Osprey connect people to nature in so many ways. A Greenbelt friend in Wareham, Massachusetts sent us this story about his first osprey.
"Roger arrived in Wareham in mid-April, flying up from his southern habitat.
He was late. Hundreds of his fellow osprey had already claimed the highest birthing platforms -- 20-to-30-feet high, the safest protection from predators.
Roger was left with one pitiful leftover.
I first spotted Roger feverishly attempting to knit together sticks into a three-foot-in-diameter nest to set atop a 10-foot-tall, weather-beaten pole. But there was no platform on the pole to restrain his partially completed nest from collapsing and sliding down the pole, storm after storm.
This didn’t stop Roger from continuing, building nests, destined for destruction.
Lucy, my wife, and I became invested in Roger’s sisyphean efforts to attach a viable birthing nest to the slippery, uncooperative pole. Lucy, observing Roger’s time consuming efforts to locate suitable sticks for his weaving, gathered a neatly stacked pile, and placed right in the middle of his usual flight pattern.
Roger took full advantage of her offering, repeatedly swooping down from on high to partake of her designer building materials. To no avail. Roger’s skills were not up to the complexity of weaving a nest without the benefit of a platform underneath.
Finally, after a month of constant effort, Roger stopped. He spent a month stoically perched on the pole, which had been his nemesis. His martyrdom was excruciating for me. I felt his defeat. I wanted him to move on. I had daily visions of banging the pole down with a broom. But, Roger persisted. Indeed, in my mind’s eye, he became part of the pole. A permanent fixture.
Writing in my tower office, after a particularly strong rain storm, I heard a scratching noise on the roof shingles, outside my window. Roger was there, not three feet away! Erect posture. Piercing eyes -- scolding me. I had lost faith in him.
With the unfolding and shaking of his 8-foot-tip-to-tip, water-soaked wings, Roger admonished me: “Gerry, Gerry, don’t give up on me. This old bird still has the stuff for producing several generations. See you next spring!”