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Baby falcons on SF skyscraper banded for research

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Zeka Glucs, a researcher with UC Santa Cruz’s Predatory Bird Research Center, holds a 24-day-old peregrine falcon chick to be banded by fellow researcher Glenn Stewart on the 33rd floor of PG&E headquarters on Thursday, April 19, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Researchers today visited and banded three peregrine falcon chicks that hatched on top of PG&E’s San Francisco headquarters.

The chicks, which hatched in March, are among 40 to have fledged from the roof of the 33-story tall building at 77 Beale St. over the last decade under the eye of a PG&E web cam tracking their progress.

Researchers from the University of California at Santa Cruz’s Predatory Bird Research Group banded the young falcons before they take their first flight so that they can be tracked.

Peregrine falcons are the world’s fastest animal, capable of reaching speeds of more than 200 miles per hour when diving through the air. They were close to extinction in the 1970s, but the banning of DDT and recovery and reinroduction programs have allowed them to make a comeback.

While the high-flying falcons traditionally nested on high, remote cliff faces, they have shown a willingness to adapt to urban areas by nesting on skyscrapers.

PG&E has donated more than $270,000 in grants to UCSC researchers in all and is donating an additional $10,000 this year to support their community outreach and education efforts.

 
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Glenn Stewart, a researcher with UC Santa Cruz's Predatory Bird Research Center, holds a band that he will place on 24-day-old peregrine falcon chicks on the 33rd floor of PG&E headquarters on Thursday, April 19, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)




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