2007: This evening as the sun was beginning to set, Spirit decided it was time to leave the nest ledge. Clara had brought in prey and landed on the south side 18th floor louver adjacent to the nest ledge. Apparently Spirit was hungry, and intended to share in the meal that Clara was busily consuming. Spirit took off of the western edge of the nest ledge, and made the short flight to where Clara was perched. After Spirit finished her sharing the meal with Clara, she laid down on the louver and settled in for the night.
June 7, 2007: Hiko takes to the air! The young tiercel at San Jose City Hall took his first flights today. Hiko was perched on the short east ledge at approximately 1:10PM PDT when his sister accidently nudged him backwards off the ledge. He tumbled with his wings spread for a few stories before righting himself, and then made a very strong flight to the northwest around the side of City Hall. Clara steered Hiko and guided him toward his first landing. SCPBRG staff located Hiko perched in a tree two and a half blocks away on Santa Clara St., between 3rd and 4th streets. During the course of the day he made a number of other flights and was seen perched on City Hall, a house on 6th street, and the MLK Library. He is an excellent flyer, and an overachiever, as it is very rare for a newly flighted falcon to fly as much as Hiko did his first day!
June 5, 2007: San Jose City Hall announces the winners of the naming contest! Jose and Clara's three offspring have been given names by San Jose area middle school children. The winning names are: Female 12Z = Spirit; Female 05R = Esperanza; Male 71P = Hiko. The names were chosen by Castillero Middle School (Hiko), St. Christopher School (Spirit) and Bret Harte Middle, Discovery Charter, LeyVa Middle, and Morrill Middle School (Esperanza). Each of the winning schools will receive a commendation by the City, and an assembly in the fall with SCPBRG's Glenn Stewart and a tame falcon.
June 3, 2007: Fledging is just around the corner. Jose and Clara's three youngsters seem to be changing by the hour as fledging time draws near. The young male has lost most of his down, and has been very active exercising his wings, and jumping up on the ledges. This morning he discovered that he can hide from the camera by walking along the ledge behind the nest box. Because the males are a little smaller than the females, and develop a little faster, we expect the young male to fledge first. SCPBRG staff will be on the ground to monitor the young during fledging, and intervene if necessary.
May 24, 2007: In keeping with yesterday's adventure to the ledge, this evening our intrepid explorers discovered the drain cover in the middle of the nest ledge. Although the threesome are bravely exploring new territory outside of the nest box, they're mostly staying close to each other during these ledge expeditions. However, the next few days should prove to be very interesting now they've discovered they have a lot of room to roam up there. Let's hope that the camera can keep up with them!
May 23, 2007: For the first time today, all THREE of the young falcons were seen out of the nest box, and wandering around the ledge. They are all now quite capable of jumping down to the ledge, and back up into the nest box. During the middle of the day they are most often seen in the gap between the left side of the nest box and the outer wall, where they frequently seek shade from the warm midday sun.
May 18, 2007: Banding Day! Today SCPBRG's Brian Latta rappelled down the south wall of San Jose City Hall to band Jose and Clara's three young eyases in the nest box. Both adults we're very protective of the nest site, and were seen repeatedly strafing very close to Brian's head as he descended the ropes the ledge! The three healthy youngsters were banded, and we have 1 male and 2 female eyases in the nest! Jose and Clara will remain watchful of the area for a few hours, but will soon resume their normal activities. Meanwhile, one of the female eyases opted to hop back out of the nest box after Brian left. She also later managed to crawl back into the nest, and then back out again! This is not a problem, and Jose and Clara will continue to care for her, and feed her, while she has free run of the nest ledge. No doubt her siblings will be joining her on the ledge very soon! Their VID band (black band) numbers are as follows:
Female 1: right leg 05 R
Female 2: left leg 12 Z
Male 1 : right leg 71 P
May 12, 2007: What a difference a few days makes! The young falcons now all have a dense coat of 'second down' and are looking much fluffier in appearance than they did just a few days ago. The primary feathers are quite visible now when their wings are outstretched, and the light colored tips of the tail feathers are beginning to emerge from their sheaths. The youngsters are quite mobile in the nest box now, but it will be about another 10 days before they are really standing and walking much on their feet.
May 8, 2007: The three young eyasses are growing very fast, and are just about 11 days old now. They're becoming much more mobile in the nest, wandering around from one end to the other, and seem much more curious about what may lie beyond the borders of the nest box. They're not yet standing up on their toes, but can shuffle around on the gravel on their 'hocks'. In the warm afternoons you'll mostly see them snoozing, sprawled out across the gravel, in an attempt to cool themselves. Most of the nest box activity on warm sunny days will be seen in the early mornings or late in the afternoons when the air temperature begins to drop.
April 30, 2007: Jose and Clara are adjusting very well to their new expanded family. The three youngsters are growing very fast, and they all have voracious appetites. When they're not being fed by Clara, they are usually found snoozing in the shade of one of the adults. As the weather has been quite warm over the weekend, the young haven't needed to be brooded as much by the adults, and are often found snoozing together in the nest box in full view of the camera.
BREAKING NEWS (LITERALLY): The third and final egg in Jose and Clara's nest has hatched, live on camera! Jose had been in the nest, and while settling down to brood the two young, he rotated the third egg and it was clearly visibly cracked along one side. Clara relieved Jose of brooding/incubating duties just a few minutes later, and at 9:35 AM this morning, the third young falcon emerged from its egg. This is a tremendous success for a first year nesting pair, and no doubt Jose and Clara will be very busy feeding the THREE youngsters over the coming weeks!
April 28, 2007: This morning at 7:10 AM, while Clara indulged herself in a snack, it was clear that TWO young eyasses were in the nest! It was quite apparent during this time that one of the two was still damp, which suggests it hatched early this morning. There is one egg remaining under Clara, and she will continue to incubate it while the young are brooded. There are empty egg-shells scattered around the nest box from the two that have already hatched, but these will likely be removed by the adults later today.
April 27, 2007: At approximately 10 PM Pacific Daylight Time, Jose and Clara's first egg of the 2007 season hatched! Because there is enough ambient city light in the nest box area at night, it was actually possible to see the youngster under Clara even though it was quite late, and very dark outside. With one hatched, we have two eggs remaining in the nest. Stay tuned...
April 15, 2007: As is usually the case during the incubation period, there's not much activity around the nest box at the moment, except for the occasional incubation exchange. However, around 9:30 this morning, Jose engaged an intruder that landed ON the nest box! As the camera view was pulled back, Jose was seen locking talons with a sub-adult male peregrine just above the nest box, and even a few feathers went flying! Jose did an excellent job defending his territory, and once the intruder was sent packing, Jose quickly settled back on the eggs for a well deserved snoozzzzzze...
March 26, 2007: This morning, when Clara briefly stood up, 3 eggs were seen in the nest box. The eggs are expected to hatch toward late April. In the meantime, nestbox activity will primarily be limited to incubation exchanges between the adults. Once the eggs hatch, activity in and around the nest box will increase significantly.
March 20, 2007:
It's official! A new resident pair of peregrine falcons have set up their nest atop the San Jose City Hall this year. This afternoon, around 2 PM, Jose Fernando (the tiercel) was seen perched alongside the nest box, and on closer inspection, a single egg could be seen nestled in the center of the scrape.