We received a call on Friday of a dead Peregrine Falcon found on the roof of the First National Bank tower in Omaha. The bird was banded with the auxiliary marker (the color band with the letter/number combination in a large font) 98/H. This particular band combination is familiar; 98/H was banded at the Nebraska State Capitol on 2 June 2009. The Peregrine was given the name “Niobrara” as a result that year’s name-the-chick contest.
The bird’s carcass has numerous wounds and the carcass has been scavenged (I will spare you the gruesome details or photos). The disposition of the carcass and the location it was collected suggest the cause of death was from another animal. The carcass was recovered in an occupied Peregrine Falcon territory. Thus, this bird’s demise may have come at the hands, excuse me, talons, of another Peregrine Falcon. Peregrine Falcons are known for their prolonged and vicious fights, particularly when something as prized as a breeding territory is at stake. Such events may occur annually in the Midwest these days as suitable breeding territories have become occupied and breeding pairs have successfully produced more and more offspring. However, finding evidence of such battles likely occurs infrequently. This is perhaps another reminder that nature, while magnificent and beautiful, is equally harsh and cruel.