Peregrine Falcons Return to Nest in Nebraska Capitol
Lincoln, NE – For the seventh consecutive year,
a pair of peregrine falcons has produced eggs in a nest box outside
the 18th floor of the Nebraska State Capitol, according to the
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
The Game and Parks’ popular FalconCam, a video camera mounted at
the top of the Capitol, provides streaming video of the nest box.
Click here to watch.
After observing the pair mating via the FalconCam, Joel
Jorgensen, Game and Parks’ nongame bird program manager, checked
the nest box on April 20 and counted three eggs. Peregrines
generally lay three or four eggs, but one to six eggs have been
recorded. Jorgensen said the eggs are expected to hatch in early
Jorgensen also noted the male, which was incubating the eggs,
did not leave the nest during the nest check and remained over the
eggs. The male, with the leg band 19/K, has been at the Capitol
since 2003. The identity of the female is not yet known.
FalconCam has monitored the falcons’ activities in the nest box
since 2005. The peregrines quickly attracted the attention of
people around the world who regularly visit the FalconCam website
to follow unfolding events.
The peregrine falcons have successfully produced chicks for five
of the last six years. In 2005, the pair successfully raised one
chick that, through the Name the Chick contest, was named Pioneer.
In 2006, three chicks fledged and were given the names Willa, Bess
and Sterling, after famous Nebraskans Willa Cather, Bess Streeter
Aldrich and J. Sterling Morton. In 2007, four chicks fledged and
were named Boreas, Notus, Eurus, and Zephyrus after the four wind
gods from Greek mythology. In 2008, the pair laid eggs but was
unsuccessful in raising young. The pair was again successful in
2009 and fledged four chicks that were named Nemaha, Niobrara,
Calamus, and Platte after Nebraska rivers. In 2010, the pair
fledged three chicks that were named Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka
after the stars in the belt of the constellation Orion. If the pair
successfully raises young again this year, the Name the Chick
contest will be renewed.
Assistance for the Peregrine Project is provided by Nebraska
Wildlife Conservation Fund, Office of the Capitol Commission,
Nebraska State Patrol, and Nebraska Correctional Services.