There Are New Residents On Alcatraz

Many think of Alcatraz as a prison for hardcore villains, but there is more to the Alcatraz story.

You may be surprised that the island with a haunting history is a birding destination.

Traditionally, it has harbored seabirds. However, some unlikely new residents now call Alcatraz Island home.

Renowned as a seabird sanctuary, park biologists and rangers did not anticipate encountering raptors on Alcatraz.

Park biologists first spotted a pair of peregrine falcons breeding on Alcatraz in 2019.

The peregrine falcons began nesting on Alcatraz in 2020 for the first time in recorded history.

In early April 2023, the NPS announced the pair of nesting peregrine falcons welcomed four chicks to the island.

Why is this remarkable? There are a few reasons.

Peregrine falcons teetered on the brink of extinction in the mid-1970s.

They are known to inhabit the island in fall and winter, typically departing by February. Now that the couple is regularly nesting, they plan to stay.

They have forged new ground with the move. We have entered uncharted territory.

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