Baby falcon named Lux, born on UC Berkeley campus, dies after window mishap

Berkeley , California One of two baby peregrine falcons born on the University of California, Berkeley campus, died after flying into a window, university officials said Wednesday.

The chick, named Lux by the campus community, flew on Tuesday onto a 10th-floor balcony and got trapped. The bird hit a window as it tried to escape the balcony and died from the impact, the university said in a statement.

The birds hatched in May at the university’s Campanile and were the first to be born on campus in recent memory. Lux and the other bird, named Fiat, successfully flew for the first time last week, marking another milestone in the recovery of the once-endangered species.

Volunteer nest monitor Mary Malec said window strikes are a common cause of death of raptors.

A June  2017 photo provided by volunteer nest monitor Mary Malec shows peregrine falcon Lux at the University of California, Berkeley. The chick died after flying into a window, university officials said on Wednesday.

“Windows reflect the sky and clouds. It looks like they are flying into the open sky,” she said.

Malec said the university plans to install more bird-safe windows on campus. LeConte Hall, for example, already has decals on the breezeway between buildings, which help birds avoid an accidental collision.

Peregrine falcons can reach speeds of more than 200 miles per hour, killing their prey — other birds — in mid-air.

Once on the brink of extinction, peregrine falcons have soared back and moved from their natural cliff faces into urban areas, laying their eggs on skyscrapers and other tall buildings, like UC Berkeley’s Campanile.


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