The first egg appeared April 1, followed by egg #2 April 2, egg #3 April 4, egg #4 April 6, and the fifth and final egg April 8. The first crack in an egg appeared 38 days later on May 9. The first chick appeared May 10, followed by the second and third chicks May 11. Remember how cold it was that night?
The fourth chick appeared on Mother's Day, May 12, with the fifth and final chick arriving May 14.
Now the fun begins! Let's give Hera and Mintaka an "atta bird" for getting the chicks through. Stay tuned.
Congratulations to our essay contest winners Gabrielle and Ainsley! Both essays were so good we couldn't pick just one! The girls won VIP passes to Woodmen of the World's Falcon Banding and a class visit from Raptor Recovery NE (and their educational falcon)!
Read what wildlife conservation means to Gabrielle and Ainsley:
WHAT DOES WILDLIFE CONSERVATION MEAN TO ME?
By Gabrielle Swing – 5th Grade Avery Elementary
Wildlife conservation is when you protect endangered animals, plants and their habitat. It is very important to my friends and I. We learn a lot about it at school and take field trips that help us learn more. This year we went to Fontenelle Forest. I have also gone with my parents to the Bird Refuge and the Henry Doorly Zoo.
We must protect our animals and plants if we want our children to grow up in a world that includes them. We lose different species to climate change, habitat loss, pesticides, pollution, and hunting.
Omaha Nebraska’s Henry Doorly Zoo does a lot of conservation. I recently visited their Center for Conservation and Research and learned of many programs they run. I spoke to a conservation expert and she told me about the Puerto Rican Crested Toad that they’ve been working to save. Last year, they hatched here at the zoo and then transported over 9,000 tadpoles to Puerto Rico.
I also visited the Butterfly Conservation Center at the zoo. I was amazed to see hundreds of cocoons hanging from the ceiling of a room. I also saw the different stages of butterfly life and actually saw one hatch. There are 17,500 different butterfly species. 3% are going to be extinct. What would our world be without butterflies?
We must take care of our world. Humans have destroyed so many species already – we must become more responsible or eventually, it will be us that will become extinct.
WHAT DOES WILDLIFE CONSERVATION MEAN TO ME?
By Ainsley Rutledge - 3rd Grade Lewis Central Community Schools
I think that animals shouldn’t have to live somewhere else because humans and builders are destroying their land for people to have homes. The people have a home but the animals don’t. The place where the homes and buildings are now was the animals’ home first. I don’t believe that it’s fair for the animals to have to give up their home. I would feel horrible to have to leave my home just because someone destroyed it.
People are destroying animals’ homes everywhere, so soon there won’t be a lot of animals left. Many animals will become extinct because of this. There are many endangered animals that will be killed off if people aren’t more careful.
I think that we should make all of the places where animals live a place where no humans can live or build buildings. This will keep people from destroying the homes that animals lived in first. I think this would be important to do to keep the animals happy. It would be very kind to make the animals’ homes protected areas, so that people could not build in those areas.
I think that it is very important and just the right thing to do to help protect animals. A lot of people may not understand wildlife conservation, but I hope that that changes soon.
A camera focused on the nest on the ledge outside the 28th floor of the Woodmen Tower shows five eggs from Omaha's only pair of nesting Peregrine falcons. The first egg was laid on April 1, the other four following the week of April 1-9. To celebrate Earth Day (April 22, 2013), which is focused on renewing our commitment to the environment and to wildlife, Woodmen of the World encourages the public to get involved with the Woodmen Tower falcons by:
5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with the Falcons:
In 25 years, the Peregrine Falcons, once considered endangered, have successfully adapted to their urban habitat on the 28th floor of Woodmen Tower, and have multiplied well beyond the expectations of local raptor enthusiasts. Woodmen Tower falcon offspring have been spotted as far away as South America and the falcons, who once visited for only a few months at a time, now live atop the Woodmen Tower year-round, although it is difficult to say if that behavior is based on preference or the necessity to guard their hotly-contested hunting ground. Peregrine falcons will fight to the death to protect their territory.
Keep a look out for the falcons in downtown Omaha; you can occasionally see them performing their aerial acrobats. Diving at speeds of more than 180 miles per hour, they knock out unsuspecting pigeons. You can often see bits of bird carcasses in the parking lot and on the sidewalks around the building.
The public can find out more about the 25th anniversary celebration and the new falcon chicks at the web site at falcons.woodmen.org. They can also follow the Woodmen Falcons through their Twitter account @WoodmenFalcons.