Falcon numbers rise at WoodmenLife Tower

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - The WoodmenLife Tower celebrated its latest addition Friday: baby chicks.


There are four new peregrine falcons coming to the building. For nearly three decades, the tower known for its lights doubled as a sanctuary for the breed.


In 1988, it launched an effort to re-introduce the bird in Nebraska starting with just seven living there.


Today, more than 78 chicks have hatched there, according to Angie Hempel, a writer and editor at WoodmenLife. 


About 20 days old, Nebraska Games and Parks and Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery on Friday conducted a check-up and banded the birds, which is later used for tracking when released the falcons are released into the wild.


For WoodmenLife employees, the is moment perfect for snapping pictures.


For the agencies, it also serves a greater purpose.


"A lot of information can be gleaned from a bird if it has a band,” Joel Jorgensen, a Nongame Bird Program Manager with the state game and parks commission, said. “The first year of life for these Peregrine Falcons can be tough. Only about 30 or 40 percent of Peregrine Falcons survive for the first year. But if they get passed that first year their chances of surviving a number of years is high."


With the banding all done, the “Name the Falcon” contest starts.


Submissions will be accepted from May 19 until 12 p.m. on May 26.


Voting begins June 1 and the winner will be announced on June 9, the same day voting closes. 


For more information, click here.





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