Washington Square on Wednesday
Positive Signs At Fifth Avenue

Lost Opportunity

This female Red-tailed hawk at Washington Square had problems last Friday when she was caught in some string.  At that time, it was also clear that she had problems with the bird band on her right leg.

It was determined that she was having problems with her foot.  Athough the band might not have been the cause of her problem, it clearly wasn't helping her recovery.  (In the last week, pictures were collected and the circulation problems seem to have existed for at least six months with this female.)

Today, the N.Y.S. DEC had a number of experts at N.Y.U. who spent time an hour on the roof without any of the necessary equipment to assist the female, if that was warranted.  So, it seems preordained that nothing was going to be done today.

It's unfortunate.  This week was the perfect time to remove the band.  The mother didn't need to keep eggs warm, the eyass was small enough it could not be frightened off the nest, and the mother would attack anyone coming near the nest, so it would be fairly easy to catch her.  Any other time of the year, it will be very difficult to catch her.

So, the window to remove her band and make her life more comfortable is almost gone.  I hate it when protecting your goverment job trumps being humane. 

Someone should open the bathroom window near the nest, and as she defends the nest, catch her.  Then remove the band and return her to her nest.  I don't understand why this action is not being taken.  If she doesn't let herself get caught, no harm, and if she can easily be caught her tight band can be removed.

In the pictures below, you can see that Bobby has two missing secondary feathers on his right wing.  This is a great temporary field mark to tell him apart from Violet.  It will go away this summer when he molts and gains new feathers.