Bad news for those of you who have been watching the progress, or lack thereof of the three eggs of Violet and Bobby the red-tailed hawk couple who set up house on the 12th floor of the Bobst Library at NYU outside the office of the president. Apparently, short of an avian miracle, the eggs are way past their due-date and will not be hatching.
“No Chance” for Chicks
Despite the fact that Violet and Bobby were doting potential parents, caring for their unborn babes through cold winds, chilling rains and other dangers, the eggs will not hatch. According to John Blake, Ohio hawk breeder with 40 years of experience, there is “No chance” the eggs will hatch now.
Hawk Cam Set Up
When staff at NYU noticed that a pair of red-tailed hawks was building their nest outside the president’s office, and then began to care for three eggs in it, the City Room Blog of the New York Times set up the Hawk Cam and began broadcasting live feed of the birds’ behavior straight to the internet. Hundreds of people began to keep their eyes on the nesting pair, hopeful that by late April they would be rewarded with the siting of three new feathery friends hatching out of their eggs.
Alas it is not to be. Hawk eggs need from 32 to 35 days to incubate, and even if the most generous calculation of dates was allowed for, it is still past the last possible date for the chicks’ arrival.
No Need to Mourn
The way Mr. Blake explains the disappointing outcome is by pointing out that the most likely reason they will not hatch is that there was never any life in the eggs to begin with. At least 25% of all red-tail’s first attempt at breeding fail, says Mr. Blake, and the signs do point to the nest as a “rookie-rookery.”
“This shouldn’t be taken as a failure or a tragedy or anything of the kind,” Mr. Blakeman said. “This is red-tailed hawk biology.”