The remains of a familiar Capitol peregrine falcon found in Lincoln yard

By: - November 6, 2022 3:22 pm

The peregrine falcon, 19/K (Courtesy of Joel Jorgensen, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission)

LINCOLN — A longtime feathered friend of the State Capitol, 19/K, has been confirmed dead.

A Lincoln resident recently discovered the remains of a male peregrine falcon in a yard.

Nebraska Game and Parks NonGame Bird Program Manager Joel Jorgensen confirmed that it was 19/K, who had been a fixture at the Capitol nearly 20 years before going missing in 2020. 

“We’re not tracking them all the time,” Jorgensen said. “So that’s what made this kind of unusual is to find the remains after such a long time.” 

The peregrine falcon and a mate named Ally began nesting at the Capitol building in the early 2000s. In 2005, their stay took an unprecedented and sentimental turn when they became the first resident pair to produce young, the only pair at the Capitol to have done so successfully. 

They fledged numerous eyas during their residency at the Capitol.

After 19/K went missing in 2020, he was presumed dead, having surpassed the lifespan of the average peregrine falcon.

Someone found Ally with a broken leg northwest of Lincoln and she was taken in by the Raptor Conservation Alliance in Elmwood.

More recently, a new male peregrine falcon, or tarcel, was spotted at the Capitol but has not yet attracted a female. 

Peregrine falcon: 

  • Mass: 0.73-2.2 pounds (male), 1.5-3.3 pounds (female) 
  • Wingspan: 2.4 feet-3.9 feet (adult)
  • Length: 13 inches-23 inches (adult)
  • Speed: 240 mph (maximum, diving)
  • Lifespan: 16-20 years

The peregrine falcon’s population decreased dramatically in the middle of the 20th century, primarily due to DDT, an insecticide used in agriculture. In 1970, they became endangered under the Endangered Species and Conservation Act of 1969. After the EPA banned DDT in 1972, efforts were launched, such as the Peregrine Fund, to revive the population. 

In 1999 the peregrine falcon was removed from the endangered species list. 

The Capitol’s peregrine falcon nest box can be watched on the Nebraska Game and Parks constant livestream



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Jazari Kual
Jazari Kual

Jazari Kual is a senior majoring in journalism and broadcasting media production at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before interning at the Nebraska Examiner, he interned at Flatwater Free Press. He also owns and operates a video company. Jazari is bilingual, with fluency in English and Arabic.