For nearly a decade, there's been a livestream on the internet, hosted by PG&E and the UC Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group, broadcasting video from a camera trained on a peregrine falcon nest atop PG&E's downtown SF headquarters at 77 Beale Street.
It's nesting season right now, and there are currently four eggs waiting to hatch in the nest — which you can see live right here. The mom and dad falcons take turns sitting on the eggs to keep them warm, but they were both gone for a good chunk of this morning. Right now, one of them is there, but seems distracted — alternately standing near the eggs, and looking out from the ledge on the city and Bay Bridge down below.
SFist first covered the falcon cam back in 2011, and as PG&E's page explains, the falcons have returned to nest over the years, but not every year — and sometimes the eggs that are laid never hatch at all. They were there with three eggs in 2016, and the camera got an upgrade in 2017 when another three eggs were laid. In 2019, the falcons — likely the same pair that returned this year — had a clutch of four eggs which produced three chicks, two of whom survived.
The eggs tend to hatch in late March, so it could be any day now that we see a couple little white fluff balls emerging in the nest — and what better way to distract yourself from work, or pandemic stress, or unemployment, than to wait for this little miracle to happen. The white fluffy chicks will quickly darken in plumage and grow up over six weeks, at which point they'll be full grown. In between, there will be flying lessons at some point in April!
These can be perilous days, however, and you'll be watching cruel nature at work. As falcon cam page reports, "Two of the three baby falcons in 2019's clutch survived, while just one of three fledglings from 2018's clutch made it past the first few months. But there are great successes, too: One male from 2011's clutch maintains a successful nest that he pioneered on the Richmond waterfront."
In related news, an injured hawk was rescued by Animal Care & Control after wandering around on Sansome Street on Monday.