City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

September 20, 2016

August 3rd

Filed under: Birds, Cooper's Hawk, Peregrine Falcon — canopus56 @ 10:42 pm

Hawk Battle

Noon. The road is being paved, so there are no cars on Bonneville Drive. At the entrance to Upper City Creek Canyon at the top of a 100 foot tall dead tree, an immature Cooper’s Hawk is perched and acts as a sentinel for the canyon entrance. I get a good five minutes watching him with a 10x monocular before he flies off. Further up the canyon at milepost one, I hear the familiar screeching of a peregrine falcon. This falcon has been a regular in the canyon for the last 4 weeks. It is nesting in the trees high up on the eastern slope near milepost 1.25. I’ve never gotten a close look at this bird, but I suspect it is immature. It is very territorial. On several occasions when I have seen other raptors pass over its nesting site, this aggressive bird flies out and chased the intruder off. At times, it approaches speeds of 50 and 60 kilometers per hour. On another occasion, it flew up several hundred feet to rendezvous with two crows soaring on the thermals high above the canyon floor. The brave smaller bird repeatedly dive-bombed the much larger crows and urged them to not rest in City Creek.

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