One of the sights that we get to see when biking along the trail to my parents house is this osprey nest. When Bill last biked out with the kids a few weeks ago , they were treated to the sight of the papa osprey bringing home what looked like an eel. Good eating apparently, but it still makes me glad that I am not one of these birds.
Here is a close up of one of the parents. The people who own this stretch of riverbank have been keeping a diary of the osprey and their daily lives for the past 11 years. There was a note on the fence just beside the path saying that out of the 11 years that osprey have been nesting here, last year was the only time when they did not successfully manage to raise their chicks.
In Osprey families, the note told, the males are the hunters for the entire family, while the females stay and guard, first the eggs, and then the chicks. Last year the people witnessed aerial combat between a local eagle and the male osprey. A few weeks later, the male had disappeared and one of the chicks was found about 100 yards from the nest. By the next week, there was no longer any sign of either the remaining chick (or chicks) or the female.
It kind of makes one think about the cycle of life. Everyday, all around us, battles for life and death rage. For some to live, others must die. Near our garden, there is an eagle nest. This is the third summer that eagles have used it. The first year, the pair was driven away by a murder of crows. Last year, they were rather more successful in raising their chicks and we actually saw one up close when the chick landed in my parents front yard. I was amazed at how large it was. The same size as Nicole. It seemed rather oblivious to the fact that there were 5 humans about 10 yards from it.
The question is, who should you root for? When faced with our dearly beloved osprey father provider being attacked by an eagle, you automatically say "Bad eagle." But then, when our beloved eagle is attacked by crows, it suddenly becomes "Bad crows." And then when you read about the intelligence and humor that crows supposedly posses, it become "Interesting crows." It might be a stretch to ever think "Good crow."
The only thing that I know for sure is that anyone of them can eat all the ground hogs they want because those buggers like to snack on my garden far too much.