Violet the red-tailed hawk is safe, but she is not likely to return to Washington Square Park, said Robert Horvath, the Long Island-based raptor rehabilitator with Wildlife In Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation, the nonprofit that is caring for the bird.
In a telephone interview on Tuesday, Mr. Horvath said Violet had been seen by a veterinarian and they were waiting for the results of blood work, which would determine the next steps. Aside from her leg problems, which include one necrotic foot and another that has been infected with bumblefoot, he said Violet seemed to be in good spirits.
“She’s not lethargic; she’s not depressed,” he said, adding that she was “soaring like a champ” on Saturday, the day she was captured in Washington Square Park. But she has a long road to recovery ahead, and the Horvaths said they were committed to seeing her through.
“Our goal wasn’t to capture her and euthanize her,” he said.
After netting the mother hawk, Mr. and Mrs. Horvath took Violet to their home in North Massapequa, N.Y., where she is resting in a large covered carrier and eagerly feeding on antibiotics wrapped in mice. Because she is in the care of a licensed rehabilitator, state officials have had no involvement in her treatment.
Violet’s leg troubles were first noticed by viewers of the Hawk Cam on City Room in May, shortly after Pip, her offspring, emerged from her shell. Violet’s right leg, which also had a wildlife band awkwardly wedged on her shin, got caught in what appeared to be a fishing line, causing her foot to swell.
The Horvaths offered to find a way to lure her from the nest on the 12th floor of New York University’s Bobst Library, but the university turned the matter over to the state instead. Ultimately, a group of experts called in by the State Department of Environmental Conservation decided it was too risky to step in, given the positioning of the nest and Violet’s then week-old baby.
Mr. Horvath maintains that the decision not to intervene in May was “the coward’s way out,” and contributed to Violet’s worsening condition.
“To make no attempt at all was the wrong action,” he said.
John Beckman, a spokesman for New York University, said the decision not to remove Violet from the nest was much more complicated.
“There were difficult judgments involved that seems obvious even to an expert,” Mr. Beckman said, “but it would be regrettable if any of the people who have been involved in the care and concern and welfare of these birds started indulging in recrimination. Because what unites everybody — the concern for the welfare of these birds — was much greater than what divided them.”
Bobby, Violet’s mate, is apparently coping well bachelorhood. And he may not be alone for long.
Members of the Hawk Cam chat room are calling the new female, known in hawk parlance as a formel, Noelle, for her Christmas timing. Others have suggested the name Rosie, for her red coloring. But it is too soon to tell if she will be “the one.”
According to D. Bruce Yolton, who writes a blog called Urban Hawks, there is no sign the two birds have mated.
Referring to the Upper East Side red-tails who were temporarily evicted from their perch overlooking Central Park in 2004, he wrote: “Certainly the ups and downs of Pale Male choosing a new mate last year should caution us not to say this is definitely the next mate. A lot can happen between now and March.”