After last week’s tragedy of losing our female falcon, Chayton, we can confirm that she was infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). This information was provided to us by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, who tested Chayton’s body shortly after her passing. HPAI moves rapidly through the body and has been spreading across the United States. It can wreak havoc on both domesticated and wild birds. It is likely that Chayton contracted HPAI through her prey.
Chayton’s eggs were disinfected and taken in by the Raptor Conservation Alliance. They will be incubated in an attempt to hatch them.
Unfortunately, this course of events means that it is unlikely there will be any eggs hatching at the WoodmenLife Tower this year. This hasn’t happened since 2000, when our male at the time, Zeus, returned to the Tower without his usual mate.
Another male, identified as Orozco, has been spending some time at the Tower with an unidentified female. Orozco has been confirmed as the nesting male at the Mutual of Omaha building in 2017 and 2021, and potentially was the Mutual male all years in between.
Mintaka, Chayton’s mate, is unhappy with this new development. He has also been spotted at the Tower. Peregrine falcons tend to be very territorial, and Mintaka has made it clear to Orozco that he won’t give up the Tower easily.
Although it is not clear if Orozco and this female will be staying, we have directed the Falcon Cam to the north-facing nest, which they seem to favor. We will continue to provide updates on these new birds and the status of Chayton’s eggs, which are being incubated by Raptor Conservation Alliance. We will continue to provide updates on our Facebook page and our Follow the Falcons blog.
We’ve been helping to protect the financial future of families like yours, making a difference in hometowns across America and honoring our country since 1890. As a not-for-profit life insurance company, we put money back into the community. We’re here when you need us most.Learn More About WoodmenLife