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RELEASE OF 3 PEREGRINES IS SOARING SUCCESS

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Doug Williams has a bird's eye view from his fourth-floor office in a downtown Boise building - literally.

In June, wildlife officials released three female peregrine falcons in downtown Boise, and Williams has watched them pass through adolescence, make their first attempts at flight and execute high-speed pigeon kills.Idaho Fish and Game Department officials say this year's urban peregrine release was a resounding success. All three birds survived, and the community's appreciation for falcons got a big boost for the second consecutive year.

"We've been watching them every day," said Williams, an engineer for US WEST. "A lot of people in the office weren't aware that peregrine falcons are an endangered species."

Bruce Haak, state Fish and Game raptor specialist, said, "It was a very successful release. A lot of people got to see them in action this summer."

The females, released in an artificial nest atop a high-rise bank building, were among 38 peregrines released at eight sites in Idaho this summer.

The Peregrine Fund, which raises the chicks in captivity south of Boise, has been releasing birds in U.S. cities and in the Rockies to expand their numbers.