Primo was hatched last summer in the nest box atop the JSM Building in downtown Salt Lake. Soon after fledging, he flew into a 17th story office tower window and fell to the ground. He somehow survived the accident, and subsequently spent many months in a rehab facility in Colorado. Finally, ready to return to the wild, he was brought to Utah and released at one of my favorite places, Antelope Island. As one who had followed the peregrines from the time they were just eggs in the nest box, through hatching, growing and fledging, I really wanted to witness this release.
About 40 people showed up in the freezing weather to
witness the event. It was worth it. Here are some of my photos of the event.
Primo is a little excited at his first look at his new home
the launch. The woman who had the privilege of releasing him was a
volunteer who had apparently spent long overnight hours watching the
There he is, just visible above the mountains on his first flight on the island.
perched for awhile (see way back there?) on a corral fence and finally
flew off out of sight. Good luck little Primo. I hope I see you again
on one of my visits to your home.
40 people gathered to witness the release. Most of the people here closely
follow the nesting of the downtown peregines. The DWR officials
there and other volunteers were asking if any of us might be able help
"chase" or follow the young new falcons when another new family fledges
downtown in a few months.
Incidentally, we were told that the rehab facility that took in this falcon has a policy of as little human interaction with the birds as possible. The cage is large enough for the birds to fly around. Live food is released into the cage and the falcons must hunt and kill their own food. It is particularly important that the falcon show an ability to hunt for its own food before release to the wild. Yet still we worry whether it will be able to do so in its new environment.