Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Images for Comparison of NYU/Washington Square Red-tailed Hawk -Violet's Leg from March 12, 2010, October 30, 2010, and May 6 & 7 2011

Photograph courtesy of Zach L.
March 12, 2010
This was the original photo
in which I noted that the formel (Now named Violet.) of the Red-tail pair building a nest on 1 Fifth Avenue was banded.

Photograph cropped and lightened for a better view.
There is some swelling visible below the band. The band is obviously tight though she was doing nest building chores without obvious problems.

And a closer crop.

Photograph courtesy of palemale.com
My apologies to the photographer for adjusting the photo below for purposes of documentation.

October 30, 2010
6 and 1/2 months since the perched photo above. Compare her legs and feet.

October 30, 2010
Obvious swelling both above and below the constricting band. Plus unnatural positioning of the talons during flight.

Screen captures by Julia G.
Courtesy of NYU Hawk cam and The NYTimes

May 6, 2011
Approximately 6 months since the flight photograph above. The foot is bent in an unnatural angle and there is more swelling between the band and the talons. Violet appears to have less control and movement in the appendage.

Violet is the hawk on the left.

May 7, 2011
It may be positioning but Violet's foot looks more swollen and contracted than it did one day previously. She appeared to have more trouble keeping her balance on that leg on the 7th than she did on the 6th.

Even with her great attention to caring for her first eyass it is possible that Violet might loose her balance and accidentally injure or kill him.

There is little room for error or accident on a hawk's nest. Exactly the reason that if capable a hawk parent curls his or her talons completely under the foot when in the nest bowl.

The look of Violets right foot reminds me of what occurs when a city pigeon's foot becomes entangled in thread. Swelling continues to rise causing ligation, which causes more swelling, and even more ligation until eventually the foot atrophies completely and falls off.

Donegal Browne


Anonymous said...

When is the metal band constricting Violet's leg going to be removed? It's been several days now and it seems like nothing has been done???

Violet clearly appears uncomfortable based on the way she is constantly trying to shift her weight off the swollen leg.

Donegal Browne said...

The Horvaths would love to have helped Violet days ago but unfortunately various governmental bureaucracies have now become involved, including the DEC under who's licenses Bobby Horvath works as a wildlife rehabilitator. Typical of such agencies they've decided that nothing should be done for the present. Bobby feels this is the worst possible approach not only because Violet is suffering but also because the more time that passes the more mobile the eyass will become and being mobile and possibly be on the edge, more likely to knocked from the nest accidentally when the parents attempt to protect the nest against Bobby, who they will see as a dangerous intruder.