Thursday, July 05, 2018
Not Blessed By Babies This Year
Normally at this time, I would be posting a photo of the first sighting of the baby ospreys' heads appearing above the edge of the nest for the first time. Alas, there are no babies this year.
There are still ospreys, however, flying around, sometimes landing on the nest, sometimes sitting on the perch.
There is one on the perch now as I write this.
We believe the solo osprey is Her, the osprey who lost her mate at the end of May, the widowed osprey, the female in search of a new mate.
She flew over me this morning while I was walking down the road. She came from the river and crossed the misty field, passed over -- "Hello, osprey," I said, as we always say -- and kept going. An hour later, as I reached home, she flew over me again, coming from the river and heading towards the perch.
There is a pair wanting to claim the nest. They appear every so often so sit in the nest. They don't know us or trust us. As soon as I step into the yard with the camera, one flies away.
Yet the other day, as my husband was tending to his sunflowers, an osprey flew over him. He whistled at it, and it tilted its wings and flew back, passed over him twice, looking down at him.
"I know it's Her," he said to me later. Because "our" osprey know us.
She remains alone, keeping vigil on the nest she and her mate claimed ten years ago. Is she waiting for him to return? Or is she simply holding her space, for next year, when she returns with a new mate?
Those are questions we might get an answer to next April but for now, we can only speculate on the love lives of ospreys. Regardless, there are no babies this year, I can officially say that today. Another heartache but I think I'd rather have eggs abandoned mid-incubation than endure an eagle snatching of the fledglings from the nest, picking them off one baby at a time (which happened in August 2015).
Even without human interference, the natural world is always changing. Arrivals and departures, wondering and waiting, births and loss, destruction and rebuilding.
And still, the osprey sits and waits.