Thursday, May 12, 2011


Hawk Cam | Rescue of Violet Is Planned for Thursday

According to the New York Times City Room Blog, around midday, Chris Nadereski, who specializes in Peregrine Falcons, will attempt to capture Violet with a baited trap placed near the nest but not on it.

According to report, at this point there is very little chance that Violet will be returned to the nest. If she is taken so too will be the eyass. Once at the Bronx Zoo, the formel and her eyass will be separated from each other for "treatment". What are these people thinking?

Not only that but they appear to be considering taking down their nest. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE????

I so dearly wish that the Horvaths had been allowed to treat Violet before her foot got so bad, plus they have vast amounts of hands on experience with just this sort of thing with this specific species, Red-tailed Hawks. And lest we forget they really like animals, are extremely nurturing , and empathetic. Instead the whole thing has rather turned into a fatcat politico ego feast.

Be aware that what John Blakeman really said has been cut so much it has been reduced into the print equivalent of sound bites. With the same result, the gist and flavor of what he actually said, is rather altered.

Below see link, read the today's post of the matter for yourself. Then come back here and read the following which I left in their comments section.

Below find the comment I posted to the comments section on the page abov.

Though I would have much preferred that Violet's band-gone-bad had been removed immediately when the problem was discovered while she still had some use of her foot and was mobile, at least it will now be removed and perhaps she will have a chance to live.

If Violet and her eyass do have to be relocated to the Bronx Zoo, why would they be separated for treatment? Is it that Violet's strong instinct to protect the eyass might be dangerous to care givers? Or that Violet would be too incapacitated at this point to care for the eyass properly? Or?

Regarding the the baited trap that is to be placed near the nest but not on it. At what distance will it be placed?

I have been taking field notes on Red-tailed Hawk pairs and their nests, both urban and rural, for the past seven years, and it has come to my attention that there appears to be a \"no kill\" zone, rather like an invisible bubble encompassing an unseen perimeter surrounding the nest, in which prey is neither hunted nor killed, It will be interesting to see Bobby and Violet's behavior and if the prey within the trap will be \"killed\", depending on the distance from the nest.

Ordinarily the only creatures attacked within the no kill zone are possible nest intruders. Perhaps the trap itself will be seen as an intruder and therefore a parent will be trapped after all and the ruse successful.

Speaking of which, since Bobby is currently the dominant hunter of the pair, as that is the tiercel's chief occupation at this point in the season with a sitting formel and very young eyass on the nest, how can you be sure that it won't be Bobby who is trapped instead of Violet?

I have read that Bobby and Violet's nest may be destroyed. Why would that be considered? Bobby will still be in residence even if Violet has to remain at the Bronx Zoo. As you know Bobby will frantically look and call for Violet, unless he has seen her taken away but eventually Bobby's bond with Violet will fade and the nest will be a draw for Bobby to attract the best new mate possible in the pool of females.

Good nest locations in urban environments are at a real premium. Bobby and Violet managed to make their nest stick to a window ledge without sides or anchors and Bobby and his new mate might not be so lucky next time. Nest materials are also at a real premium in urban environments. The addition of a second year's worth of materials on top of those from the first plus more practice in copulation, could well mean a hatch of the full clutch next year.

I realize that the reinterpretation of International Migratory Bird Treaty allows the destruction of nests when they aren't \"in use\" but why would we as humans want to destroy a nest?

Pale Male and the nesting urban Red-tails that have followed in his lead with their hawk cams and their intimate view of raptor family life are the absolute best ambassadors for nature that we have in a world where nature has become so distant from the lives of most people that they've never even seen it. They don't know what will be missing if it disappears so have no urge to preserve it. But those who watched Bobby and Violet making their way in the metropolis, going about their normal hawk business of setting up housekeeping and starting a family will never feel the same about catching a momentary glimpse of a distant soaring hawk. That is no insignificant speck in the sky. That is a beautiful creature with a life, a personality, a mate, hopes for offspring, who deserves a place on this earth.

Whatever the despair of the moment, we eventually remember that next year come January, Bobby and even Violet (As Ben Cacace, one of the original watchers of Pale Male said, \"Never underestimate a Red-tail.\"), yes, Violet may convalesce and be back in time for January courting.

No this season will likely have no grand triumphant ending. As Marie Winn, author of Red-tails in Love, has so often said, Hawk watching is exaltation and despair. Though now many of us feel despair about how things are likely to turn out this season. Think back a little, this year has surely had exaltation. Think of the day that one of the unhatchable eggs developed a crack and what? Before long that little bobble headed two tiered puff of fluff appeared and his mother fed him. Now there's a big fat wow if I ever say one!.

Yes there is no question that at this moment despair may be the feeling that ends the season for this nest.

But as any hawk watcher will tell you, even in the midst of despair, even if Violet disappears for awhile to regain her health, if in New York City one can head down to Washington Square Park to see what Bobby is up to and where ever you are, there are hawk pairs nesting somewhere nearby and perhaps you could find out how their year is going.

And there is always, always the thought that the next hawk season will come round again with it's own share of new exaltations.

Donegal Browne


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your considered and educated comments. It is good to hear a voice of reason in this distressing situation. I too hope that sense will prevail, and the powers that be will place Violet and her chick back on the nest immediately after removal of the band and whatever brief treatment can be made.

cathryn said...

Hi Donegal,
Thanks for your post. I'm really concerned about this decision. I can't figure out why NYU called in the DEC (well, other than the university being a bureaucratic, kiss-up-to-government-whenever-possible entity) and why the DEC always seems to turn to the wrong sources.

I wrote about this today on my Washington Square Park blog, remembering Hal the coyote -

Thanks for your great blog and site!


Anonymous said...

The DEC and "various experts" are a**holes. I think NYU might have been in collusion with them because they are paranoid about "risk". It's like a mother who will not allow her child to do much of anything, "Oh, you might get hurt, dirty, tired." I really can't stand the DEC and their cronies-NO- I HATE THEM! My vitriole will be communicated in a letter and they need to hear it.

Donegal Browne said...

Thanks Cathryn,

I too feel that an intervention should have taken place immediately. Rehabber Bobby Horvath has said he will attempt to remove Violet's band off the nest though it will be much harder to capture her for that few minutes it will take to remove it and treat her once Pip has fledged and she is no longer married to the nest.