Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Maine Gazetteer: Osprey

     Of all the bird we regularly see, the most thrilling is the osprey. The cove in front of our house is shallow and by mid-summer it warms enough for the mackerel to school. Hunting time and viewing time happily coincide in that wine-dusky hour between dinner and dark. The water generally calms, making mackerel-seeing and -snapping easier. The humans calm too, with a last glass on the deck. We talk quietly, watching several dots circle high in the sky, then tense as one dot suddenly stoops into a fearsome dive, gravity and those blade-like wings pulling it faster than seems possible, then wince and exclaim as the osprey hits the water with a splash. We don’t keep score but surely ospreys bat well under .300. Even if they do succeed, the flight back to the nest is almost always harassed by a gull, or two, or even a crow, who probably bat over .300.


Excerpted from Saving Maine: A Personal Gazetteer
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