2018 Pinnacles Raptor Breeding Season Ends

Two prairie falcon fledglings perched back-to-back on rocks protruding from a cliff face
Two of the 22 young prairie falcons to successfully fledge this year at Pinnacles National Park.

NPS / Gavin Emmons

July 2018 - The raptor breeding season is coming to an end at Pinnacles National Park. Two peregrine falcon pairs nested and successfully fledged (raised until able to fly) four young. Ten nesting prairie falcon pairs were also confirmed this year. Four of their nests failed (likely due to predation), but the other six successfully fledged a total of 22 young. These numbers of nesting prairie falcon pairs and successful fledgelings are consistent with the 30-year average for the park.

Other daytime raptor species were also able to sucessfully fledge thier young at the park this year including red-shouldered hawks, red-tailed hawks, and American kestrels. Six Cooper's hawk nests were confirmed this year as well, a record for a single season at the park.

In addition, several large owl sepcies nested in Pinnacles this year. As reported in a previous update, one of this season's great horned owl nests included a very unusual attempt by the adults to raise a young red-shouldered or red-tailed hawk. Sadly, this nest attempt failed when the nest tree fell over. Other great horned owl pairs, and pairs of nesting long-eared and barn owls fared better, successfully fledging young. Learn more about the Pinnacles raptor monitoring program, or contact Gavin Emmons for more on this year's results.