Will the new male peregrine falcon at UC Berkeley be named after a former National Football League player; an Olympic runner; an astronaut; an architect; a scientific collector of plant, animal and paleontological specimens; or a professor and health care economist?
Seven finalists in a Cal Falcons contest to name Annie’s new mate have been chosen, and the public can vote online here starting today. The contest ends next Wednesday, Feb. 22, and the winning name will be announced later that day.
These are the names to choose from:
Marshawn, for Marshawn Lynch (1986 – ), a former NFL and Cal Golden Bears running back (2004-2006). Raised in Oakland, he attended Berkeley through his junior year, then was drafted to the Buffalo Bills. In 2010, he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks. He is a member of the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame.
Archie, for Archie Williams (1915-1993), a Berkeley alumnus who won a gold medal at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin in the 400-meter run. He was a civilian flying instructor at the famed Tuskegee Army Flying School and a U.S. Air Force pilot who flew missions during World War II and the Korean War.
Morgan, for UC alumna Julia Morgan (1872-1957), a pathbreaking female American architect who designed more than 700 buildings. At Berkeley, her work includes the Hearst Memorial Mining Building and the Greek Theatre.
Rex, for Rex Walheim (1962 – ), a retired U.S. Air Force officer, engineer and NASA astronaut who flew three Space Shuttle missions. In 1984, he received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Berkeley. He unfurled a Cal pennant inside the Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2002.
Lou, for Louise Kellogg (1879-1967), a Berkeley alumna and longtime partner of Annie Alexander, the explorer and naturalist who founded the UC Museum of Paleontology and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Annie the falcon was named after Alexander. The campus’s scientific collections contain more than 22,00 plant, animal and paleontological specimens collected, documented and donated by Alexander and Kellogg.
Hu, for Teh-Wei Hu (1937-2020), a Berkeley professor emeritus of public health and a health care economist. For much of his career, he researched the economic and health benefits of tobacco taxes, advising California policy makers on Prop. 99, which passed in 1988, and then brought his research to China, where its first tobacco tax was introduced in 2015.
Tony, for Tony Gonzalez (1976 – ), a former NFL player who is considered one of the greatest tight ends of all time. A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he played for the Kansas City Chiefs for 12 seasons, then the Atlanta Falcons for five. At Berkeley, Gonzalez played both football and basketball, then declared for the 1997 NFL draft in 1997, before his senior year.
Sean Peterson, an environmental biologist with Cal Falcons, said 300 people submitted names this year, and that a core group of Cal Falcons volunteers, including researchers, students and faculty members, selected the finalist names based on the most popular suggestions on Cal Falcons’ social media channels.
He said he was surprised to see that a few of the names suggested last year for the naming contest for Alden, Annie’s prior mate, “weren’t as popular this year. It seems like people focused more on the athleticism of the bird rather than nature.” Archie, Morgan and Lou also were on last year’s list.
Evans, for Evans Hall, was the only popular suggestion this week that Cal Falcons vetoed, as “although Evans Hall has massively improved its safety for birds,” Peterson said, “it is still the location where one chick died and another almost got trapped” while fledging in years past.
Peterson said Annie likely will lay eggs in a few weeks.
“One of the key behaviors we’ll be keeping an eye out for,” he said, “is for Annie to become a homebody — spending a lot more time in the nest box and on the tower rather than out flying and catching her own prey.”