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Beginning Saturday, April 28, Baxter’s Pinnacle and its southwest descent gully will be closed due to an active peregrine falcon nest.

In 2011, a peregrine falcon pair established a new nest near Baxter’s Pinnacle; this is the second year that a closure will be levied to protect both climbers and falcons. As the peregrines reclaim this previous nest area, it is an especially critical time for them; therefore, it is important that climbers comply with the posted public closure.

Peregrines are territorial and aggressive birds especially while nesting and incubating eggs; they become even more protective after their chicks hatch. Baxter’s Pinnacle will remain closed until the young birds have fledged or biologists determine there is no longer a risk to either climbers or the falcons.  No Perches Necessary remains open.

The peregrine falcon is among the world’s fastest birds, flying at 40-55 mph and diving at more than 200 mph while defending territory or striking prey. This poses a safety risk to climbers who could be knocked off the route and injured.

“Peregrine falcons generally lay their eggs in early May, so this is a crucial time for them as they re-establish this aerie near Baxter’s Pinnacle,” said Grand Teton Wildlife Biologist Sue Wolff. “Falcons are sensitive to human disturbance and will abandon a nest to defend their territory which can lead to nest failure and low reproductive success. We want to keep climbers safe and increase the chances for a successful aerie.”