It’s been a challenging week...we are trying to get around to visiting all nests, identifying all banded birds, and it’s a huge task these days. Some of us are growing increasingly sad as we visit and revisit a nest where a beloved Osprey has resided in the past....and we keep finding an empty nest, or another Osprey there in his place. I have visited the nest where our beloved, formerly “single” Dad lived. He raised three chicks alone two years ago and earned a permanent place in my heart. I have not seen him. Today I found another male on that nest. My heart sank. One of my most dependable and devoted volunteers is also feeling a sense of loss as her “first love” in the Osprey world has not returned to his nest. These losses are inevitable and I have lost many ospreys that I loved, but it’s never easy. We do grow attached, while we know these are wild creatures and migration is not without great challenges. I also received a call about a dead Osprey, so I rushed out to check the identity. I was relieved to find that it was not the banded male from a nearby nest, but probably a young male, trying to establish a territory and suffering a catastrophic wing injury. Every loss, of every beautiful Osprey causes me great sorrow, even after 25 years. They are just so stunningly beautiful. Holding the limp body of such a perfect creature is a gut wrenching experience. Life can end so abruptly.
On a happier note, some of our favorites have returned and the first eggs have been laid. Chicks are on the way! I have also found some nests removed, and some ospreys are having to start over, rebuilding their nests quickly. We will keep making the rounds, reading bands, observing behaviors, doing what we can to keep up the research, collect the data, rescue birds when necessary, educate the public and build relationships in the community. Hoping that we can help each of you to fall in love with these magnificent raptors. Happy Easter, Happy Earth Day.