Solo the peregrine falcon took to the skies for the first time Saturday morning, gliding between two buildings on Salt Lake City's Temple Square.
The bird left a nest atop the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and flew to the neighboring Church Administration Building about 8:06 a.m., according to Bob Walters, watchable-wildlife coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. Walters said Solo initially missed the top of the neoclassical stone building and fluttered down to a ledge below, where she was later resting in the shade.
"I thought it was nice," Walters said of the flight. "It was kind of just what I'd want to see. I'd want to give her 9.5."
Solo's first flight has been eagerly awaited by Utahns, who can watch the bird's nest and progress via webcam.
Solo was the only chick to hatch this year from four eggs, something Walters said was ultimately a good thing after her father crashed into a window Friday. That falcon, known as Dad, was scheduled to undergo X-rays sometime Saturday. With Dad out of commission, all of Solo's training falls to her mother, known as Mom, who could have become exhausted with more chicks to care for.
Walters suspects Solo is a female, though he added that he won't know for certain unless officials get a chance to tag and inspect the bird. He also said glass buildings pose the greatest danger to the birds.