Two of the four peregrine falcon eggs sitting atop the Joseph Smith Memorial building in downtown Salt Lake have now hatched, but the fate of the next two eggs is uncertain. Watchable wildlife program coordinator Bob Walters says there isn’t really a way to predict the outcome, but that it isn’t time to worry just yet.
“I’d say a couple three. You know, cut’em a little slack," he says. "But, generally that’s the way it works. They all kind of come in and hatch out over a several day period of time."
Last year, only one of the four eggs hatched. It later died due to injuries suffered attempting to learn to fly in the rough urban environment of downtown. Walters says because of those unique circumstances they always hope to see as many eggs hatch as possible.
“We kind of live and die with the success we have in hopefully getting as many in the air as we possibly can. And when that happens it’s incredible gratifying,” he says.
Walters says he expects the eyases, that’s what a baby falcon is called, will begin to test their wings in preparation for their first flight around June 25. That’s a week Walters and his volunteers lovingly refer to as hell week.
“If we actually hatch out four it’s a big job," he says. "It’s all daylight hours, basically sun up to sun down, chasing birds around.”
Walters says for those interested, they could always use more help during that time. For more information on how to volunteer visit the website wildlife.utah.gov.