UC Berkeley’s Famous Peregrine Falcon, Annie, Just Faked Her Own Death

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One falcon turns its head to look up, directly into the camera. The other is distracted feeding meat to a new, white, fluffy chick.
Annie and Grinnell the peregrine falcons, as caught by the Cal Falcon cam in 2018. (https://calfalcons.berkeley.edu/)

The terrible news broke on Monday. “We believe that Annie has either been displaced from the territory, is injured or dead.”

The very credible tweet was delivered by the ornithologists who’ve been watching over UC Berkeley’s resident peregrine falcons, Annie and Grinnell, for the last five years.

“It’s incredibly difficult to say goodbye to Annie. She was a wonderful mother and raised 13 chicks in five broods,” the CalFalconCam experts continued in their Twitter obituary. “We are going to miss Annie immensely, but we are so grateful for the five years we got to spend with her and her chicks.”

The news came as a blow to fans of the avian couple who, just a few months ago, were worried that Annie and Grinnell’s long-term relationship was over, thanks to a flirty falcon who had beaten up Grinnell and set his sights on Annie. There were sighs of relief all round after the beloved pair reunited in plenty of time for Valentine’s Day. News of Annie’s potential demise clearly came as a very sad shock. “So, so hope Annie has simply left the area in good health,” one fan wrote. “Extremely sorry to hear this news,” tweeted another. “I’ve loved following Annie and Grinnell’s story and will truly miss her.”

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But then on Tuesday, out of the clear blue sky, Annie swooped back onto the UC Berkeley Campanile, screamed “SIKE!” at all the lady birds trying to move into her nest, and coldly demanded Grinnell fetch her a dead pigeon to feast on. Just kidding. But she did come back.

On Tuesday morning, the (now obviously very confused) ornithologists hit Twitter once more to say sorry for presuming Annie was dead. “Uh... this is something we’ve never seen before,” their message began. “Annie is back! We’ve never, in our years of monitoring peregrine nests had a female disappear during the peak of breeding season and reappear a week later like nothing had changed.” (Consider this definitive proof that Annie simply isn’t like other falcons!)

“We have to take a moment to sincerely apologize,” the scientists continued as if Annie hadn’t planned the whole thing to get more Twitter followers. “But this is something that is totally unexpected and goes against pretty much everything we’ve seen.”

Needless to say, Annie and Grinnell fans rushed to celebrate the return of the best faker in falcon history.

Welcome back, Annie.