Watch peregrine falcons nesting on Alcatraz Island live with this amazing NPS webcam feed

Peregrine falcon feeding chicks in nest
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether you're a keen bird watcher, a citizen scientist, or just curious, the National Park Service (NPS) has a new live webcam feed that lets you watch peregrine falcons nesting on Alcatraz Island. FalconCam, which you can watch below or on YouTube, is a collaboration between the NPS and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

The population of peregrine falcons suffered greatly in the 20th century due to use of industrial pesticides like DDT, and they were declared endangered in the US in the 1970s. As Golden Fate National Parks Conservancy explains, "A thorough statewide California nesting survey in 1970 yielded only two peregrine nests."

Ongoing conservation efforts and a ban on the use of DDT in 1972 helped the population bounce back, and now there are over 100 nesting pairs in California alone, including the ones you can watch below.

Sadly, in many parts of the world, including Britain, the birds are still persecuted. As the RSPB explains, some gamekeepers kill the falcons to protect their game birds and racing pigeons, and their eggs are taken from nests for falconry and collections.

Know your falcons

Peregrine falcons are large, powerful birds recognizable by their relatively short tail, broad, pointed wings, and blue-gray plumage on top. It has a white throat and cheeks, with a distinctive dark 'moustache'.

They are some of the fastest birds in the world, able to dive at speeds up to 200mph. They take prey in mid-air, including shorebirds, ducks, grebes, gulls, pigeons, and songbirds. They may also steal food like fish from other birds of prey.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.