Precocious, one of the city's baby peregrine falcons, has made his first flights, moving to different perches on the Hotel Utah and making an unsuccessful attempt to land on the side of the LDS Church Office Building.
"He looked pretty good for his first flight," said Bob Walters, a non-game biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.Precocious' brother, Rebel, has not tried to fly yet. Instead, he remained near the nest on a 10th floor ledge of the Hotel Utah, flapping his wings and walking along nearby ledges.
Biologists were pleased with the young bird's flying skills. He maintained his altitude on both flights and made two successful landings.
Later in the day, he flew to the office building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and tried to land on a vertical panel of decorative rock. He clung tenaciously for several moments, then flew back to the north side of the Hotel Utah where he attempted to land on a window sill. He overshot this landing and fluttered awkwardly to a balcony below.
After this artless maneuver, Precocious spent much of the afternoon perched in the shade on the balcony's railing.
The Division of Wildlife Resources has placed telescopes near the Hotel Utah to allow residents to get a close-up look at the birds, members of an endangered species.