Monday, June 11, 2012
Falcon Field Trip Set for Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City -- You can see and learn more about the peregrine falcons in downtown Salt Lake City during a free field trip on June 21.
The field trip will happen on Temple Square at 6 p.m. Bob Walters, Watchable Wildlife coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, will lead the trip.
To participate, meet just east of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building (JSMB) on Temple Square.
Walters says Salt Lake City's famous falcon pair deposited four eggs this spring in a nest box on the northeast side of the JSMB. "Three of the four eggs hatched," he says.
If you attend the field trip on June 21, you should see the adult peregrines perched on the edge of the nest box or on the side of the JSMB. You might also see them fly to and from the box.
Walters says the three recently hatched falcons aren't quite ready to fly yet. He thinks the young falcons will start flying about a week after the viewing event.
Join the rescue team
When the falcons take those harrowing first flights, Walters and a team of volunteers will be on hand to rescue the birds. "You never know where the birds will end up," Walters says. "We've had them land in the middle of the busy downtown streets and crash into the sides of buildings.
"But wherever the birds land, we'll be there to pick them up."
If the birds aren't harmed, Walters releases them below the beehive atop the JSMB. "The idea is to rescue and release each young bird until the birds develop the confidence and competence to sustain themselves in flight," he says.
Walters says learning to fly in a downtown environment filled with glass, metal, rock and brick surfaces is a major challenge for the falcons.
On the same evening the field trip is held, Walters will train anyone who wants to become a member of his volunteer Peregrine Falcon Watchpost/Rescue Team.
"We need your help," he says.
For more information about the field trip or the training, call Walters at (801) 209-5326.
The June 21 field trip is part of the DWR's year-round Watchable Wildlife program.
Mark Hadley, DWR Relations with the Public Specialist (801) 538-4737