An Osprey’s Bridge to Paradise
As some of you are aware, I hate birds. It’s a long story for another day (Hint: This incident didn’t help).
But I also appreciate that not every reader of this blog dislikes the flappy creatures as much as I do, so I thought I’d throw you a bone.
One day, in a desperate attempt to find my wife coffee before she murdered me, we took a detour off the 1A and across the bow river only to find, yes, blessed coffee, but also something rather unexpected.
An osprey nest.
Now, I know osprey aren’t the rarest birds in world, but they are – I’ll admit it – quite fun.
I’m always impressed with their willingness to take manmade structures and transform them into workable perches that can house a nest.
If I didn’t actively avoid watching birds, I would probably have seen more nests like this one, but nonetheless, I was amazed to find ourselves driving underneath an osprey nest as we crossed the river.
Unlike telephone polls and trees, what made this nest unique for me was that the bridge’s girder not only left much of the nest’s underbelly exposed for viewing, but the bridge didn’t provide for a large clearance and, thus, it also brought us closer than we have ever been to an active osprey home.
Even more enjoyable was the position the nest afforded the osprey family: a perch overlooking the fast moving Bow – and all of its wonderful fish inhabitants.
Time and again, the osprey would dive from the nest, into the water, and return with fish for their young.
The three young guns were particularly greedy when it came to fish and would never waste time in demanding the parents retrieved more for their growing bellies.
While I wish I could have been on eye level, with better light, and no man-made structures interfering with my photography, it was a completely different view of a bird I had never spent much time with.
And still haven’t spent much time with.
Though we passed under the nest a few times and enjoyed a couple of relaxing minutes of photography with the osprey family, the hope of seeing wolves was too overpowering to take the time to photograph the setting properly.
As it turns out, we always saw the wolves before reaching the nest (and Jill’s coffee) and never did find the canines later in the day. So we could have and should have stayed put at the nest.
Hopefully this won’t turn into a beaver-like curse, as I may finally have learned that an osprey in hand (or on bridge) beats a two (wolves) in the bush (down the road, but, as it turns out, not).
Tags: alberta, banff national park, birds of prey, bridge next, canada, canadian rockies, ghost bear photography, osprey, simon jackson, wildlife photography