Friday, July 27, 2012

Boxer Videos

Here are three videos of Boxer. They are all similar but I am sure you want to see all three!

Talked with Bob yesterday. I have very little news on Primo. He is still at rehab, eating quail, they are still looking for a large flight cage (possibly one down state). No certain plans yet. I wish there was more. Working on getting invited to take photos of Primo but no reply yet.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Boxer Sue Photos

Hi there,
Just a quick post to tell you that Mike who works in the Eagle Gate Tower has seen Boxer every day on his building. Today she landed on a window sill and was pecking at the glass. He took some video which I should have tomorrow. Aren't these just great!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

No Updates ~ Hummer Photos

Hi folks, I have no updates today on Boxer or Primo. I will call Bob tomorrow, I promise!
In the meantime, I have been photographing hummingbirds out my kitchen window, which is tough because they spend more time hiding in the tree than at the feeder. Name that hummer, anyone?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


For the next week or so I will share whatever email updates I get from Bob about the team's observations of Boxer and parents. Here's today's email:

July 15, 2012 at approximately 1710 - Vivian (Harold) S. saw Boxer perched on the NE corner of the EGT, 0 adult(s)

July 15, 2012 at 2004 to 2040 - RW observed Boxer fly from a spot below the west security camera atop the tall COB to the white-washed top, narrow column below the rail on the west
side of the EGT and then to atop the roof wall on the NE corner of the ZBT

July 16, 2012 in the morning - Valarie S. observed all 3

July 17, 2012 (morning?) - Valarie S. saw 1 peregrine (believed Boxer)

July 17, 2012 from 0753 to 0806 - RW - found an adult perched on the white-washed top, narrow column below the rail on the west side of the EGT, then noted tail feathers of Boxer protruding from the NW, shoulder corner of the EGT, Boxer then flew over to the NE, shoulder corner of the EGT and out of view.

Boxer is about 57 days old today, July 17, 2012 and a sight to behold!

Macy Pre-Banding Photos

A reader sent these photos to me, so I thought I would share, Macy was beautiful for sure. Yesterday I stopped at falcon central during lunchtime, but I did not see Boxer or any parents. My guess is they are off teaching her hunting skills :)


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Primo and Boxer Update

On Friday night Primo was perched on the Alta Club building. Just at dark he flew off, low to the ground, west on South Temple Street and landed around the west side of JSMB, on the ground. If there had been any traffic on South Temple, he would have hit or been hit by a car. Bob picked Primo up, put him in the usual box, and had a very difficult discussion with all the falcon crew, and Joanne by phone, about whether Primo should be taken away from Temple Square for his own safety. Bob and most of the crew felt that Primo would likely end up being hit by a car in the near future. This was the third time Primo had landed in or near the street and cars in the last three days. So, with a heavy heart, I tell you the news that Primo is officially out of the program. He is with the Joanne, the rehabber, in a mew (a falcon cage) with the intent that he will be moved to a large enclosure soon where he can get some flight practice.

Some questions come to mind, which I will answer with my amateurish knowledge and input from Bob:

1. Will Primo be returned to Temple Square? Probably not, since within another month, Boxer will be leaving to find other territory (the adults don't allow the kids to stay in their territory too long), and migrating south come fall. Besides, all the buildings and glass are just unfriendly environs.

2. Will Primo be reunited with his family? Again, probably not. Falcons are not 'pack' animals but live solitary lives or as pairs and only with offspring for a short time. We've already seen the parents somewhat indifferent to Primo when he doesn't fly. Once he did attempt a flight, they would bring him food but otherwise there is not much interaction.

3. Will Primo be returned to the wild in some fashion? It's very possible if he gets better with his flights. Bob said there are canyons just north of Salt Lake City where falcons have nested in prior years that would be a much friendlier environment for him to be released.

4. Will we know what is the final outcome? Yes, Bob has said that he will be in touch with Joanne regularly and will keep me updated on Primo's progress. He is doing well so far and has been eating quail.

As for Boxer Sue, she is doing great! When I talked to Bob tonight he said that she was putting on a great show over Temple Square. He is feeling very good about her abilities. She has been seen taking prey hand offs in the air from a parent. She will be hunting soon.

This week the falcon crew will scale back our presence downtown. There will still be evening aerial shows and if you are interested you should take the time to come down to the grounds soon. We usually hang out on the sidewalk on South Temple Street, just between the Administrative Bldg and Joseph Smith Memorial Bldg.

Tomorrow, I will post some pictures of Macy that I received from a reader who was there that first day of fledgling. I was holding off until we felt sure all our tragedies were behind us.

I leave you with a picture of Bob Walters as he is given a very appreciated lift back to Falcon Central by carriage driver Lisa, after a long, hot day chasing the falcon kids on Thursday.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Readers

I am so grateful for my readers. I thought I would share this graph showing the number of hits to the blog since the birds fledged. You can see I was averaging less than 50 the weeks before fledge but then on the 29th, boom! up to almost 500. Over the life of the blog, it's received 21,000+ hits. All I can say is thanks for reading!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Primo's Flight Part 2 and 3

Well, Primo has been a doozy of a flyer the last few days. As you know, Wednesday night Primo was atop the Assembly Hall and he ended up spending the night there. He (and now there is talk that Primo may be a 'she') stayed there until mid-day when he decided to fly south on West Temple Street to the area around Abravenal Hall. There was an immdediate scrambling and looking by the crew, and he was eventually spotted and caught on the ground near West and South Temple Streets. Of course, he was returned to the Beehive where he sat all evening and was still there this morning when I arrived at 7:30. Boxer joined him early this morning (see photo) on JSMB, and that was the last image I caught before my battery died...great. Boxer left his side and flew somewhere on the Temple (we think) but as has happened each afternoon this week, Boxer just gives us the slip and hunkers down somewhere but eventually pops up in the early evening. I left downtown around 11am with Primo still sitting on top of that roof of JSMB.


Around 2:45 I received a call from Bob, out of breath, telling me Primo had flown south on State Street and had disappeared somewhere around Social Hall / Harmons area - he asked if I had any 'eyes in the sky' in that location. That has to be one of the busiest corners in Utah! I quickly called people I know who work in buildings in that area, asking them to look out their windows in hopes to help find Primo. No luck.

Update as of 8:15pm tonight, Primo has popped up on a lamp on the top of the Alta Club building and was fed by a parent. He may just stay there for the night! Thank goodness its not a workday tomorrow. It will at least ease the traffic nightmare on that corner. And Boxer... Bob said he landed inside the observation deck on tall COB this evening. That can be a bad place for the birds to get themselves out of as there are all sorts of fences to keep humans from falling off. Its a rather large leap for a young bird to make. That is the spot where one of our young was found dead last year. One of our falcon volunteers went up in the elevator to check and Boxer made the leap and got out, which is terrific.  So Primo is getting his wings, finally. He's still not flying very high and he's giving the crew a scare each time he leaves the Beehive but there is much more hope that he will eventually be flying as well as Boxer,.

p.s. If you leave comments on my blog, I'd love to know city, state you are reading from ~ thanks!

Boxer and Primo at 8 am under cloudy skies on west wing of JSMB. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Primo's Flight

I worked the evening shift yesterday, arriving around 6pm to find that Primo had moved over the south side of JSMB (which puts him hanging over traffic on South Temple Street) perched on a the scallop edging. This, of course, made everyone very nervous so we had folks staged all up and down South Temple in case he tried to fly over to City Creek or Main Street and failed. Around 7pm he did fly off, heading west right over traffic on South Temple, making it almost to West Temple Street, landing on the roof of the old Assembly Hall building. That's a great flight for Primo. You can see the distance on this photo from JSMB to Assembly Hall. As for Boxer Sue, she is a champion of flight and disappearances at this point. She finally popped up on the Temple just after Primo's flight. BTW, Primo and Boxer spent a lot of bonding time on JSMB earlier in the day with Boxer demonstrating flights over Primo's head then landing to hang out with him some more. Quite cute.

Primo making everyone nervous.

Primo sitting on Assembly Hall roof near main steeple.
Boxer on Temple

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Blasted Hot

Its been extremely hot the last few days, up over 100, and the heat wears out everyone. The adults and kids seem to be flying a lot less the last few days. Primo was released on the Beehive yesterday around 12:45pm and stayed there overnight. He was seen with Boxer Sue on the west wing of the JSMB this morning. That is a great sign that he is moving away from the Beehive. Boxer has flown less the last few days too, choosing instead to hide on the Beehive and hang out with Primo. I just talked to Bob and Boxer took a big flight a bit ago and is now up on that ledge on Eagle Gate tower. I will head downtown tonight and see if I can get some photos of flights. We had a cool morning (88) but its headed to 103 this afternoon. A cool front is moving in overnight and our temps will be a chilly 89 or so the next few days and that should stir up the kids a bit.

Bob Walters of Utah Wildlife Division (our fearless leader) trying to keep cool in the shade.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Update July 9

I spent only a few hours downtown tonight. Primo was released on the Beehive aroun 11am and had been sitting there all day with no attempted flights. I was told that Boxer had some more great flights today but disappeared around 2pm. When I arrived at 5pm, Bob and I went up in some of the taller buildings trying to find her. The last she was seen was possibly landing on the Beehive. No luck. Around 6:30, Susan yelled over the radio, "I have TWO birds on the Beehive!" And sure enough, Boxer Sue had found her brother Primo and was having some bonding time. When I left at 7:15, they were still there. They were doing a lot of vocalizing and I can only suspect that Boxer Sue was telling Primo to get his butt out there and fly!

Mike Shaw sent me a photo of an adult with some food, a Coot (water fowl) he says, coming off of the JSMB. Fantastic photo! Pretty sure this is Mom.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Update July 8

Yesterday Primo was sent back to the rehabber to get a wing checked. Wing is fine and he is scheduled to be put back up on beehive Monday morning. Boxer had a great day of soaring flights between Eagle Gate, COB, Zion's Bank and seems very comfortable with some trickier landings now. The picture below is where she was perched yesterday morning, cadillac-ed (wing tips look like the back of an old cadillac) HIGH up on the Eagle Gate tower. I talked to Bob this morning and she is hanging out on COB.

I also wanted to share a video that Skygirl caught on the cam of the adult male sunning himself in the nest box two days ago during the 95 degree heat. According to this article,  it could be for several reasons.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Me and Primo Get Friendly

So sweet to finally get to hold one of these guys! Primo was found hanging out in the garden, we all thought he was on beehive. He is favoring right wing so going in for xray.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Boxer Sue and Primo Update July 6

Today was an excellent flight day for Boxer Sue. When I arrived at Falcon Central, Boxer was on the Church Office Building and the very top, with Mom watching guard. Apparently she landed there last night and the parents put on a great flying show right in front of her. She must have got the idea because we were all treated to some fantastic flights just before lunchtime. She eventually flew her way over to Zion's Bank building and once again disappeared down in to the area where that fan is. She stayed there most of the afternoon but then flew back over to the COB and was there when I called Bob at 8:45 tonight.

Primo is another story. Primo has not flown since his release yesterday and doesn't seem to be in any hurry to attempt it again. He is sitting on the beehive and calling out to parents who fly over and appear to check him out but then leave. Hopefully tomorrow he will be flying. Maybe he's just sore from his crash.

Adult (left) keeping track of Boxer (right, cadillac-ed)

Primo stretching his wings on Beehive north.
Boxer (on left, darker juvenile feathers) flying w/adult.
Boxer flying over State and First Avenue
After many loops of the sky in front of this building, Boxer landed on the shoulder, west side of south face. See next pic for detail. She is very high up there!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Boxer Sue and the Fan ~ More Fireman Photos!

Today was a wacky day, AGAIN. These birds are having a heck of a time staying out of trouble. We had a much needed rainstorm that lasted most of the afternoon. When I arrived at Falcon Central around 12:15, I heard that Boxer Sue had taken some high flights in front of Zion's Bank building trying to land on a spot frequented by parents but the landing was too tough, so she went even higher, of course! She ended up on the south face behind the Zion Bank letters. No one from the ground was able to get an eye on her, but we had one volunteer working in the Key Bank building who was able to see she was perched inside an enclosure on a ventilation fan. By the time I arrived, Bob was ready to go up to the roof to get a look and gratefully he found a maintenance guy in that building to let him up. And I was invited! So up we went and carefully looked out the roof door, hoping not to scare her. She was perched pretty as you please, drying herself on top of that fan. The rain was still coming down on top of her but she was dry on the bottom! There was some worry that the openings she came through were a bit too narrow to attempt a flight out (straight up), so Bob decided to fenagle a wood plank made with duct tape and 2 x 4's and lean it up against an opening, in hopes it would give her a place to walk up to the ledge. Four hours later, our eyes in the sky said she was still in the same place. Now Bob was getting worried so he went back up and approached Boxer. Whoosh, she was gone, no problem whatsovever, and we on the ground were treated to a great flight high above City Creek Center, several circles with a parent and she put in on the top of the Key Bank building, north face ~ see below. As I left at 5:15, she was up there enjoying some sort of snack.

Primo was scheduled for release around 1pm but all this commotion with Boxer pushed it back to about 3pm. Primo was released with no incident and when I left for the evening, he was still on the west face of the Beehive with parents circling here and there encouraging him to fly. 

Now, since it was so popular the other night, here's many more photos from Primo's rescue with the firemen!!

Eyes in the Sky

I am looking for folks high in the big buildings who can be our eyes in the sky. Text me at 801-493-5932. Boxer Sue on top of Zions Bank building and we cant see her.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fledge Video #3 Boxer Sue

Well, I thought I'd share this video from Glenn of Fledge #3, Boxer Sue, thanks Glenn! You will see Boxer really upset, hissing at the back of the box before Bob pops through and tries to throw a towel over her.  The action starts around 18 min mark. You will note that the parent is VERY upset after Bob appears in the box, not necessarily about the Boxer but did not like that someone was in the nest. You can see the adult flying back and forth over the top screaming.  Remember that this intervention by Bob came about after Boxer was seen flinging herself at the walls of the box, clawing at the camera and acting completely out of control. The rehab expert made a judgement call that the bird needed to come out of the box to be checked. Once Boxer flew out, she landed on the low building wing and then came to the ground shortly later and was captured.

Also below are some pictures from today. Boxer Sue is doing short flights and apparently during the fire truck rescue of Primo, slipped in to a ledge just across the street not far from the action. One of our volunteers, Mary Lou, decided to spend her night on the street below to make sure no more mishaps happened overnight. What a trooper, Mary Lou didn't sleep a wink but just kept watch. Boxer Sue made a short flight from that ledge at 6:30am and hung out on the ZCMI building the rest of the day and was still there when I left at 5pm.

I forgot to mention that after Primo was captured last night, he was taken to the rehab clinic to be checked out and spend the night. He is still there and will remain until tomorrow or Friday. So far he shows no lasting effects from last night. He is up, perched, and eating etc.

Boxer Sue about 11:30am July 4

Boxer Sue about 4:00pm July 4

Primo Rescued by Fire Crew

I'm back! It was so difficult to be away during fledge but today I had my first (suffering hot) day down at falcon central. I have lots to share including a video of #3 (Boxer Sue) including the infamous 'Bob' in the box appearance in a video captured by a viewer. I caught up on all the stories of fledge and mishaps including last night's crash of Primo into the Zion's Bank Building just about at dusk which is a terrible time to try to perform a rescue particularly the night before a holiday. Apparently Primo was flying large circles at the same time as Boxer Sue and the team was scrambling to keep track of both.  There was a very loud 'boom' and one watcher saw Primo hit the building and freefall to the roof of the entryway on the east side. Below is a view from a parking deck a few blocks away and gives you an idea of the size and fall. Primo hit fairly far up the building face. The bird was not moving after the fall and they were very worried they had a repeat of Macy's disaster. Ten minutes later the bird popped up and appeared to be recovering. Bob tried to get the bank security folks to let him put a ladder up on the entrance roof but it was not looking good. Miraculously? a few minutes later, a fire engine pulls up (where did that come from?? someone anonomously place a call) and the fire crew agrees to let the 'wildlife guy' climb up the ladder to the roof to help out on the rescue (see two photos below).

I will post the video of Fledge #3 in a separate post along with a couple photos of Boxer Sue today on the ZCMI building.

The Administration Building (bottom right) is where Primo flew on his first flight out of the box, directly across from nest box. The Church Office Building is where the adults perch to watch over the area and the nest box.

Bob receives instruction on climbing up the ladder.

The firefighter asked if he could get a photo with Primo (in the towel on his chest)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Another Photo

Here's a great photo of Boxer Sue.

I thought I would include this more detailed story from Felicia on Primo's excursion into H&M (pulled from the SLC Peregrine Facebook page:

I have a funny story about Primo that maybe other people who were closer can correct if I make a mistake. But I thought people following the falcons would get a kick out of it. This morning after Bob let Primo and Boxer out on the JSMB, Primo flew around quite a bit and ended up on the sidewalk on Main Street in front of H&M. Main Street is a super dangerous place for fledgling falcons. A couple of our guys (I don't know whether they want me to mention their names, if they do, I'll let them do it) approached him with their towels, fearful of him flying out in front of traffic or Trax. So Primo does the only thing any reasonable falcon would do--he strolls into H&M, scaring some poor girl half to death in the process (she let out quite the scream I hear). After posing for the tourists, Primo finally allowed the crew to get him in hand (and towel) and Bob took him up and released him again. He was still on top of the JSMB in some hidey hole when I left an hour ago, probably tuckered out from his shopping trip lol.

Update July 3

Maybe you have noticed that there haven't been many photos or updates from me since the kids fledged. I have been out of town for the past week, but I will be back on site starting tomorrow so look for a lot more pictures and updates in the coming days!

According to the SLC Peregrine Facebook page yesterday afternoon, "Apparently Primo felt it was time for a new wardrobe. He strolled right through the open doors of H&M today! Luckily the crew was able to towel him and take him back to the roof. He's resting now."

I will try to get more updates later today. Here is a photo of Primo in the box after his rescue. Thanks to Mike P. for the photo.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Update July 1 - 8:50p

Primo is doing well, short flights between the Temple and JSMB.

Boxer Sue hung out most of the day on north side of JSMB but just 20 min ago took a big flight over the admin building then across South Temple and got herself caught in an area of the copper colored skyscraper. Bob is on the way to rescue her and will keep her overnight for safe keeping, then release her in the morning. The picture below is of Sue just before release this morning.