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Field trip to see peregrine falcons is June 20

Published: Monday, June 17 2013 12:29 p.m. MDT

In this photo taken in June 2012, the three peregrine falcons born that summer are shown in the nest box the day before they made their first flight, at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City.

Utah DWR

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SALT LAKE CITY — The state Division of Wildlife Resources is hosting a free field trip to view peregrine falcons in downtown Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 20.

The field trip will happen on Temple Square at 6 p.m. Bob Walters, Watchable Wildlife coordinator for the DWR, will lead the trip. To participate, meet just east of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on Temple Square.

Walters said Salt Lake City’s famous falcon pair deposited four eggs this spring in a nest box on the northeast side of the JSMB. “For unknown reasons,” he said, “only one of the four eggs hatched.”

The adult peregrines will be perched on the edge of the nest box or on the side of the building. Walters says the recently hatched falcon isn’t quite ready to fly yet. He thinks the young falcon will start flying about a week after the viewing event.

When the falcon takes those harrowing first flights, Walters and a team of volunteers will be on hand to rescue it. “You never know where young falcons will end up,” Walters says. “We’ve had them land in the middle of the busy downtown streets and crash into the sides of buildings. But wherever the bird lands, we’ll be there to pick it up."

On the same evening the field trip is held, Walters will train anyone who wants to become a member of his volunteer Peregrine Falcon Watchpost Rescue Team.

For more information about the field trip or the training, call Walters at 801-209-5326.

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