SAN FRANCISCO (KION) A family of peregrine falcons have made their home at PG&E's San Francisco headquarters, according to a spokesperson for the utility, and three eggs hatched earlier this week.
Since the eggs hatched, the parent falcons have incubated their eggs and begun feeding them, and their care is expected to continue over the next few weeks. The chicks will likely experience their first flights in late May or early June.
Over the past five years, 3.2 million viewers around the world have watched the falcon webcam, according to PG&E.
“In addition to 77 Beale’s importance as an indicator of species recovery, this nest has provided deep connection with the peregrine-recovery story for people around the world,” said Dr. Zeka Glucs, director of the Predatory Bird Research Group at UC Santa Cruz. “This nest and the associated webcam are the No. 1 personal peregrine encounter I hear about when I tell people what I do for a living or give a presentation at a school or educational event... It is incredibly important that people are able to connect so intimately with wildlife in the modern world, and I believe it’s these connections that will provide the cumulative willpower necessary to continue to fight to preserve wild species in the years to come.”
Glucs and other researchers at the Predatory Bird Research Group will put tracking bands on the chicks when they are three or four weeks old, and the bands are expected to help scientists track survival rates and habitat range.
PG&E said it has partnered with the Predatory Bird Research Group to protect falcons for more than 30 years.
When UCSC's Predatory Bird Research Group was formed in 1975, it began work to save peregrine falcons from pesticide-related extinction. Since their work began, the birds were removed from the federal list of endangered species in 1999 and California's list of endangered species in 2009.
See a live look at the nest below.