Monday, April 13, 2015

Return: Shock and Awe

We were kind of hoping the ospreys would sense the deep snow and stay down south for a few weeks longer but as I returned from my walk this morning, there was the wonderfully familiar shape sitting on the nest.
"Oh, no!" I thought then quickly changed that to, "Oh, good, you're back!"
I wouldn't want them to think they are not welcome. As soon as they leave in early September, we begin counting down to their return in April. But when they weren't here on the weekend, it looked like they might be staying near open water.
It must be what we've witnessed with the woodcocks and the robins: The migration instinct is firm. There is no adjustment for weather, there is no way to know about the weather at their destination. When the time comes, they leave their winter area and head north to the summer home. Even if spring hasn't properly arrived there. The ospreys always return between April 10 and April 13 and yet again, we can, and do, set our calendars by it. I wonder what they make of the thick, white landscape?

Shock and awe must be what this lone osprey is feeling. Last year, they returned to find all the trees had been cut down. This year, they are returning to deep snow and a frozen river. Are they wondering what's happening to their habitat? I certainly am.
When I returned from my walk, my husband said the bird had already begun bringing in sticks to rebuild a nest certainly battered by the blizzards of February and March.
Well, they survived Hurricane Arthur last July; I'm confident they can survive the Spring of 2015.
Truly, it is wonderful to have our fish hawk friends back in the nest. This will be summer number eight of sharing our space with them.

The familiar (but snowy) sight from the back yard.

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