Thursday, April 01, 2010

Beautiful Athena Has Died

Photograph by Donegal Browne
In the moment above Athena had just brought her foster son Hous his dinner.
Athena of the Astoria Park Triborough Bridge nest has died. She leaves behind her bonded mate of years, Atlas and a nest with eggs. This is how the story unfolded--
First, Wildlife Rehabilitator Bobby Horvath--

I received a vague call today from Animal Control. They dropped off a redtailed hawk at AMC [Animal Medical Center]. After numerous phone calls to the hospital, the regular dr. and tech we usually deal with were both off today I decided to drive in to pick it up.

After an hour and a half drive and waiting another 45 minutes there since nobody was able to find the injured hawk the office manager finally came over to me and apologized for the confusion but another dr. from AMC actually drove the bird to Animal General since AMC had nobody experienced to handle the bird. I called from the road and Cathy called Animal General and spoke with Karen to get particulars. It was an older huge bird she said and banded . It is Athena-- we traced her back by her band and we are trying to get her back tonight . If not tomorrow the latest. She has head trauma, blood coming from her mouth and a leg injury as well. I know she was . Forget it all, As I Am writing Cathy just told me she died there. I'm sorry I'll find out more.


From Jules Corkery, one of the first watchers and a faithful guardian of Athena, Atlas, their nests, and their fledglings--

Hi All
I know Bobby is at work and Cathy might not have had a chance to be on line tonight. Peter, who was of great assistance to the Horvaths
tonight, might not have had a chance to report either.
I will just add to the information that Bobby reported earlier today
only because I realized from Jeff's post that it might not be clear
how she died. According to Cathy, Athena was probably hit by a car on the Triborough Bridge.
It's an amazing story and I would rather the people who were involved tell it.

Thank you, Bobby, Cathy, Peter, and the fire department for stepping
in to help Atlas now that his mate is gone.

She was an incredible bird. Let's a pair they had 8 fledges that we know of as well as a few adopted little stinkers. I'll never forget watching her from the comfort of my kitchen during a 3 day long nor'easter storm April 2007 when she sat on her nest protecting her eggs from that powerful wind and snow. Graceful, smart, and so impressive.

I have a few pictures from this evening but I need to lighten them up a little so you can actually see them. Will post asap.


My sympathy to all and thanks to those who tried to save her. Athena was well loved by many including myself, and she will be missed.



Smokey said...

Dear Sir, I am Smokey of Smokeysmountain in the Diablo Valleys of California and I follow this blog... This is a bummer about Athena ... :(

Donegal Browne said...

Indeed it truly is.

Margot said...

Truly heart breaking. Athena will be missed by so many. Maybe this would be a good time to put up signs advising drivers to watch out for hawks. That New York ahs a good number of Redtails should be something for New Yorkers to be proud of and want to protect.

Margot Treybig

Karen Anne said...

I am so sorry. I hope she is with Hous.

When there is time, I would like to know what they meant about helping Atlas? And I guess the eggs now have no chance?

Donegal Browne said...


A number of people have asked and so to avoid repetition. I'll post the answer in tonight's blog entry.

Donegal Browne said...


The city did lower the speed limit in deference to the hawks on the road near the Riverside Nest, for which they deserve thanks. People weren't exactly respectful of the speed change and two eyasses were hit by cars.

I think that signs with a hawk on them similar to those for deer, moose, and other road crossers might help people register that the reduction in speed has a specific real REASON, and perhaps help them lighten up that foot. along with the speed reduction. I realize there would be added cost to the city in the creation of these unique signs. I keep hoping that perhaps some benefactor will step in and underwrite them.

Karen Anne said...


How much would those signs cost? Perhaps we could all chip in? Can the city accept money for a specific purpose?