San Francisco Peregrine Falcon Nest
Background: The downtown San Francisco peregrines were dubbed "George and Gracie" by the individual who first reported their breeding behavior to us.
George and Gracie nested at PG&E for the first time in 2003 when one infertile egg was laid. Gracie was young at that time. In the spring of 2004, four eggs were laid. Two of these eggs hatched and both young fledged to the roof of the 77 Beale Street headquarters building in June. In 2005 Gracie laid four eggs in early spring, and all four hatched. The young nestlings were watched by thousands as they grew up on camera, center stage, for the world to see. Three of these four successfully fledged in the 2005 season, and were seen almost daily for several weeks flying high above San Francisco's financial district before they dispersed. In 2006 George and Gracie moved across the street from the PG&E building and nested in a 30th floor planter at 201 Mission St. Together they raised a single eyas in 2006, and he fledged successfully, on camera, the last week of May.
Who are George and Gracie?
About George: George's identity was revealed in 2005 by the VID (visual identification) band worn on his left leg. George's VID band reads C/U, and SCPBRG had fitted George with his this band in 1999. SCPBRG will often remove peregrine chicks from Bay Area bridges and release them at safer locations, because they have a very difficult time fledging successfully at bridge sites. Our records indicate that George was removed by SCPBRG as a downy chick from a nest on the west span of the Oakland Bay Bridge in 1999, and released at a hack site in San Gregorio later that season. Prior to nesting in San Francisco, George had a few cameo appearances at Oracle. The Oracle breeding male died after one year, and a juvenile male took his place with the female Sadie and became her mate in 2001. However, early in the nesting season an adult male would also make occasional appearances, even showing up on camera in the nest box once or twice. Turns out that was George!
About Gracie: The adult female, Gracie, was not definitively identified until 2006. Gracie does not sport a VID band, but she is wearing a silver colored Fish and Wildlife Service band on her right leg. Gracie's band number revealed that she was banded by the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory in November of 2001 as a hatch year bird. This means Gracie would have hatched in the spring of that year. Her origin is still unknown however, as she had already dispersed from her nest region by the time she was banded in the fall.