Following the Falcons

WoodmenLife, Fontenelle Forest Partner to Tell Peregrine Falcon Success Story

WoodmenLife contributed $10,000 to Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Woodland Refuge for wildlife conservation and education.

The funds were used to purchase a series of interpretative signs that tell the story of Hera, a female peregrine falcon that nested on the 28th floor of the WoodmenLife Tower. Hera’s amazing story of recovery and release will help teach visitors about the various phases of recovery and rehabilitation.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to help educate the public about the importance of raptor conservation,” said Matt Ellis, Vice President at WoodmenLife. “Many birds like Hera survive and are able to return to the wild because of the work that Raptor Recovery does. We hope Hera’s story inspires protection and appreciation of raptors and the spaces where they live, so we can look forward to more conservation success stories in the future.”

Hera’s Story

In 2008, Hera was injured during an aerial fight with another falcon. The clutch was lost that year, but Hera was rescued by Raptor Recovery experts and after four months of rehabilitation was released from the top of the WoodmenLife Tower.


The release was a success, and Hera was reunited with her mate Zeus. The pair produced five eggs and four healthy offspring the following spring. Hera who was hatched in the wild, first nested at the WoodmenLife Tower in 2006 and is responsible for producing and raising 34 young falcons with two different males – Zeus and Mintaka.


The partnership between WoodmenLife and Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Recovery has been instrumental in aiding the Nebraska peregrine population that was once on the endangered species list. In 28 years, the WoodmenLife falcon program has hatched more than 60 chicks and continues to provide a rich source of nature education.


Niki Steier

Fueled by innovative ideas, new technology and coffee, Niki is passionate about helping sales representatives develop the skills and strategies they need to build relationships and better serve customers through social media. She received her BA in Journalism from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and her MA in Public Administration with a focus in Aviation from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Crossroads of Western Iowa Foundation. Outside of work, you can find her wake boarding, mountain biking, climbing or flying airplanes.

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