We have eggs! The WoodmenLife Tower falcons have laid their first two eggs. According to the time-lapse photos taken by our falcon-cam viewers, it looks like the first egg was laid on Easter morning at approximately 4:00am, and the second eg was laid on Tuesday morning, March 29 between 8 and 10 am. We do hope we will have a few more, so we're keeping a close eye on the nest. In 2015, the resident falcon couple completed their family with 4 eggs.
If you can tell from the photo, it is clear that mom is unbanded, however, we think she has been injured in the past. Side-angle pictures clearly show an injury above her wing. Interestingly enough, Hera,also unbanded and last seen in the nest in 2014, had a similar injury... could it be? In her previous residency, she laid 37 eggs over 9 years, so it very well could be her.
The WoodmenLife Falcon season is well underway. Keep up with it by viewing the WoodmenLife Falcon-Cam and follow the falcons on Twitter.
Well, it's been a few weeks since we were introduced to both the male and the female in the WoodmenLife Tower nest. However, there's not been much activity recently. Every time we check out the nest, we will see one or the other, but not both. The male falcon seems to like the north nest, as we find him perched on it quite frequently. Last year, we saw our first egg on March 26, so we are hoping to see an egg soon, but the female doesn't seem particularly interested in "nesting."
Also, for those interested in our 2015 chicks, Last fall, we tried to release Charlotte off the roof of the Tower, but she had a tough time taking flight so she was taken back to the Raptor Recovery for additional rehab. We recently spoke with Denise at Fontenelle Forest's Raptor Recovery Refuge, who updated us that because she was deemed non-releasable by HDZ earlier this year, Charlotte will be on permanent display the Raptor Woodlands Refuge. While we are disappointed she won't be in her true habitat, we are happy she will be safe and secure in the refuge.
It looks like we have some new Peregrine neighbors moving into the WoodmenLife North Falcon Nest. And while they haven't introduced themselves by allowing us a clear shot of their bands, we can make a few assumptions from some recent photos taken by avid falcon-watchers on our WoodmenLife Falcon Cam:
2/19: Thanks to Falcon Watcher "Terka" who was able to get the clearest shot of our current male falcon -- the band appears to be 19K. For those of you who don't know the history. 19K, Mintaka's father and who, for many years, has been the "lord of the manor" in Lincoln, NE at the capitol building, was the male that challenged Mintaka in April, 2015 for the nest and was soundly kicked out. See the video.
3/6: Falcon-watcher "Lisa" got a good picture of both falcons in the nest, and assuming the one IN the nest is 19K, the falcon perched on the side of the nest would be an unbanded female. Charity, our female from 2015, was unbanded as well.
The WoodmenLife Tower Falcons officially received their names on June 16, following a Facebook vote. The names are:
The winning names were submitted by Sandra Phillips of Macedonia, Ohio.
WoodmenLife hosted its annual falcon chick-naming contest on the organization’s Facebook business page. Fans entered groups of four names, and five finalist name groups were determined by an internal WoodmenLife Committee. The finalists were re-posted on the Facebook page, and the winner was determined by popular fan votes.
Unfortunately, just a few short days after being named, Lily (B/90) (shown below) was found dead on the 5th floor balcony roof of the WoodmenLife Tower. It appears that she hit a window.
The remaining birds continue to fly off the roof of the WoodmenLife Tower and are routinely rescued when they land – which is normal. Birds have been recovered from the sidewalk, alleyway, parking garage, nearby Courthouse lawn and the 5th floor balcony. Each time, the birds are recovered and placed on the WoodmenLife Tower roof where mom and dad continue to feed and nurture them.
The fourth young falcon has been found! The missing falcon was found alive and well in an alley between the WoodmenLife Tower and the World Building. So it looks like the first two flights have ended successfully.
After consulting with Fontonelle Forest Raptor Recovery, both the falcon on the 5th floor and the one that landed in the ally were recovered and released on the roof of the WoodmenLife Tower. It should not take Mom and Dad long to find them up there.
This is normal behavior for the falcons when they are learning to fly. The young birds will make that first leap, flap their wings and discover they are not strong enough to return to the nest. So, they glide down to a landing.
In the past, young falcons have been found on sidewalks, streets, alleys and rooftops in downtown Omaha.
Below are images of the two falcons -- band numbers B86 and H31 -- after being released on the WoodmenLife Tower Roof. They don't seem very happy about it.
It looks like the young falcons are starting to fly the coup, literally. Sunday morning, one of the female falcons accidentally hopped out of the nest and over the side causing concern among falcon watchers.
The falcon managed to land safely on the fifth floor balcony. Mom knows where the bird is and will continue to care for the youngster. Raptor Recovery officials advise that the bird will eventually fly back to the nest or to another building.
Two more falcons are on the 28th floor ledge and can be seen in cameras 1 and 2. They should soon join their big sister in making their first flight. The whereabouts of the fourth falcon is unknown. We suspect she successfully completed her first flight and is perched on a nearby building.
As the birds continue to grow and strengthen their wings, they will make longer and longer flights. And soon, Mom and Dad will be teaching them how to hunt for food.
The WoodmenLife Tower Falcons have grown considerably in the short time since Banding Day. They've grown so much that the nest box can't hold them all any more.
One of the falcons has already left the nest and is on the ledge. The other falcons routinely perch on the edge of the nest and will be leaving soon.
Once out of the nest, you will see the falcons flapping their wings. They are strengthening the wings in preparation for their first flight. It won't be long now. In a few short weeks, all four of the falcons will be flying and learning how to pounce on their prey in mid-air.
Today was banding day at the Woodmen Tower as workers from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery came to inspect and band the young falcons.
The falcons had blood drawn, were dusted for mites and banded. They then posed for the family group photo below. The three females and one male were all pronounced healthy.
You can help name the 2015 falcons by joining the Falcon Naming Contest on the Woodmen Facebook page http://bit.ly/1F5Lw3I.
In case you missed it, late Wednesday all four falcon eggs hatched! Here's a glimpse of mom and her new babies.
Newly-hatched peregrine falcons are called "eyas". If you are lucky, you can see mom and dad feeding the young in the morning and afternoons.
The first egg hatched around 4 p.m., Wednesday, May 6, and the remaining eyas followed close behind.