Falcon flying in the air with wings extended out

Empty nest: peregrine falcons quickly grow up


The four peregrine falcon chicks at UC Davis Medical Center have successfully fledged and left their nest.

The falcon chicks hatched earlier this spring and were named Millennium, Serenity, Defiant and Roci. Since at least 2015, a pair of peregrine falcons has called UC Davis Medical Center’s roof home. Their nest is located a safe distance from the hospital’s helipad.

Researchers from the Predatory Bird Research Group at UC Santa Cruz banded the chicks. Scientists use aluminum or colored bands on birds' legs to help them identify and keep track of individual birds. It's like a special ID tag, similar to a license plate on a car. The researchers will track valuable data on peregrine survival rates, dispersal distances and population growth rates.

Since the chicks are banded, fans will be able to able to track their movements, though it’s unlikely they’ll come back to UC Davis after migrating. Immature peregrines wander until they’re about two years old. Then they claim a nesting territory as their own and, if all goes well and there’s food in the winter, they stay there the rest of their lives.

Be sure to tune in again to the video livestream next spring when the peregrine falcon parents hopefully return to lay their eggs for another season.

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