Peregrine Falcons at UC Davis Medical Center: Season 2 (2020)
Season 2 recap: For the second year in a row, livestream watchers enjoyed keeping a close eye on a peregrine falcon family as the chicks grew up and left the nest. 2020 led to a record five hatchlings for the parents. However, as the young falcons began to fly, one had to be euthanized after likely flying into a building and couldn't be treated. The other four kids continued to grow strong and eventually left the nest. To learn more about the youngsters from Season 2, scroll down for a recap and photos.
April 23: Hatchlings emerge
The first fluffy white hatching of the new season is slowly waking to a whole new world. Livestream watchers hoped the other four would follow closely behind.
May 4: Flying “Peanut”
The youngest, dubbed “Peanut,” was born five days after the first peregrine chick. In this photo, Peanut is getting a quick health check from our volunteer falconer, Bill Corbett.
May 27: They're growing so fast!
It's been only a month since hatching, and already the peregrine chicks are testing their wings and getting ready to fly.
June 6: Peanut is one tough nut
Although Peanut remained way behind in development, he looks confident as he sits perched on the edge of the 14-story medical center. Despite being small, Peanut proved a determined falcon. He showed peregrine viewers that he could work hard to keep up with his bigger siblings.
Photo courtesy: James Holmes, M.D.
June 14: Learning to fly is risky
Unfortunately, one of the females suffered serious injuries during her early days of flight practice. She likely collided with a building, which is not unusual for birds in an urban environment. The injured chick was taken to the Small Animal Clinic at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The school’s avian specialists diagnosed a broken wing and shock. The young bird could not be treated and had to be euthanized.
Here, the remaining peregrine youngsters are seen in mid-June roosting together above their nest.
June 25: A nurturing environment
Well into June, the falcon parents were still watching over the kids, providing food while the youngsters learned to hunt on their own. The mother peregrine was still seen early in the mornings on the ledge beside her nest as her children continued to grow and venture further from the medical center.
The surrounding neighborhoods and Sacramento region offer good food opportunities and habitat as the youngsters mature and begin to live entirely on their own.