Jen's Creative Photography
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Ospreys near fate August 12
A friend & I went to see an osprey nest in hopes the young would still be there. When we arrived first off. There was a gentleman taking photos parked right at the bottom and just a bit in front of the nest pole. They babes were all stressed and constantly calling out. He just sat there. When he left, they all settled down and one started to jump up & down in the nest. It was quite comical. Now and again giving his siblings a big wing hug as they ducked. We stood with tripods and cameras quite a distance away as not to bother the birds. And then it happened. One babe flew. Looked like possibly it was a first flight or at least one of the first few flights for this bird. It was not a strong flyer. It flew through the hydro wires a couple times, it flew around the nearby trees and it got lower and lower until it came down ( not so gently) in the ditch beside the road. It was panting badly. It could not get back to the nest. We watched ourselves already stressed out for its adventure with the wires. Now its by the road. My fear was that we were going to witness this birds fate. These birds have nested here a few years and hydro actually put up a nest pole for them so that they would not use the hydro pole. Good idea BUT. It should have been moved away from the busy highway it was right beside. I know they nest successfully in other areas right on the roads, but this one is far enough away, that it is the perfect distance to get into trouble when they are learning to fly. We watched as the young fledgling started walking out on the road. Panting and fluffing itself up. It took flight again. Low flight, not far, no height gained, it ended up right beside the highway. A car pulled over onto the side road we were on. A lady got out and took a couple of pictures, got back in her car and drove away. So okay she was not to concerned. Probably no idea what was going on with this bird at all. We watched as the bird slowly kept edging a little further and a littler further until it was right beside the path of passing cars and trucks. Oh my lord it was horrible. Meanwhile the other 2 had also taken flight. Intertwining with each other and chasing each other, having a grand time together, checking on there sibling once in a while flying over it and calling out to it. Then they totally disappeared towards the lake. If I walked over to the fledgling on the road it would surly go into the paths of those moving vehicles. If I didn't. Well it was a tough one. Then it flew, narrowly being missed by a car. Actually we thought it had been hit. All we saw was wings going up then down. That was it, I had to go. I walked up and saw it on the other side of the road. It had been spared. It was so scared and was panting so hard and all fluffed up. I had to get it back to safety near its nest. Away from this horrid road. No one would stop. Some moved over a little bit as they sped past. Cars, pick up trucks, big transport trucks. Oh lord. I would not give up. Then an SUV pulled over. A lady got out and took some pictures. Then the car behind her put his 4 way flashers on and stopped that traffic. Now to stop the other direction. One car whizzed by, another a little slower then finally they figured it out and stopped. The young bird in the mean time had moved closer to the roads edge. I kept my distance and talked to the bird calmly. And as if it knew I was helping it and this was the cue to go. It actually looked at me. And it flew. Everyone was watching this bird with difficulty get across the road. It skimmed the road as it was to exhausted to get any height. It would have been killed without a doubt if I had not helped it. People said to us before all this happened when it was on the other road, that I should leave it alone, it will sort it out. Yes it would of ,right to its death. I did a thumbs up to the man who stopped the traffic and he back to me. Lady got back in her car and drove off and it was just like nothing ever happened again. Zoom Zoom. The man in that car pulled over and came around to talk to me. I could not thank him enough. His wife had been watching this family of ospreys and he could not bare to see anything happen to the young one. He agreed it needed help. And what he did was so amazing and it worked. Only seconds people. That's all they lost. Seconds to let a little life get to safety. I walked back to my car. Judith was standing there and called me to come see. I was wondering ,where had the babe flown to, I was concerned. Well to my surprise, he had landed right in front of Judith and was not afraid of her presence. Relieved, I at least knew he was okay. He had tried to land in that tree, but was unsuccessful. Now was sitting all fluffed up and panting to beet the band ,oh so stressed, oh so tired, at the base of the tree. It sat for a while and we stayed with it. Then it waddled through the grass and to the path between the ditches tall grasses and the farmers crops. And sat for a bit. Then started walking up the path. Would jump about a foot off the ground and fly maybe 2 feet at a time. Mean time it's siblings had come back and were flying over it calling to it. Reassuring it. Nothing we could do. It needed to rest and get its bearings again. And it did. We think. Two days later, Judith and her husband drove by the nest. At first nothing was there in the am. On their return in the pm, one young bird was sitting in the nest looking like maybe it was eating. As the other 2 were so strong I would say that this little one who had survived its adventure was back in the nest and being fed by a parent still, and is getting stronger day by day until he to, will have that strong flight and join its family over the lake to learn to hunt and fish and get ready for another even more dangerous journey. The one south, migration!!!
The first year is the most critical year for all babes born. They say as many as 80% sometimes just don't survive that first 12 months. So why for a few minutes of my life and a few seconds of all those drivers lives, could we not give this new life, a little bit of compassion and help to at least give it a chance to survive ,join its family, sore over the lake ,fish. And BE FREE!!!
Posted by Jennifer Howard at 9:28 PM
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What an adventure we had Jen! I like to think in my mind that the lone bird I saw on the nest was our poor baby that couldn't fly too well and had actually made it back to the platform.
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