Utah Field Guide – Peregrine Falcon

The Peregrine Falcon, the world’s fastest bird, capable of attaining speeds of over 200 miles per hour, was in big trouble a few decades ago. The Peregrine became an endangered species because of the use of the pesticide DDT in the 60’s and 70’s. It was found that the pesticide reduced the amount of calcium in the eggshells resulting in fewer eggs hatching. In 1972, the use of DDT was restricted in the United States and in 1999 the Peregrine Falcon was removed from the endangered species list.

Peregrine falcons have used nesting locations in downtown Salt Lake City since 1984. This spring, like most, a pair of falcons are using a nesting box located on the Northeast corner of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. If you’re in downtown, look up, you might catch a glimpse of these amazing birds.

You can also follow the antics of the falcon family on your computer at wildlife.utah.gov/peregrine. Two cameras have been set up to peek into the daily lives of the birds. Right now, the falcons are caring for four eggs. Biologists are anticipating the chicks to hatch any day now. For more info on the peregrine, the camera’s or any other critter in Utah, check out our Utah Field Guide on our website at KSLTV.com

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