SAN JOSE -- My Three Sons.
It turns out San Jose City Hall's most famous rooftop resident is the mother of three baby boy peregrine falcons.
In what has become an annual rite of spring at City Hall, a researcher from UC Santa Cruz rappelled off the roof of the 18-story building early Tuesday morning and examined the three baby falcons to determine their genders and place bands on their legs.
Wildlife biologist Glenn Stewart spent about 45 minutes with the baby falcons in their nest area high atop City Hall and gathered information about their health and nest conditions. During Stewart's brief time in the nest, the falcon parents Clara and Fernando circled above, shrieking and divebombing the intruder.
"I could hear them go by and feel a little breeze," Stewart said. "They have always been angry about the intrusion, and we always let them believe they win. The babies are still there, the babies are still healthy, and I go away."
This is the seventh year Clara has nested at City Hall. This year she laid four eggs, but one did not hatch.
Now that researchers have determined the genders of the three babies, the young falcons will be named.
Children between the ages of 5 to 18 who live or attend school in San Jose can nominate names for the baby falcons. The deadline to submit a name, along with an essay, poem, artwork, video or song, is midnight Friday.
Finalists will be selected by a panel of judges, then the falcon fans will vote online. For information about the naming contest, go to www.sanjoseca.gov under City Highlights on the home page.
The next big event for the baby falcons at San Jose City Hall is flying lessons. The falcons are expected to fledge sometime around May 12, Mother's Day, Stewart said.
So far, 18 peregrines have successfully flown the City Hall nest. Volunteers have found some of the banded birds nesting at the Bay Bridge, Crystal Springs Dam and between Oakland and Alameda, Stewart said.
Contact Mark Gomez at 408-920-5869. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMgomez.
To see the falcons' nest, go to the live falcon cam: www.sanjoseca.gov; click on the "Government" tab, then "City Hall," and then "City Hall Falcons."