NYU 'Hawk Cam:' A Most Fortunate Miscalculation Yields Happy Ending

May 6, 2011

While we were watching the adorable baby bald eagles, New York was holding its breath for a couple of hawks caring for three eggs high above Washington Square Park near New York University's Bobst Library. The same excitement we felt for the bald eagles was felt by fans of the NYU hawks. They live blogged and took screen shots of all their coming and goings.

But then as the due date came and went, the New York Times, which set up the live camera, delivered this news:

Memo to Violet: You can stop now. They're not going to hatch.

Since sometime around March 24, Violet, a red-tailed hawk, has been tending three eggs, white with brown speckles, in a nest on the 12th-floor ledge outside the office of the president of New York University.

But if hawk eggs are going to hatch, they will do so within 32 days, experts say, 35 days at the most. Though the incubation clock begins only when the mother hawk settles down on the eggs, which might take a few days after laying, by even the most permissive interpretation of events, Tuesday is Day 36. It's probably more than that.

"There will be no fuzzy ones in the nest this year," they resolved. Except that by miracle or a most fortunate miscalculation, an eyass, or a baby hawk, emerged from one of the eggs late last night:

It was, as the Atlantic reports, two weeks after the due date assigned by the Times, which reports that, indeed, it was likely that the date someone first reported seeing an egg was wrong.

But now that everyone's happy, the watching begins anew. The other two eggs, an expert told the Times, should hatch in the next 24 to 36 hours. Here's the live video from the New York Times' City Room, which has wall-to-wall coverage: Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.