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The peregrine falcons are back!

Peregrine falcons nesting in downtown Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City's famous pair of peregrine falcons is back.

Peregrine falcons are visiting downtown Salt Lake City again this spring. In this photo taken in June 2012, the three falcons born that summer are shown in the nest box the day before they made their first flight.

Peregrine falcons are visiting downtown Salt Lake City again this spring. In this photo taken in June 2012, the three falcons born that summer are shown in the nest box the day before they made their first flight.

Photo by Crystal Ross

You can watch the falcons' antics by logging onto the Division of Wildlife Resources' website. Right now, the falcons are caring for four eggs. The eggs are in a nest box on the northeast corner of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

You can also travel downtown and watch the falcons in person. The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is just west of State Street, between South Temple and North Temple streets.

Watching the falcons from home

You can follow the falcons' antics on your computer screen.

Bob Walters, Watchable Wildlife coordinator for the DWR, says officials with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have placed two cameras in the nest box.

"One camera provides a 'long view' of the interior of the box," Walters says. "The second camera focuses on the nest scrape where the parents are maintaining and safeguarding the eggs."

As you watch, turn your volume control up so you can hear the falcons chatter.

"If all goes well," Walters says, "you'll be able to watch the falcons from the time they hatch until they learn to fly."

Walters reminds you that there's no guarantee all of the eggs will hatch or that the newly hatched chicks will survive. "Whether this year's brood consists of one chick or four," he says, "the family will still be fun to watch."

Since 1986

Almost every year since 1986, a pair of peregrine falcons has nested in downtown Salt Lake City or at an alternate nest site north of the city.

Since 1986, falcons nesting in the area have produced 41 chicks. "Thirty of the 41 chicks survived to flight stage," Walters says. "After they 'earned their wings,' they dispersed into the wild, delighting everyone who has followed this urban saga through the years."

For more information, call the DWR's Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.

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