A peregrine falcon chick in recovery at the Peninsula Humane Society. (Courtesy PHS)

Falcon chicks reunited with parents in SFO hangar

Two peregrine falcon chicks are with their parents again after being found inside the United Airlines hangar at San Francisco International Airport.

The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA facilitated the chicks’ homecoming after they spent a few weeks recovering at the nonprofit’s Wildlife Care Center. The chicks were sent to the facility in May when they were found on the floor of the hangar, unable to fly.

“Their parents had built a nest high up in the hangar, and the pre-fledgling chicks became stranded on the ground,” said Peninsula Humane Society’s Communications Manager Buffy Martin Tarbox.

The baby birds were about a month old when they fell. PHS/SPCA wildlife staff treated one chick for a soft tissue injury, while the other did not have any serious injury from the fall.

When the chicks fully recovered, the PHS/SPCA created a plan with United Airlines and SFO staff to safely reconnect the falcon family in the hangar. This was a much harder task, Tarbox said, because the team needed to get the chicks close to their parents and nest without causing stress to the birds.

“The nest was located high up in the hangar, so with the babies safely secure in a kennel, we advanced closer to the nest by climbing up onto the hangar’s catwalk.” she said.

Tarbox added, “The falcon parents must have known we had their chicks since they were following our staff and screaming at them the entire time. Once we were in a safe area on the catwalk, we opened the kennel door and the chicks walked towards their parents. It was a very happy reunion!”

Tarbox shared that finding bird nests in airport hangars is not rare, especially among peregrine falcons, a species native to the Bay Area. Falcons pairs typically have 2-3 chicks a year.

“Thanks to the vigilance and concern from United Airlines and airport staff and our skilled wildlife rehabilitation team, these two peregrine falcon chicks are back where they belong: with their parents,” Tarbox said.

Bay Area NewsPeninsula

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Return of indoor dining put on hold due to rise in coronavirus cases

San Francisco will no longer allow indoor dining to reopen next week… Continue reading

SFMTA will install transit-only lane on Beale St this week

A two-way bike protected bike path and wider sidewalks to follow

Boy, 6, fatally shot on Fourth of July remembered for his smile, intelligence

A 6-year-old boy who was fatally struck by gunfire while watching fireworks… Continue reading

Effort to ‘undercut’ proposed ballot measure to split up Public Works fails

Voters would be asked to create a new Department of Sanitation and Streets

Mayor taps former Supervisor Malia Cohen to serve on Police Commission

Mayor London Breed on Monday nominated former Bayview neighborhood Supervisor Malia Cohen… Continue reading

Most Read