They’re Ba-a-ack! 17 years and counting.

I’m delighted to report that our feathered friends, Opal and Oscar Osprey are back from their winter sojourn in the southern hemisphere.  They arrived right on schedule, March 16th, the day before St. Patrick’s Day.  (Last spring they were two weeks late, you may recall.)

Oscar was my first sighting.  He glided right over my head as I enjoyed my morning walk along the sea wall at the Naval Academy.  I like to think he was checking to see if it was, indeed, I – just as I was checking to see if it was, indeed, he.  We were both delighted!

See the source image

I didn’t see Opal that first day.  Oscar was busy gathering twigs and repairing the nest, somewhat battered, I suspect, after the long winter. But on St. Paddy’s Day, there was Opal, standing watch over her nest, checking that Oscar was making all necessary adjustments.

That was last week.  Since then, Opal seems to be staying close to home.  It may be she’s enjoying the warmth of her nest in this cold March weather, or she may be sitting on eggs, keeping them warm. Oscar seems to be out fishing most mornings, though today he was doing some vocalizing – that distinctive, sharp, repeated high-pitched call.

We’ll have to see how this season’s adventure unfolds.

I want to add an apology and addendum here. Last fall I failed to close out our friends’ season with a final report. You may recall that last year’s nursery was overflowing with four chicks rather than the usual two or three.

However, by mid-September when Oscar and Opal usually leave for the south, only three young osprey were there to accompany them.  While on my morning walk in early September, I came upon a small, sad pile of feathers that had once been a fledgling osprey. I don’t know if the fourth bird fell from the nest or was attacked by a predator, but the result was the same.

I’m eager to see how many hatchlings Oscar and Opal produce this year.  They’ll have a busy summer preparing their young for life in the wild. And, I look forward to a busy summer sharing the excitement with them, and with you, patient reader.

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About J. F. Booth

I am a writer and educator.
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4 Responses to They’re Ba-a-ack! 17 years and counting.

  1. Debra says:

    Love your years together with Oscar and Opel! Thank you for sharing your magnificent journey with them! Always beautifully written and feel like we know them just as well

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the update , now that the Osprey have returned, is spring far behind ? Your walks must be wonderful , I am looking forward to walks along the Detroit River Walk soon. Cheers, Jo

  3. Mike Cash says:

    Thanks for the update. I am glad your Opening Lines are back as well as I enjoy reading them.

    Stay well,

    Mike Cash

  4. I have been waiting for new news and I’ve followed the former “lives of” our Osprey. So nice to know the seasons are turning, and life is flourishing and gliding so closely over your head, and good of you to include us. I’ll look for them.

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