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San Jose Nest Diary 2010:

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March 2, 2010: The first egg was reported in the nest today, Tuesday March 2nd at 9:56 a.m.

May 27, 2010: Four eggs were laid at the San Jose City Hall nest. One young expired three days after hatching and a second young perished at about one month of age. These things happen and that is why Peregrine Falcons lay and care for 40-50 eggs during their lifetime in the hope of reproducing themselves. This year, two young survived to fledging and are now past the dangerous age when they fly fairly well but land poorly. Yesterday, each youngster was making good level and ascending flights and sticking their landings high above City Hall Plaza and elsewhere in downtown San Jose. The Silicon Valley is fortunate to have this symbol of conservation success--the recovery of the nearly extinct Peregrine Falcon--gracing the skies above San Jose. My thanks to all who have supported this effort and who came out to observe during fledging in order to keep these babies safe. Thanks for watching. --2010 Nest Diary Entries contributed by Glenn R. Stewart

May 24, 2010: One of two young has fledged safely and returned to the nest ledge.

36 days oldMay 16, 2010: Two San Jose babies are now 36 days of age. It has been a tough nesting season in San Jose with one young dying just three days after hatching, presumably due to being unable to compete with siblings that hatched three days earlier. A second young died at about four weeks of age, likely the result of disease. But two young remain and appear to be healthy and vigorous. Statewide, we hope for an average productivity of two young per nest making the San Jose City Hall consistent with average expected productivity. Most peregrine falcons fledge at 41 days old for males and 43 or 44 days old for females. (Females are larger, and thus, require a slightly longer period of development). San Jose City Hall offers a relatively safe fledging environment for the young falcons because of the many low buildings that surround City Hall offering wide landing areas for clumsy and inexperienced falcons. A degree of luck is needed during fledging from an urban nest ledge, or from a cliff ledge in the wild. We wish these birds good luck in the coming week or so, in their quest to be peregrines, living fully on the wing.

BandingMay 7, 2010: Bright and early on May 3rd, we banded two males and one female peregrine falcon nestlings at about 3 weeks of age in the San Jose City Hall nest. They wear VID (visual identification) bands: 84/P (male), 74/J (male), and 85/Z (female).

ChicksApril 21, 2010: At ten days of age (today) the young begin the second down appears on the youngsters as shown in this picture. The young may now survive in the nest for relatively long periods of time without the care of a brooding parent. This allows both adults the ability to hunt for food so that they may together meet the nutritional demands of their growing young.

ParentApril 16, 2010: In this picture, a parent stands over her young preening feathers in a relaxed posture while the youngsters rest. We have three babies that are six days old and one that is three days old. The smallest one requires less food than older siblings so will not require many bites to grow. Given adequate food delivery to the nest ledge, all will do fine.

April 5, 2010: It is hatch week. We expect the eggs to hatch, if fertile, during the latter part of this week. When the eggs do hatch, views of the young will be brief. The adults will feed them several times per day but very little food will be consumed at anyone time. Each baby weighs about one ounce at hatching so a tiny bit of food will fill them up and a parent will return to brooding.

March 22, 2010: Approximately two more weeks of incubation remain before hatching begins to occur. Since we know that this pair has hatched fertile eggs in the past, it is likely that they will have the same experience this year—but we are never sure until we see live babies! It is natural for the eggs to be exposed from time to time, so do not be concerned by intervals of five to fifteen minutes when incubation exchanges or incidences of territorial defense take place.

March 17, 2010: The San Jose City Hall Falcons laid their 3rd egg on 6 March and began what we call, “hard incubation” because it continues with only brief lapses for 33 or 34 days. A fourth egg was laid approximately 2 days after the 3rd egg and will hatch about a day later than the other three. The female does most of the incubation but the male takes a turn while his mate eats, preens or enjoys some sunshine nearby.