Campus & community

Ready, set, vote! Here are top names for UC Berkeley’s falcon chicks

By Gretchen Kell

A fluffy white falcon chick sits in its nest box on the day of its first checkup.
This peregrine falcon chick and its two siblings, which hatched in April 2023 atop UC Berkeley’s Campanile, need names. The public is invited to vote starting today. (Photo by Bridget Ahern)
A fluffy white falcon chick sits in its nest box on the day of its first checkup.

This peregrine falcon chick and its two siblings, which hatched in April 2023 atop UC Berkeley’s Campanile, need names. The public is invited to vote starting today. (Photo by Bridget Ahern)

Should UC Berkeley’s three peregrine falcon chicks be named after famous UC Berkeley authors, campus libraries, Bay Area mountains, the wind, the moon, the UC’s first female graduate or the Greek word for “air”?

The first phase of a Cal Falcons public contest to name the offspring of falcons Annie and Lou has resulted in 15 finalist names. About 750 people sent suggestions to Cal Falcons — 550 were from adults and 200 from kids. The total number of names suggested was more than 2,000.

Cal Falcons scientists chose the names below from the most popular posts on the Cal Falcons social media network. The kids’ name finalists were selected by librarians at the Berkeley Public Library.

Now, it’s your turn to vote using this Cal Falcons form. Voting will close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 11.

The winning names for Annie and Lou’s rapidly-growing chicks — one male and two females — will be revealed at 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning, May 12, on Berkeley News and is scheduled to be shared at the same time on ABC-7 (KGO-TV).

Here are the choices:


Philip is for Philip K. Dick (1928-1982), an American science fiction writer who was in the Class of 1949 at Berkeley High School and briefly went to UC Berkeley (Sept. 1949-Jan. 1950). His works inspired popular films including Blade Runner and Total Recall and the TV series “The Man in the High Castle.”


June is for June Jordan (1936-2002), an award-winning Jamaican American poet, playwright, essayist, social critic and activist with a fierce commitment to human rights. She joined Berkeley’s faculty in 1986 in the English, women’s studies and African American studies departments and directed the popular Poetry for the People course.


Ursula is for Ursula Le Guin (1929-2018), another American science fiction writer, who attended Berkeley High School with Dick (Class of 1947), but they didn’t know each other at the time. A Wizard of Earthsea and The Left Hand of Darkness are among her most popular books. She was the daughter of UC anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and his wife, Theodora, an author.


Doe Library supports the teaching, research and instructional needs of more than 50 academic departments and programs in the arts and humanities, social sciences and international and area studies.


Moffitt Library is one of the busiest libraries on campus and includes the Copy Center, Free Speech Movement Café and convenient access to the collections in the Main (Gardner Stacks). It is food- and drink-friendly, serves students of all majors and is open the longest hours of all campus libraries.


The C.V. Starr East Asian Library houses more than 900,000 volumes of Chinese, Japanese and Korean materials and is home to the Paul Kendel Fonoroff Collection for Chinese Film Studies. It’s one of the premier libraries in the U.S. on post-1949 China.


Mount Tamalpais, also known as Mount Tam, is a 2,500-foot-tall peak in Marin County. The name comes from the Coast Miwok name that means “west hill.”


Mount Saint Helena is a peak in the Mayacamas Mountains with flanks in Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties. It originally was called Kanamota, or “human mountain,” by the Wappo, then Mount Mayacamas by Spanish colonists, and later was named after Princess Helena de Gagarin, the wife of the Russian commanding officer of Fort Ross after a survey party ascended the peak in 1841.


Mount Diablo is a modern name that comes from members of the Spanish military who referred to place as “the thicket of the devil” after losing track of several Native Americans they were trying to capture.


A zephyr is a light wind, or a west wind, named after Zephyrus, the Greek god or personification of the west wind.


A gale is a strong wind that can move at a speed of between 34 and 47 knots.


A tempest is a violent windstorm that can feature rain, hail or snow.


Rosa is for Rosa Scrivner (1851-1914), the first woman to receive an academic degree from the University of California. Her major was agriculture, and she went on to teach school in Stockton, then managed a cattle ranch and became a well-known agricultural adviser. The San Francisco Chronicle recognize her as “a woman of great influence and great usefulness in her community.”


The name Luna was proposed by several children. It means “moon” in Latin and in several languages with Latin roots, including Spanish and Italian. In ancient Roman mythology, Luna was the moon goddess.


This root word comes from a Greek word that usually refers to air and helps form compound words, like aerodynamics.

Sean Peterson, an environmental biologist with Cal Falcons, said there was “a bit more of a nature theme to the suggestions this year. The atmospheric rivers were really on people’s minds — we had a lot of weather-related suggestions.

“This was the first time, I think, that we’d seen so many related to air/weather/flight.”