Birds of prey are a common sight at Pinnacles National Park. From January to August, over 20 species of raptors reside within the park with 10 species nesting on a yearly basis. The raptor nesting means that climbers need an increase awareness to protect the endangered birds.
The geography of Pinnacles provides an ideal place for prairie falcons, golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, Cooper’s hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, and red-shouldered hawks.
The nesting of the birds requires special care by the Tourist Trap, Discovery Wall, Monolith, Elephant Rock, Tilting Terrace, Machete, Upper Crust, the Camel, and the Sisters.
Smaller birds of prey like kestrels and sharp-shinned hawks feed on grasshoppers, lizards, and mice; these animals are readily available in the park. Prairie falcons, red tailed hawks, and golden eagles eat small birds, squirrels, rabbits and other larger rodents. These birds fly in the area surrounding the park in their search for food.
Being aware of peregrine closures as well as other endangered birds nesting areas helps prevent climbers from disturbing nesting sites.
For more information see the Friends of Pinnacles website and the NPS website.
Tags: birds of prey, Pinnacles