California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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A Bird’s Eye View

Threatened  Peregrine Falcons May Be Nesting on Warren Hall.

Birds May Stall Warren Hall Retrofit

A threatened species—specifically, a pair of Peregrine Falcons—has been spotted by Bay Area bird watchers recently hovering around Warren Hall, and it is believed they may be nesting there.

Peregrine Falcons can live in almost any habitat and are found on every continent except Antarctica, according to the Peregrine Fund, an online bird information site, and is very common in Northern America and the Bay Area.

Recently, bird watchers spotted two Peregrine Falcons perched atop and loitering around Warren Hall.

Bird watching groups immediately became interested. A close watching of the pair piqued the groups’ interest that the falcons—presumed to be a mating pair—are using the building as their nesting location.

“Recent behavior of the falcons indicates they could be sitting on eggs,” said Sue Johnson, an avid bird watcher.

While Johnson has not confirmed the nesting, she is still excited at the possibility.

Peregrine Falcons, a small bird of about 2 pounds with a 3-foot wingspan, do not make nests.

They will typically dig out holes in a cliff side, but in recent years have started using the abandoned nest of other birds in high man-made structures.

Peregrine Falcons have been on the threatened species (slightly less severe than endangered) list because of their low reproductive rates.

Also, the falcons’ food supply is limited by their prey, being that they are a predator at the top of the food chain.

Though rehabilitation efforts have been widely successful in North America, the bird remains on the threatened species list.

If the pair is in fact nesting on Warren Hall, demolition plans would have to be put on hold.

Plans to tear down or retrofit Warren Hall—one of the most unsafe buildings in the CSU systems—have been in talks for over ten years after a fire in the library revealed that the buildings were not up to current seismic standards.

The CSUEB’s Department of Facilities Planning Design and Construction is well aware of Warren Hall’s diagnosis and had planned to demolish the building hopefully by the end of this scholastic year.

Jim Zavagno, the University Planner, has been pushing for the demolition but is sympathetic with the preservation of the Peregrine Falcons’ reproduction.

“I am aware two Peregrine Falcons have been seen perched at and near the top of Warren Hall,” said Zavagno. “To date, they haven’t actually nested, at least not as far as I can tell.”

As Warren Hall has been severely criticized in recent years for being extremely unsafe, Zavagno hopes to follow through with demolition plans as scheduled.

“Peregrine falcons aren’t so rare that they are considered endangered,” said Zavagno, “though I do know if they nest and the eggs hatch the chicks are not to be disturbed. Adults can’t be physically harmed, but they can be chased away.”

Mixed emotions have come from the Peregrine sightings, as students are interested in the nesting—according to Johnson—but faculty and students alike are also anxious for Warren Hall to either be made safe or torn down to make way for a new building.

“At this point, the fact that the falcons are currently ‘using’ Warren Hall would not prevent demolition from proceeding,” said Zavagno.

The falcons will continue to be watched by Johnson and her team, and Zavagno will adhere to regulations involving threatened species.

The Pioneer will continue to watch the story.

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A Bird’s Eye View