coastal cliffside peregrine falcon nest NorCal
Wandering along the cliff-lined beaches a few hours north of San Franciso, we were excited to see recessed into a small opening on the side of a sandstone cliff a peregrine falcon nest. I’ve had the pleasure of spending time at nests in more urban environments, but there is something special about seeing one in a more “wild” setting. Peregrines typically nest on cliffs, so skyscrapers make a nice substitute. Plus there are a LOT of pigeons for them to hunt in the city. But the shore line and coastal sage scrub prairies harbor lots of food for them as well.
Suddenly from the south I heard the unmistakable call of an agitated peregrine, cruising in towards us … presumably vocalizing to usher away a red-tailed hawk who had ventured too close to the nest area.
Not long after, it’s mate (the larger female) swooped in to join him perched on the cliff. Many of the raptors are now doing mating rituals and mating, and this unusually warm winter with little rain seems to be speeding up the schedule. Hopefully the nest will be full of eggs soon! Amazingly beautiful birds.