The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


Video: It’s two girls and a boy!

May 29, 2020 | Laura King-Homan | environment, falcons, North Omaha
peregrine falcon chicks

The three peregrine falcon chicks at OPPD’s North Omaha Station (NOS) falcon box are sporting some new accessories – bands on their legs.

Over Memorial Day weekend, a licensed handler weighed and banded the chicks, with the assistance of plant personnel. It is believed that two of the chicks are female and one male. The falcon box is located high on a stack at the plant, so maneuvering the chicks out of the box and into an enclosed space for weighing required careful work.

They may be falcons, but Lewis and Clark are still protective parents. The duo kept a close eye on the process from start to finish, as you can see in this video.

About the banding

Peregrine falcon chicks are banded when they are between 22 and 30 days old. At that age, the chicks are the size of an adult, but have not gained their adult, flight feathers. The bands provide valuable information to researchers about survival rates, location and population growth rates.

A band has a unique nine-digit code to help identify the bird in the future.

Several years ago, a band helped identify the mother at NOS, Clark. They believed she was male when she was banded as a chick. Weight and other measurements help identify the falcon’s gender. Over time, it became apparent Clark was a female. She has lived at the OPPD plant’s falcon box for several years now, and just this year her sibling, Lewis, joined her.

ENV_NOS Falcon Banding_Chick headshots_05252020

Help us name them

With their new bands, the three falcon chicks now need names to assign to their bands and enter in the falcon registry.

OPPD wants the public’s help in naming the birds. Visit the utility’s Facebook page and vote in the naming contest. The contest will run through June 11. OPPD will announce the winning names on social media and The Wire on June 12.

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About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is the supervisor, Brand and Communication Operations, at Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Laura King-Homan >

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