So sad to hear WSP Resident Mama Hawk Violet has died


Violet at the Horvath's

It happened yesterday afternoon — The Horvath’s announcement via their Facebook page:

We are extremely heart sick to have to announce to everyone that Violet has passed away . She came through the surgery very well. She woke up and was sitting up fluffing her feathers. All of a sudden she had a heart attack. The Vet did CPR on her for 20 minutes to no avail. xrays showed that at some point after her right foot had deteriorated, her left femur was broken. We don’t know how she ever survived for as long as she did. We are somewhat relieved that at least Violet wasn’t suffering alone somewhere. She was warm, peaceful and had a full belly and pain medication.We just couldn’t get her in time.

I felt like in the last week many of the hawk bloggers commenters – and I so appreciate all their amazing coverage! – were so anxious that Bobby have a new mate that Violet was quickly becoming forgotten. I know it may not be always popular to say that it would have been better than she never had a leg band and that she was attended to sooner but both are true.  At the same time, I know when you do any kind of animal or wildlife rescue, it’s so easy to doubt yourself and look back over every decision wondering if it was the right one.

I just hope in the future the powers that be – whether it’s NYU or a governmental agency – can work with others who may have supplemental and additional knowledge that can help the situation. Sometimes it’s so easy, in any field, for people to believe they are such “experts” that they end up ignoring those who are ‘in the trenches.’ We all need to work together.

The New York Daily News reports: [Cathy Horvath] “said they are considering burying Violet in Washington Square Park, where she and her mate often sat in trees, hunting for rats.”

And the Horvaths wrote on Facebook today:

We are going to have a plaque made in honor and memory of Violet. We would like to bring her back to her park and place her at the tree where we were able to finally get her. We will let everyone know once we get all the details settled. We want to thank everyone with all our hearts for the amazing support and kind words. It has been very helpful to us. We are so heartbroken from all of this and it is comforting to know you all cared so much for Violet and for us. thank you again, Cathy and Bobby

I hope they do bury her at WSP.

I liked Violet’s spirit. I liked how the hawk bloggers and watchers would be able to spot Bobby often but Violet’s whereabouts were sometimes a mystery. Yet she’d always return. Bobby and Violet discovered that ledge (as I’ve said before, what are the chances…? outside NYU President John Sexton’s office) and made their nest together there. They defied the odds when everyone said the window for a baby hawk had passed. She looked after Pip beautifully; they both did. And the two hawks added a new vibrancy to the park. In the last few weeks, Bobby had been providing Violet with food to compensate for her injured and worsening leg. I realize a new gal will move in (and may have already) but I really appreciated Bobby and Violet as a pair and, of course, individually. Peace to Violet.

All WSP Blog coverage on Violet, Bobby and Pip here.

(Took a break from my break to post this. New posts resume Tuesday, January 3rd.)

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4 thoughts on “So sad to hear WSP Resident Mama Hawk Violet has died”

  1. It is deeply anguishing that Viotet was forced, as a result of media exploitation (for the benefit of NYU and NYT) and exertion of DEC’s authority, to suffer needlessly for months without receiving the treatment she could have been provided by the Horvaths when Pip was a mere one week old. We will never know what the outcome would have been Violet been treated then, but it is most reasonable to surmise that she would have had greater prospects at survival, wild or captive, than she did in the end. I am ashamed that these organizations put the benefit of the spotlight on them above the well-being of Violet’s heatth. Violet was a commodity for them that was taken advantage of for their own purposes. Shame on them. RIP sweet, beloved Violet.

  2. Elle, I agree. This is a situation that the high media profile made nyu and the times, by not investigating further what the proper course of action would have been (they basically ignored the horvaths’ position on this once nyu went to the dec not wanting to lose access I’d imagine) complicit in a possible negligent course of action. At the same time if the nest had been elsewhere I don’t know if we all would have known. It’s just very sad indeed.


  3. You’re obviously referring in large part to me when you wrote, “I felt like in the last week many of the hawk bloggers – and I so appreciate all their amazing coverage! – were so anxious that Bobby have a new mate that Violet was quickly becoming forgotten.”

    You do not know what is in my heart when it comes to Violet’s passing and your assumption that I was quickly forgetting Violet is patently false.

  4. Hi Roger_Paw,

    I have no doubt that you – and everyone who followed these hawks – had love, respect, admiration, etc. etc. for Violet. Your pictures of her and ability to spot her when no one would see her for a long span of time were amazing. I felt as I wrote — and I wasn’t referring to you specifically … “hawk bloggers” was probably too narrow ; it was a feeling I was getting from some of the hawk commenters here and there and maybe another hawk blogger — that some people were so anxious for there to be another nest that that trumped everything. It seemed *so* fast that this was being discussed without any mention of Violet. I didn’t mean to sound like I was referring to you. I will change that.

    I always love your commentary and your blog.



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