LINCOLN – One male peregrine falcon chick from the nest box near the top of the Nebraska Capitol building was banded and given a checkup on Tuesday, June 7.
“The banding went very well and the chick appears to be in very good shape,” said Joel Jorgensen, nongame bird program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. “The young male has everything he needs to be successful.”
Peregrine female A/*Y laid five eggs in late March and early April, with the help of her mate, 19/K. Only one of the eggs hatched from the clutch on May 17. The same pair has been present at the Capitol since 2005.
The chick was taken from the nest box located on the 18th floor. Jorgensen and Lauren Dinan of Nebraska Game and Parks placed unique bands on both legs. Betsy Finch, Denise Lewis, Elaine Bachel and Madison Brandon of Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Recovery took blood samples and checked for diseases and parasites before the chick was returned to the nest box.
The banding also marks the start of the Name the Chick contest. Participants may submit their suggestions at Magazine.OutdoorNebraska.gov or in person at the peregrine display near the first-floor information desk at the Capitol. Participants may submit suggested names through June 16. From the submissions, as many as six finalists will be selected, and anyone in the public can vote for a favorite through June 26. The submission that receives the most votes will be announced as the winner on June 27 or 28.
The public can continue to watch the chick grow over the next few weeks, via streaming video, on Nebraska Game and Parks’ popular FalconCam at OutdoorNebraska.gov/FalconCam/.
After the banding, Finch provided an update on the status of 19/K, the adult male falcon who was found injured and who was recovered in Lincoln on June 6. 19/K suffered a dislocated elbow and is being treated by Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Recovery. It will be at least a couple of weeks before much more is known about his prognosis.
The Capitol’s peregrine falcons have successfully produced 23 offspring over the past 12 years. Out of the 23 young, five have been observed as adults away from the Capitol. Boreas, banded in 2007, and Nemaha, banded in 2009, have nested at the Westar Energy building in Topeka, Kansas, in 2011 and 2012. Mintaka, banded in 2010, has been nesting on Omaha’s Woodmen Tower since 2012. Lewis, hatched in 2012, was observed near Houston, Texas, this past winter. Clark, also hatched in 2012, was discovered nesting at Omaha Public Power District’s north Omaha power station in 2015.
Additional assistance at the banding was provided by the Office of the Capitol Commission and the Nebraska State Patrol.
To see a video of the banding, visit Facebook.com/NEGameandParks/.