July 10, 2009
Rock formations subject to advisory closures to rock climbing and off-trail hiking for protecting nesting falcons and eagles will reopen Friday, July 10. According to Superintendent Eric Brunnemann, “All sensitive areas will reopen Friday and will remain so until next January when the raptors return and begin to select nest areas." A total of 10 prairie falcon nests successfully produced nestlings and fledged a total of 37 young, representing the second-most productive year for Pinnacles prairie falcons on record. In addition to Golden Eagles, American Kestrels, Red-shouldered, Red-tailed, Sharp-shinned, and Cooper’s Hawks producing young this year, 3 Peregrine Falcon young fledged from a nest at Hawkins Peak.
2009 marks the 23rd year of raptor monitoring at Pinnacles National Monument. “We thank the climbers and hikers for their patience and support of our efforts to protect these spectacular birds of prey at Pinnacles. Without your cooperation in avoiding the advisory areas, this program could not be the success that it is,” Brunnemann explained. Pinnacles' rock climbing advisories are lifted a few weeks after the nests have fledged. This allows the new fledglings some time to practice flying without being interrupted or disturbed by people.
For more information regarding raptor activity at Pinnacles National Monument, or the park’s raptor monitoring program, please call the office of Research and Resource Management at 831-389-4486 x276. General park information can be obtained by visiting www.nps.gov/pinn or by calling 831-389-4485.