The votes are in, and the two peregrine falcon chicks atop the Campanile just received their names: Lindsay and Grinnell Jr.
According to Sean Peterson, a scientist at Cal Falcons, the male chick was named after Grinnell, the previous territorial male who died this past spring. Similarly, the female chick’s namesake also connects to Grinnell as she was named after the Lindsay Wildlife Experience rehabilitation center, where Grinnell was treated last fall after being injured.
“We solicited suggestions from the general public and selected the most popular suggestions across our social media platforms and two suggestions from kids,” Peterson said in an email. “Grinnell Jr. was a runaway favorite for the male chick.”
However, the female name was a closer contest, with “Lindsay” receiving 24% of the votes and narrowly beating out the name “Hope” that had 22% of the votes. With 5,350 total votes, this naming contest was the most popular one ever, Peterson added.
Cal Falcons biologist Lynn Schofield said that because Grinnell died immediately after two of his eggs were laid, at least one of these two chicks will be the last in Grinnell’s line of offspring.
Mary Malec, another scientist at Cal Falcons, said researchers may be able to identify which of these chicks belong to Grinnell if they find a sibling relationship between Lindsay and Grinnell Jr. and previous chicks from Grinnell.
While these chicks were born just a short month ago, Schofield said they are already preparing to take their first flight out of the nest.
“They are growing quickly and extremely healthy,” Schofield said in an email. “They are now moving around the tower a lot and are growing in their adult feathers. They will be ready to fly in just about another week.”
Malec added that Alden, the adult male falcon at the Campanile, has been doing “amazingly well” as a father. She said that while Alden struggled to feed the chicks at the beginning, researchers could clearly see he was trying and has since improved his chick-feeding abilities.
Peterson echoed these sentiments, stating that the team had been a little nervous about Alden taking up Grinnell’s mantle. Peterson added that it was a “shock” how successful the nesting season was despite its tumultuous start.
But even though Alden is able to feed the chicks, that role usually still falls to Annie, Malec said, just as it did when Grinnell was present. Malec added that Alden’s primary role is to bring in food, despite an apparent injury on his left leg.
“We don’t know why he limps so badly,” Malec said. “But clearly he can hunt, and not only provide for himself but provide for a family of four even with whatever this disability is that he has.”