Downtown Salt Lake City falcons make first flights (video)
It was time to fly the coop, at least for two of the three peregrine falcons born in a nest box on the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City.
The first took flight around 6:40 a.m. Tuesday morning and the other departed not long after.
Both raptors had a safe departure. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) staff and volunteers had gathered for "Hell Week" and were poised to protect the falcons when they reached the ground.
One of the young falcons made it to the ground safely in the afternoon. He was banded and returned to the top of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
"We had two hatch on the sixteenth of May and the other one on the ninteenth," said Bob Walters, watchable wildlife coordinator for the DWR. "That one may need to develop a little more."
Voters on the Salt Lake Peregrines Facebook page picked the names Hunter, Skye and Ace for the young falcons. Radar, BJ and Hawkeye, names based on the television show MASH, finished second.
This is the first time fans of the Facebook page voted on the names. Volunteers during "Hell Week" have traditionally been given the opportunity to name the falcons each year.
Four eggs were laid this year, but only three hatched.
Four eggs also were laid last year, but only one hatched. Solo, as the bird was named, crashed into a building while learning to fly and eventually died from its injuries.