Injured peregrine falcon returns to Lincoln after recovering from injury

Published: Oct. 3, 2016 at 3:42 PM CDT
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Monday was a very exciting day at the Nebraska State Capitol. Injured peregrine falcon 19/K was re-released into the wild after recovering from an injury.

Enthusiasts gathered on the Capitol lawn to welcome the falcon back to Lincoln.

He was carried up to the 18th floor of the Capitol and let go. After that, he successfully circled around the Capitol for several minutes before landing on a ledge on the 14th floor.

The male falcon has been staying at Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery since June. He was found on the ground in Lincoln on June 6 with a dislocated elbow.

He spent the last several months being treated by Raptor Recovery and recuperating at its facility near Elmwood, Nebraska.

“They can't tell us what happened to him, but our veterinarian was able to get the elbow back into place,” said Betsy Finch, Rehabilitation Manager at Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery. “A dislocation is a very serious injury so we were lucky that he was able to be repaired.”

His mate, Alley, has been living alone since his injury. Experts say they are hopeful the two will reunite without issues.

“Based on past experience, I think they will reunite,” said Finch. “This is what happened with the Omaha peregrines about three or four years ago. The female in this case was injured and they reunited after she was released.”

19/K and Alley first nested at the capitol in 2005. They've raised 23 young falcons over the last 12 years, including this year’s lone offspring, Dinan. 19/K and Alley are the only peregrine falcons that have successfully nested at the Capitol.

You can try to catch a glimpse of the pair by clicking here.