Prairie Falcons

Photo Credit: Gavin Emmons, NPS

The Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus) often shares its nesting cliff with Common Ravens (Corvus corax), Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), and Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis). At Pinnacles National Park, they also often share these areas with hikers and climbers. Despite this overlap, Prairie Falcons make up the majority of cliff-dwelling raptor species in Pinnacles and the density of nesting Prairie Falcons in the park is among the highest known anywhere.

The Prairie Falcon’s success is due in large part to the park’s Breeding Raptor Monitoring Program, the results of which are summarized in the reports and briefings available on the upper right of this page. The program’s goal is to mitigate the harmful effects of human disturbance on a sensitive habitat, and collect data that will allow managers to selectively place voluntary closures only when necessary to protect cliff-nesting raptors, leaving open as many areas as possible for public enjoyment.