LINCOLN, Neb. — 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 at http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/wildlife/webcam/peregrine/default.asp.
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 May.
Jorgensen also noted the male, who 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.