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Salt Lake City falcon Skye departs; watchers suffer empty nest syndrome
Peregrine falcon Skye took her first flight early Saturday in downtown Salt Lake City, leaving an empty nest behind.
The bird, one of three born this spring in a nest box on the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, flew the coop at 5:47 a.m., the last of the youngsters to test its wings. The young falcon made it to the World Trade Center at City Creek (formerly called Eagle Gate Tower) at 60 E. South Temple, a little southeast of its home.
The other falcons, Hunter and Ace, ventured out on Tuesday. The trio had successful departures and the kids are all right, according to Bob Walters, watchable wildlife coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
DWR staff and volunteers were poised to protect the birds when they reached the ground.
"All three are accounted for," Walters said. "Our birds are doing really well."
Two of the falcons hatched on May 16 and the third on May 19. Two webcams in the nest provided a live view of the birds, and their departures likely will leave many bird watchers with empty nest syndrome.
Four eggs 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.
The female from last year returned to nest this spring but with a new male mate. Four eggs were laid this year, with three hatching.
Voters on the Salt Lake Peregrines Facebook page picked the names Hunter, Skye and Ace for the young falcons.