PG&E's beloved San Francisco falcon cam to go dark after 15 years

ByKrisann Chasarik KGO logo
Sunday, October 3, 2021
Beloved SF falcon cam to go dark
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PG&E is pulling the plug on its popular falcon cam after 15 years

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- One of wildest reality shows is coming to an end.

After more than 15 years, PG&E will shut off its popular falcon cam.

It sits atop the utility's former headquarters at 77 Beale Street in San Francisco. PG&E recently sold the building, and the camera will be turned off on October 15. PG&E gave notice on Saturday of the camera going dark.

The utility company says the nesting super-site has witnessed nearly 50 peregrine births to eight separate pairs of falcon parents since the 1980s. Viewership reached 500,000 in one week alone in April, with people from around the world watching each breeding season to see the families grow.

Viewers witnessed plenty of drama, from territorial fights with interloping falcons to fledges who didn't survive their first flights. There have been heartwarming moments too, as parents and their young bonded and babies set off to start nests of their own. A 2011 hatchling named Phoenix now has a successful nest in Richmond. While Grace, born in 2016, set her roots atop San Jose City Hall.

Peregrine falcons were nearly extinct in the 1970s due to agricultural insecticides. PG&E partnered with the Predatory Bird Research Group at the University of California, Santa Cruz to study the health and breeding habits of the falcons. There were virtually no breeding pairs left in California 45 years ago. To this day, the state is home to more than 400 breeding pairs according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

You can catch some final views from the web camera here.