Lincoln – One male peregrine falcon chick from the nest box near the top of the Nebraska Capitol building was banded and given a checkup Friday, May 29.
“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 four 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 10. 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 Game and Parks placed unique bands on both legs. Betsy Finch and Janet Stander 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 for the chick online by either visiting Name-the-chick Contest – it’s on!!! - NEBRASKAland Magazine or in person at the peregrine display near the first-floor information desk at the Capitol. Participants will be allowed to submit suggested names through June 11. From the submissions, as many as six finalists will be selected, and anyone in the public cam vote for a favorite through June 19. The submission that receives the most votes will be announced as the winner on June 22. The public can continue to watch the chick grow over the next few weeks, via streaming video, on Game and Parks’ popular FalconCam at OutdoorNebraska.org.
The Capitol’s peregrine falcons have successfully produced 22 offspring over the past 11 years. Last year, two young chicks, or eyases, were killed by severe weather. Out of the 22 young, four 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, Kan., 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.
Additional assistance was provided by the Office of the Capitol Commission and the Nebraska State Patrol.