The four peregrine falcon chicks born atop the Nebraska State Capitol Building have names. Nemaha, Niobrara, Platte, and Calamus are the winning entries of the 2009 Name the Chicks contest, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The birds hatched in May.
Roxanne Smith, tourism supervisor at the Capitol, won the contest by suggesting the chicks be named after four Nebraska rivers. Smiths winning prize package includes a stuff-toy peregrine falcon and a one year subscription to NEBRASKAland Magazine.
Peregrine females 97/H and 98/H were given the names Nemaha and Niobrara, respectively. Male falcons 91/A and 92/A were given the names Platte and Calamus, respectively. The names were selected from 388 contest entries.
The young peregrines have recently taken their first flights around the Capitol. The young birds may still be viewed by the public on the Commissions FalconCam, a video camera mounted at the top of the State Capitol. The webcam provides direct pictures to a television in the capitol rotunda and to www.OutdoorNebraska.org.
This is the fourth successful breeding season for the pair of peregrines using the Capitol nest box. In 2005, the pair successfully raised a chick that was named Pioneer. In 2006, three chicks fledged and were given the names Willa, Bess and Sterling after famous Nebraskans Willa Cather, Bess Streeter Aldrich and J. Sterling Morton. In 2007, four chicks fledged and were named Boreas, Notus, Eurus, and Zephyrus after the four wind gods from Greek mythology that are ascribed to the cardinal directions North, South, East, and West. The 2008 nesting attempt failed.