Saturday, May 14, 2011

More Comments Regarding Violet Plus Silver Watches the Hawk Cam

Blogger has been down. I've got quite a backlog so I’m making numerous small postings. So keep checking back and scroll down to make sure you've seen the previous posts of the day.

I don't know if Quicksilver happened to be on my shoulder at some point when I was reading the New York Times blog and saw the cat watching Violet, but today upon leaving Silver on his living room perch and retreating to the kitchen for a few minutes I returned to find him on my desk. (BAD bird! Very bad bird!) He was completely fixated by Violet and not altogether comfortable. See the raised feathers on his neck.

But he wasn't totally freaking out either. We live on the 27th floor in NYC, and once in a very great while a hawk will fly past the windows. At which time Silver will scream AWWKKK!!!, and fling himself to the floor. It's the only time I've suspected that Grey's might actually have a wired in alarm call. Otherwise no matter how frightened, he speaks English.

So it was very interesting watching him watch the hawk. He had some trepidation, hence the puffed neck feathers looking at the image of Violet, but not the trepidation he'd have had if he thought the hawk was actually there in the flesh. I've always wondered what he thought of the images on television. When bored he'll say, "Wanna watch TV" and he does want to. But it is also his phrase for telling me he wants to go back into the house if he's outside and doesn't want to be.

Strange speaking to another species who obviously thinks and is capable of communicating in my language but somehow at times how his thinking works and how he puts things together is just...well...different.

Don't they appear to be looking at each other? Images can lie.

Enough musing. Back to business.

Mai Stewart, long time contributor of many years to several of New York City's hawk blogs from an email received 5/12, expresses her opinion about the lack of removal of Violet's bad band and has collected a number of interesting comments from various blogs for others to read in case they missed them on the original sites.

What's going on is unconscionable. The DEC is a complete disaster, just wanting control while at the same time being one of the most incompetent and irresponsible governmental agencies I've ever heard about.

In that regard, I've copied below 4 blog postings (3 from today,1 from yesterday) (any red highlighting is mine) (all of which you may already have seen) because they stood out to me (except perhaps #24, para 3). (

(The first blog posting that Mai included has already been posted earlier so I have excised it from this post. D.B.)

The problem is, I don't see what can be done to light a fire under the DEC, which now has the control, having been ceded it by NYU, to get that band and whatever else is there removed from Violet's foot/leg so that her foot/leg can begin to heal.



From: City Room | Hawk Cam Rescue on the Ledge -- Readers' Comments 5/12/11


JH -- Virginia -- May 12th, 2011 -- 8:44 pm

So now the people at the DEC have decide to do nothing again.

I wish that a real raptor expert would be called in. Someone who knows about the birds and not just a vet who may not even be an avian expert.

Doesn't the US Fish and Wildlife Service have final control in these situations and shouldn't they be consulted? I have just sent them an email informing them of the situation so, if they do have the ultimate say, they will be aware of what it going on with the DEC.

46. Trev, Bronx, NY -- May 11th, 2011 5:56 pm --

I am not a vet but as an MD with surgical expertise, following this sad drama, I am hopeful. Looking at some closeups of Violet's leg, I am fairly certain that the arterial circulation to the foot is not or only minimally is the venous and lymphatic vessel return that is compromised, hence the swelling. There seems to be no infection and Viiolet seems to be in general good health otherwise, able to fly, hunt and feed and shows no lethargy, malaise or other evidence of systemic illness. I believe that if the band is removed and wounds, if any, cleaned,and Violet is returned to the nest, the swelling will resolve quickly as venous and lymphatic circulation is restored....this opinion is of course based on human not avian experience,...hope all goes well...
Trev Greene

Bruce Yolton post 5/12/11

Tonight was a delightful evening in Washington Square. Bobby was present most of the evening and Violet took a break from the nest.

The New York Times reports that Chris Nadereski and a vet from the Bronx Zoo will be on hand tomorrow afternoon to remove Violet's band. We'll see how they do. Both of these individuals aren't normally doing rehabilitation work with Red-tailed Hawks in New York City.

In general, the N.Y.S. D.E.C. chooses folks who have excellent curriculum vitae when the press is involved, rather than experienced but less credentialed individuals. Those who know the true details of the coyote Hal's death will understand what I'm talking about.

Update: No action was taken on Thursday. I have no details. I would suggest keeping an eye on the New York Times blog. Although her leg doesn't seem normal, she is no longer knuckling her talons. This is a good sign.

I can't be sure that Bruce Yolton (Urban Hawks) and I are referring to the same behavior in Violet but I have observed that the parents of very young eyasses always knuckle their talons under when near their young. Perhaps Violet has changed her behavior now because Solo the eyass is slightly older or is it that she can no longer knuckle her foot?

Earlier today I was capturing images off the HawkCam on the NYU Library feed. Violet was feeding Solo, all was well until Violet attempted to lift her swollen foot. She was unable to get it off the twig she was perching on for a few moments.

It appeared that the pressure of her weight had pressed the twig up tightly into the split between her swollen "toes". Her foot was stuck. After a momentary pause and a few good pulls she was able extricate it.

Unfortunately she then stepped over into the big wad of fishing line as she rounded the edge of the nest. It caught on her foot, brought her up a little short, which caused her to loose her balance with her limited use of one of her feet and she lurched forward. Only by whipping her wings out could she regain her balance and avoid falling onto the eyass.

To the good, her down and up movements seemed to disentangle her foot from the ubiquitous mono filament and she was able to continue round the edge of the nest and get into position to brood her eyass without further mishap. D.B.

I do have some blurry cam photos which document most of the above and will post them later today.

Donegal Browne

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