On the beach at Lavallette, New Jersey, I have been fascinated watching the Ospreys. Ospreys are large raptors. They live on a diet of 99 percent fish. I used to see them a lot while visiting my parent’s home on the Eastern Shore Md., but have not seen them on the Jersey Shore until this year.
What has struck me while watching these birds is the patience they have, and also the boredom that is their existence. It is not much different from most wild creatures, but just more obvious while observing their behavior.
I worked a fairly boring job for 40 years. Up early, drive to the train, get to work, work, catch the train home, eat, play with kids, sleep and start over. At least I had a change of pace on weekends and vacations.
The Osprey and his mate are up early every morning. They fish nonstop until sundown, constantly soaring over the ocean up and down the coast. They do not stop. They have three little ospreys to feed. I seldom see them dive for fish. In two weeks I have seen them dive 5 times and catch 4 fish. They are good, but sometimes they miss. I’m sure they have caught more fish without me watching, but trust me they are patient.
The ospreys get no sick days, no mental health days, no vacation days, they just fish every day and if they do not catch any fish they will die. I used to think I was pressured to work, but if I missed a day, my children would not starve. The osprey must catch fish.
I have been watching a pair of ospreys for two weeks. Today there were five. I think the babies are out of the nest. They are learning to fish. They better learn fast. Their skill is considerable and if they do not learn, they will die. Fish, catch, or starve.
Sitting on the beach watching, I think my life is pretty good.
My cousin Nils sent me this video on the osprey. It is pretty amazing.