in the clips of its feet,
a slim and limber

silver fish, a scrim
of red rubies
on its flashing sides.

from The Osprey, Mary Oliver

The ospreys in the neighborhood have been very conspicuous the last week or so; I think this year’s young have just fledged.

I watch their cell tower nest while I wait for the light to change or the train to pass. My view is better, closer, while waiting on the train, but it lacks the perspective the other side of the intersection offers. From there I can appreciate how massive the nest is and just how precariously it’s placed.

They drift by my car on their way to the river or over the backyard on their return, the fish face-first in golden talons. Last week, two dark bundles with checkerboard wings outstretched, awaited delivery. This morning the nest was unoccupied and the sky taken.

7 thoughts on “Deliverance”

  1. We sited one not far from our house a couple of weeks ago. According to all of our birding books this one is not supposed to be around here. It dove at a mature bald eagle perched in a tree. It was awesome.

  2. They do build a huge nest. There are tall posts along the road in West Montana with platforms and huge nests of Osprey on them! I guess to keep them from building on the power line towers!

  3. S.W. Florida has a number of projects concerning the salvation of various raptors, the Osprey’s being one. Thank Goodness.

    On another note, I ran across a few letters from when I lived in NJ last night, and I found that I coined the phrase “Somewhere in NJ” back in 2000 — commissions are welcomed. Where were you then, I could have used the sanity? 😉

  4. Patrick: Yeah… I miss them when they go.

    Dave: Hmmm… they don’t belong by you?

    Mary: Yeah… their nests are a bit of interesting architecture.


    Rabbit’s Guy: I have wondered why there aren’t any platforms for them near here.

    Dr. Know: It’s funny now to read about how rare they were years ago. Glad to have them so common now.

    Back in 2000? Hmmm… I was teaching high school then – could have used sanity myself.

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