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Sick Peregrine Puts Downtown Falcon Cam in Jeopardy

The downtown Salt Lake peregrine falcon cam will be turned on Monday, but there might not be anything to see this year.

Until early this week, it appeared that everything was going as it should between the two peregrine falcons that had been using the nest box located on the side of the Joseph Smith Memorial building in downtown Salt Lake City. But on Sunday, temple square security found the female peregrine on the ground and in distress. Bob Walters is the watchable wildlife coordinator for the Utah Department of Natural Resources.

“The bird seemed to be OK, but I could tell you at the time the rehabilitator noted that she could hear like a rasping, or a gurgling kind of sound,” he says.

There is no definitive diagnosis yet, but the rehabilitator has taken blood samples and should get the results of that test by Monday. Walters says even without those results, it already doesn’t look very good for the bird.

“Let’s put it this way, I’d like to be surprised, but I honestly can’t be too optimistic that that’s going to happen because the words used thus far would indicate that she’s sick," Walters says. "And maybe even rather sick or rather badly ailing of something.”

But it’s not all bad news. Walters says even if this female doesn’t make it, the male will most likely find another one.

“There’s plenty of time for him to start anew, for that pair to get clicking, a new pair if you will, to be successful.”

Peregrines have been using this nesting box for several decades. Last year three falcons successfully hatched and learned to fly

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