Gender of City Hall Falcons Determined

In another example that this truly is the city of “Man Jose,” three of the four offspring of San Jose City Hall’s celebrity falcons, Clara and Esteban Colbert, were found to be male while being banded this morning.

Glenn Stewart, coordinator of UC Santa Cruz’s Predatory Bird Research Group, rappelled down the side of the building and banded the chicks’ legs so that scientists can track them and collect data. He said all four chicks appear to be healthy and “look great.”

The falcon chicks were born earlier this month on a City Hall ledge 18 stories above the street. They will begin flying around mid-May, Stewart said.

While Clara is in her fifth nesting season at City Hall, this is just her third with mate Esteban Colbert.

The city of San Jose held a contest for youths ages 5 to 18 to come up with names for the birds. Today, a panel of judges will select up to 10 finalists from the 97 names that were submitted. The name debate is expected to dwarf the heated rhetoric heard in recent discussions over the city’s capping of medical marijuana collectives.

The public will be able to vote on the top names beginning Friday, and the winning names will be announced May 6.

More information about the contest can be found online at

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.


  1. Studies show that young peregrine falcons underperform their redtailed hawk counterparts in ratkilling, long range soaring, and in crow evasion tactics. We need to spend a whole bunch of taxpayer dollars and work to close the achievement gap.

    • JG: You fail to take into account the “learning variations” of various species.

      In case you missed it on KUSP this a.m., “learning variations” is the latest in PC education jargon.

    • It’s a proven fact that money spent on Bird Start programs return 4 dollars for every 1 invested.

      Bird Start has demonstrated that it greatly increases nestling rates, lowers chances of flying into airplane propellors, and reduces the likelihood that fledglings will join bird gangs that tag cars and pedestrians with you know what.

      I hope my disagreement wasn’t too uncivil.

  2. No Cinco De Mayo, layoffs for police, but we are focusing on falcon babies.  The final years of the Reed administration.  Are we sure these falcon babies can produce long form birth certificates?

    • This is a classic example of why our city is so out of touch, do we really need to put some dumb video link on the city website to watch birds.  The city wants to layoff hundreds and yet we buy some guy to get paid to the the link running.  Come on council, get your head out of the bird dudu.

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