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Near miss

On Friday, I got up early in the morning to follow up on a Whooping Crane report in Polk County.  On my way up there, I encountered two Peregrine Falcons close to North Lake Basin Wildlife Management Area near Utica.  One of the birds was on a dead American Coot on a county road and the other took off.  The bird on the kill on the road remained and I was able to capture a few photos.

The time I had with the bird was brief and as it sat on the road my focus was on snapping pictures.  It wasn’t until I got home and looked at the photos that I noticed the bird was banded.   Photos of the bird in flight clearly show the bands.

On the bird’s right leg was a standard silver USGS band and on its left leg was the auxiliary marker (color band).  The auxiliary marker was entirely red with white lettering.  This is a type of band we have not used in Nebraska during my tenure (which is twelve years).  Thus, the bird is not a local bird.  Unfortunately, I am unable to read the alphanumeric combination on any of the my photos, so the bird’s identity will remain unknown.

It was neat to see this bird and intriguing to ponder where it might have originated, but I’m bummed about falling short with the band read.  Such is life.

Good birding!

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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