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First peregrine falcon hatches in downtown Salt Lake City

Published May 24, 2013 6:25 am

Falcons • Cameras record chick's arrival; three eggs remain.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The first peregrine falcon chick has hatched from four eggs laid in a downtown Salt Lake City nest box.

The falcon parents were tending the eggs in a nest box on the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Their first-born cracked through its shell Wednesday as high-definition cameras installed in the box broadcast its arrival around the world via the Internet.

An approximately three-minute video on a Facebook page dedicated to the birds shows the mother tending to the newborn shortly after its birth.

The first egg of 2013 appeared on April 12, followed by No. 2 on April 15, No. 3 on April 17 and egg No. 4 on April 20.

State wildlife officials expected the eggs to hatch sometime during the week after Mother's Day (May 12), but Bob Walters of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources called the more accurate prediction of May 20. He has a system, one he found easy to apply since the mother laid the first egg the same calendar day this year as last.

"Since it hatched a little later, it will probably [leave the nest] the first part of July," said Walters, coordinator of the DWR's Watchable Wildlife program. He cautioned, however, that sometimes not all of the eggs hatch, or the babies survive.

Peregrines typically lay four eggs, which was the case in 2012. One of the eggs from last year failed to hatch. One of the three young peregrines from 2012 died after crashing into a building but two survived, although one spent the winter in a raptor-rehabilitation center before being released on Antelope Island.

mmcfall@sltrib.com

Twitter: @mikeypanda