It’s an annual rite of spring at UC Berkeley: naming the new peregrine falcon chicks in the nest on the Campanile. Starting at noon today, you can vote on names for the siblings — a male and a female — with this Cal Falcons voting form, which is due no later than 9 a.m. Friday (June 3).
The winning names will be announced at noon on Friday.
Choose from among these 12 name finalists selected by Cal Falcons from the most popular suggestions recently pitched by more than 650 people — 200 of them children — via Cal Falcons’ social media channels. Suggestions from kids were collected separately through a partnership between Cal Falcons and the Berkeley Public Library.
Choose two from this list:
- Grinnell Jr. — In memory of Grinnell, longtime male falcon and mate to Annie.
- Lindsay — In appreciation of the care given to Grinnell by Lindsay Wildlife Experience when he was injured last fall and for its help releasing him back to campus.
- Hope — “ … because during a turbulent year for both humans and the Campanile falcons, that is what Annie, Grinnell, Alden and their chicks have provided,” someone suggested on Facebook.
- Ignacio — For Mexican Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza, who led a military victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Cinco de Mayo, or the Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, also is the date — May 5 — that hatching started for this year’s brood of chicks.
- Zara — An abbreviation for Zaragoza.
- Millie — Short for millennium falcon.
- Kyi (kee) — One of three legendary brothers who, with their sister Lybid, founded the medieval city of Kyiv, which today is the capital of Ukraine.
- Lybid (pronounced similarly to the word livid) — Sister of Kyi.
- Howard — For John Galen Howard, the UC supervising architect from 1901-1922 who designed the Campanile, where the falcons live.
- Julia Morgan — The trailblazing female architect — the first female architect licensed in California — and 1894 Berkeley alumna whose work included UC projects done with Howard and independently.
- Artemis — The name of an ancient Greek goddess of the hunt and wild animals. It was suggested by two 11-year-olds.
- Lightning — An 11-year-old and an 8-year-old said this name represents how fast peregrine falcons fly. The fastest animals in the world, they clock a maximum speed of 240 mph when diving.
The most frequent suggestions for names were those honoring Grinnell and the circumstances of this rare and dramatic breeding season, said Sean Peterson, an environmental researcher and UC Berkeley alumnus with Cal Falcons.
“Variations of tributes for Grinnell were far and away the most popular names suggested,” he said. “It was hard to tally them all and decide which one to send to the final. In the end, we went with what was the most popular suggestion across all platforms: Grinnell Jr.
“I think people really treasure the successful chicks this year, given the incredible number of obstacles that they had to overcome to get this far.”
Peterson also noted that current events, such as the invasion of Ukraine, were on people’s minds when proposing names this year.
It’s best to name these chicks soon. Peterson said they’re already starting to leave the nest box, venturing out to test out their flight muscles and explore the big world.
“Things are about to get really hectic on top of the tower,” he said. The chicks are expected to start attempting to fly on Tuesday, June 14.