Bobby & Violet visited the nest today! August 11, 2011

It was a big day in our little hawk world today. Bobby and Violet returned to their nest at Bobst library at NYU for a short while early this afternoon. It was the first confirmed sighting of Violet since July 18th (the last previously-known footage of her was in my post here).

No one in our large circle of Pipsters had a confirmed sighting of Violet until today. I checked the nest cam and saw who I later discovered to be Violet sitting in the nest. I took the screen shot below as quickly as I could:

The hawk sat on the nest for forty minutes before getting up and flying down off the nest. My gut told me this bird had to be Violet because when she stood up and started to right herself, her right leg had a slight drag and it looked like a talon on her right leg had gotten caught on something in the nest for half a second and she paused to free it from whatever it was catching on. I didn't see the band on the bird's leg and I couldn't see if the right leg was more swollen than the left leg (it all happened so fast and the angle wasn't quite right for positive identification) but I and a few others were sure it had to be her. 

I informed a friend and fellow hawk-watcher who lives a few minutes from Washington Square Park that hawks were seen in the nest so he headed to the park to have a look. 

A few minutes after arriving at the park, he texted me and let me know he saw (with 100% certainty) Violet eating a bird on the rooftop of a building at West 4th and Greene Streets (just a block from Washington Square Park). He said he definitely saw the band around her right leg when he looked at her with his binoculars. I was happy to report to the folks in the chat room, other hawk-watchers, and Andy Newman and Emily Rueb of the New York Times (they've been blogging about the nest all along) that we had confirmation that Violet had finally been seen after long last. Everyone I told seemed just as happy as I was that Violet was safe, active, and eating heartily.

Here is a photo of the building where Violet had been seen eating just a few hours earlier:

My friend said after Violet had finished eating, she wiped her beak clean on the metal seen just below the railing:

This building top is a popular perch for our hawk family. Bobby had been seen sitting on it before as seen in these photos taken July 30th.

After having her meal and wiping off her beak, my friend saw Violet fly to a building located just East of Washington Square Park. It was then that he lost sight of her and after some time, had to leave the area to run errands. He would be too shy to be named here but he's a hero since he was the first to confirm a Violet sighting in weeks!

For two hours after work I searched the park and the neighboring buildings and blocks for any sign of the hawks but did not see any. A few other faithful hawk-watchers were there as well and searched and searched but they didn't report seeing any hawks either. But it was not a waste of time, of course. We were happy to know Violet and Bobby were still around and we'll try our luck again tomorrow.

Andy and Emily posted a great post in their New York Times online City Room column (with video of Bobby and Violet in the nest) in their blog here:

Thankfully, the hawk cam archived the video footage (for now) of Bobby and Violet at the nest. Scroll ahead in the video to the one hour, 43 minute mark (or 01:43:00) to see them land in the  nest.