Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Violet's Foot--It Didn't Have To Turn Out This Way

11/26/2011 Lincoln Karim's photo of Violet of Washington Square's ligated foot. And his link to the video below.

This did not have to happen.

Wonderful, extensively experienced rehabbers, Bobby and Cathy Horvath volunteered to remove Violet from the nest on the Bobst Library for a few minutes back in the Spring. A time when she would have been easy to catch bonded to the nest as she was and a time in which wee Pip was still too little to move anywhere yet and was therefore in very small jeopardy of being tumped off the edge The Horvath plan was for Bobby to climb out a nearby window, get onto the nest, take Violet to Cathy who was waiting inside, go in right after her, and treat Vi right there. Nip off that offending band and possible extenuating problem of fish line that was squeezing the life out of her foot, treat her and have her back to her young eyass and agitated mate in likely 15 minutes or less.

Bobby Horvath has gone onto nests for various Samaritan reasons many times over many years. He's the NYC expert, the best record, when it comes to this sort of thing and may well be the World Expert when it comes to urban Red-tail nests hands down. I mean how many cities have had urban Red-tails that were cared for by it's citizens for longer than New York City has?

None I know of.

But no, the Horvaths were precluded from doing what was the best by a cadre of various experts. Experts no doubt very knowledgeable in their fields but their fields were and are not the ins and outs of urban Red-tail nests and urban Red-tail behavior.

I've made it my business to watch closely over years both human habituated Urban Hawk nesting behavior and non-human habituated Rural Hawk nesting behavior and the behavior is very very different.

The top NYC Hawk Watchers know much that isn't in the Red-tail literature or is ever viewed anywhere else other than in a city environment as do the major NYC Raptor Rehabilitators.

We need to learn to trust those who know the ropes of a specific environment and the specific behavior of the hawks that live there and use that knowledge day in and day out.

If I'm going to climb Everest do I find someone with advanced degrees concerning mountains? Heaven's no. I get the guy who's gone up and down the hill a few jillion times to show me the way.

And for more frequent updates on Violet and Bobby, the Washington Square Hawks, visit the blog of one of their main watchers--


Donegal Browne


Anonymous said...

Just found out about this and am heartbroken as is everyone else who has followed Violet, Bobby and PiP. Thanks for your thoughts, hopefully Vi can be captured and rehabbed.

Sally said...

As upsetting as this situation is, I think we still need to know for certain if the current situation is due to the band or not, if that can be determined. I wish Bobby had been allowed to handle it in the spring, as you mentioned he wanted to do, back when the situation was different and obviously less serious than it is now. If indeed the leg is injured ABOVE the band, as it appears it might even be broken by the angle of the foot to the leg and the horrible way it dangles, the injury appears to be above the band now, even though the foot looks horrible, is it possible that whatever is going on now is totally unrelated to the band? I certainly have no more experience than anyone who watches these magnificent birds. Indeed the urban red tails are a different "breed" than their rural counterparts, as Blakeman has oft observed.

Donegal Browne said...

As is said in New York City, "From your mouth to God's ear."

Donegal Browne said...

Hi Sally,

I think without a hands on exam of Violet it's tough to know exactly what is going on but whatever it is, as you say, it's worse now.

Anything is possible when you can't get close enough to get a good look. There may even be a twist of that old fish line that was on the nest still on her leg for all we can tell.

I don't think anyone knows what access will be by the time Spring rolls around as the Horvarths weren't allowed access last Spring.

Anonymous said...

I've been following this since early last spring, and I agree with Donegal Browne, this did not have to happen. I read a long piece by Mr. Blakeman who has an adamant attitude that she will die, and that nothing can be done. I completely disagree. This whole thing shouldn't be happening at all. At this point I believe because of this city's inaction Violet will probably die. We've waited too long. So I'm preparing myself. The Horvaths absolutely could have taken Violet from the ledge in the spring. I had a similar plan of my own in mind: hold Violet, and right on the site remove that band. I had ideas about using a ladder to reach the ledge, and having a partner to help, Cathy Horvath. I considered having a black hood quickly placed over Violet's head to keep her calm. I agree with you. The whole procedure could have taken only 15 minutes. At this point I believe Mr. Blakeman should step aside. None of his suggestions have helped save Violet. In the spring he suddenly "appeared" as an "expert," however, as you say, "If I'm going to climb Everest do I find someone with advanced degrees concerning mountains? Heaven's no. I get the guy who's gone up and down the hill a few jillion times to show me the way." This is an appalling tragedy that's breaking my heart. I love birds so much, especially raptors. It may be too late now, but if it's possible, we must get a look at her leg, and do it quickly. The Horvaths should never have been precluded from doing what all these so called "experts" said. As Donegal says, they may be experts in their chosen fields, but they don't know anything about urban Red-tail behaviour. My name is Carlene. I live on the Upper West Side, and I've been watching this horrific drama unfold since the beginning. I fell in love with that sweet little family, Violet especially. Always smiling up at the camera. Happy and filled with joy. What a terrible and entirely preventable tragedy this is.