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Peregrine Falcons: History at the Capitol

Lauren Dinan Contributed by Lauren Dinan, Nongame Bird Biologist

Each spring old and new Peregrine watchers have questions about the history of the falcons at the Nebraska Capitol.  As we wait for eggs to hatch, now is a good time to provide a “brief history of the Peregrine at the Nebraska Capitol“.   This is the 10th year in a row Peregrine Falcons have nested on the 18th floor of the Nebraska State Capitol building. The first Peregrine Falcoln was observed near the State Capitol building in 1990 and a nest box was installed on the 18th floor of the Capitol building the following year. It was not until 2003 that the first eggs were layed in the nest box but these eggs never hatched. Finally in 2005,  a female named Ally, who was banded in Manitoba, Canada in 2004, and an unnamed male, who was banded in Des Moise, Iowa in 2001, successfully hatched and fledged the first chick from the Capitol building. This chick was named Pioneer. This pair of Peregrine Falcons have been the only pair to successufully raise young at the Nebraska State Capitol building. They have returned to the Capitol and nested every year since 2005. The only year this pair was unsuccessful was in 2008 when four eggs where laid but the nest failed.


This pair has successfully raised 21 chicks at the Capitol since the first successful nest in 2005.  Several of our birds hatched on the 18th floor of the Nebraska State Capitol building have been observed nesting in other cities. Boreas who was banded in 2007 and Nemaha who was banded in 2009 where observed nesting on the Westar Energy building in Topeka, Kansas in 2011 and 2012. Mintaka who was banded in 2010 has made his way to Omaha and has been nesting on the Woodmen Tower since 2012.

Ally in 2009
The female Peregrine Falcon, Ally, in 2009

Ally has laid a whopping five eggs this year and now it is time to wait and see what happens.

Nongame Bird Blog

About Joel Jorgensen

Joel Jorgensen is a Nebraska native and he has been interested in birds just about as long as he has been breathing. He has been NGPC’s Nongame Bird Program Manager for eight years and he works on a array of monitoring, research, regulatory and conservation issues. Nongame birds are the 400 or so species that are not hunted and include the Whooping Crane, Least Tern, Piping Plover, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon. When not working, he enjoys birding.

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