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Peregrine Falcons

Peregrine Falcons have been nesting on the Joseph Smith Memorial Building pretty consistently for the last few years. Last year they moved the nest box because they were working on the windows. But this year the falcons came back! Here’s the box:

Those black spots in the box are webcams, which you can view here.  I went to view the box last week and I completely lucked out and got to see the adult falcon.

The falcon was a life bird for me, so I was very excited to see him.  Peregrines were endangered at one point because the use of DDT in the ’70’s weakened their eggs, killing the chicks.  Since we’ve banned DDT and the falcons are willing to use man-made nesting structures, their numbers are steadily increasing.  This falcon has four babies!

These shots are taken from the web cam so they’re a little fuzzy.  But what’s amazing is how fast these guys grow.  The picture above was taken about three days from this picture:

And then this one from yesterday is about a week after the first picture.

They grew so fast!  And they’re forming real feathers over the fuzz.  You can see them stretch their wings flap and do little glides in the box.  They’re also staying awake for longer.  Before they would sleep in little puddles of bird.  Now they’re peeking over the edge, flapping and making hawk calls.  They’re predicting that these guys will start flying around July 4th so I’ll be sure to go back and try to take pictures of them practicing flying.

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