Welcome to the PG&E/UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group peregrine falcon page.

Learn about PG&E's efforts to support the once-endangered species

Following the retirement of its beloved Falcon Cam in 2021, PG&E has continued to support the recovery of California's peregrine falcon population, which was once near extinction. The company's support includes grants to the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group's education programs.

Nesting falcons on PG&E's former 77 Beale Street headquarters produced nearly 50 falcon chicks between 2004 and 2021.

Scientists with the UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group banded each baby falcon to track their whereabouts and help monitor the region’s falcon population.

one of the falcons flying close to the PG&E building with a portion of the bay bridge in the background While the mortality rate is high among fledglings, the PG&E falcons have had great successes, too: Phoenix, a male from 2011's clutch, maintains a successful nest that he pioneered on the Richmond waterfront. Grace, a female from the 2016 season, rules the roost at San Jose City Hall, where she's produced several young in recent years.

Scientists with the Predatory Bird Research Group continue to track and monitor the health and whereabouts of the falcons they've banded at 77 Beale, as well as other falcons they monitor across the Bay Area and Central Coast. Their mission is to use the example of peregrine recovery as an inspiration for tackling today's environmental challenges, and to involve students and citizen scientists in monitoring the status of predatory birds in California.

PG&E has provided about $330,000 in shareholder-funded grants to the Predatory Bird Research Group since 1998 to support community outreach and education programs.

Between World War II and the 1970s, the peregrine falcon population nearly disappeared due to toxic chemicals. But thanks to the Endangered Species Act and the good work of groups such as the Predatory Bird Research Group, there are more than 300 pairs of peregrine falcons in California. Bird watchers have identified other banded Bay Area falcons as far away as Arcata to the north and Morro Bay to the south.

PG&E continues to support birds of all species through its Avian Protection Program. The company has retrofitted about 40,000 utility poles across its service area to prevent bird electrocutions and has built hundreds of platforms on poles to serve as nests for ospreys, which are large, fish-hunting hawks.

In addition, PG&E installed coated wire along the Central Coast to protect reintroduced condors and worked in 2022 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help reintroduce condors in Redwood National Park on the North Coast. The company retrofitted power lines to prevent condor strikes and provided a $250,000 grant to the National Parks Foundation in 2016 to help the reintroduction effort.

In addition to the Predatory Bird Research Group, PG&E supports bird-advocacy organizations including the Ventana Wildlife Society, San Rafael-based WildCare and Audubon and its Pacific Flyway initiatives.

See archived footage from the Falcon Cam

For more information on falcons, check out the UC-Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group's website or the SF PGE Falcons Google Groups forum.

Falcon in flight photo by Glenn P. Nevill – Special to PG&E