May 11, 2011: “Red in tooth and claw”

Like thousands of others, I’ve been avidly watching the nesting red-tailed hawks in NYC and like thousands of others, rejoiced when, waay, waay past its due date, one of the 3 eggs in that messy, citified nest actually hatched.

Pre-hatching, this live feed often offered longish moments to reflect and contemplate.  For hours, Violet stoically sat on her nest, a Greenwich Village breeze occasionally riffling her magnificent feathers. Big Drama: When she’d turn the eggs over or when Bobby, her mate, brought her a tasty mouse or a rat.

But, oh, my, post-hatching! To watch Violet feed that flapping, hugh-eyed bundle of fuzz? Nothing like it.

There’s more drama: Somehow, about the same time the egg hatched,  a metal band around Violet’s right leg became infected. The leg’s swollen; she can’t put her weight on it so uses her wings sometimes to stabilize herself as she’s tearing pieces of mouse or rat to feed the hatchling—unflappable at the sight of mama’s broad wingspan.

The New York Times posted this live feed (Thank you, NYT) but does a lousy job of maintaining the site. (C’mon!) So for updates, like thousands of others, I’ve been reading the comments. A while back, during the bucolic, not-much-happening days, one viewer reminded us that we weren’t watching a Disney movie. This real-time video was live. This was real. And he (partially) quoted Tennyson: “Nature, red in tooth and claw. . . ”

So, now, thousands of us both coo and ooh as Violet feeds her baby AND wring our collective hands over her ghastly leg: “Somebody DO something!”

And, like  thousands, millions of people, I wonder how we “live-feed” the heres and nows so many of us so easily don’t see (as in both viewing and being mindful of). For starters: the ravages of poverty and racism, the relentless destruction of this planet; war.

Re that last one, let’s let Jon Stewart have the last word. (The last bit, right after he slams David Caruso. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.)

Join the Conversation


  1. Right on! Show pictures until we get disgusted (if ever) enough to stop the wars.

  2. From what I hear, Tweeter is a good way to stay in touch and get that live feed–in that you can actually get tweets from those on the ground experiencing the pain. I’ll bring you an example.


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