Trapped falcons die below Bay Bridge

May 19, 2008 1:05:17 PM PDT
Two peregrine falcon chicks were found dead this morning in a nest in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, a University of Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group spokesman said.

Two biologists and a California Department of Transportation employee scaled underneath the bridge at about 10:30 a.m. today in an effort to rescue the endangered birds from falling into the water, Glenn Stewart of the research group said.

He said the group has been watching falcons nest in the Bay Bridge since 1988 and the babies don't usually make it over the water when they learn to fly.

Researchers had witnessed adult birds bringing food back to the nest for the past few weeks, indicating that there may be chicks, according to Stewart.

Climbers this morning found two chicks, however both had died at a few days of age, Stewart said.

Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said it's not uncommon for peregrine falcons to nest on the bridge. Four eggs were taken from the bridge during a rescue effort in the spring of last year, two of which hatched, Ney said.

Today's rescue effort did not affect traffic on the bridge, according to Ney.


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