Hawk Cam | Expect No Baby Hawk Siblings (Probably)

Although we have been wrong before, we believe there will be no more miracle eyases to celebrate in Violet and Bobby’s nest.

On May 3, we pronounced all three eggs unviable, only to be forced to retract our prediction three days later.

The first shell broke open on Friday, to much surprise. Some of our readers declared it a miracle, but it’s more likely that we started the clock too soon on the incubation period, which typically runs 28 to 35 days. There can be a delay of a few days between the time the eggs are laid and the time a mother begins heating them up in earnest.

But now that we have witnessed one hatching, the facts are less obscure.

The experts we have consulted with, Bobby Horvath, a hawk rehabilitator from Long Island, and John Blakeman, of the Ohio Falconry Association, may not have agreed — or been correct — on other issues, but now they both say there is little hope for the remaining two eggs.

“You now have an accurate timetable,” Mr. Horvath said by telephone on Tuesday afternoon. “There’s no mistaking these numbers.”

Red-tailed hawks usually lay their eggs no more than two days apart, so at least one other eyas should have emerged by now, more than 104 hours (that is, more than four days) since baby No. 1 made its debut.

Unless, he added, we have “another miracle.”

In the meantime, the excitement over the blessed event has been tempered by concerns over Violet’s right leg, which has swelled to almost two to three times its normal size. The suspected cause was an ill-fitting government-issued metal wildlife identification band that had been placed on her leg several months ago. Another contributing factor may have been a string, possibly made of nylon, that became tangled on her leg and nest, further constricting blood flow.

D. Bruce Yolton, who writes the Urban Hawks blog, and who has been monitoring Violet’s situation through the clarity of a camera lens from Washington Square Park, said he suspected the wildlife band was only part of the trouble.

After receiving several e-mails from concerned readers, he noted that Violet could be seen pulling at something stuck to her leg and the nest on Friday evening.

“The problem with nylon strings and birds is that if they get wrapped around them they pull on them and that makes them tighter,” Mr. Yolton said.

Although Violet continues to care for the little one, she has had considerable trouble putting weight on the swollen foot. At feeding time, she has adopted a flamingo-like stance, curling her right talon up to her breast as she grips the edge of the nest with her left, and steadying herself with a wing as she leans over the eyas to offer it bits of rodent from her beak.

Mr. Horvath said he remained concerned about the condition of Violet’s leg and was standing by to assist the mother hawk if he is called upon by the State Department of Environmental Conservation, the agency that has taken charge of the case.

The Department had said Monday that it would monitor Violet’s situation and seek counsel from experts on whether to intervene. On Tuesday, an agency spokesman, Thomas Panzone, declined a request for an update on the agency’s plans but said he would supply one Wednesday morning.

In a statement released on Monday, the agency hesitated to take action out of concern for the eyas and the intact eggs in the nest.

Andy Newman contributed reporting.

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