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Tuesday, June 25, 2019



A re-run from July 2014

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 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.


  1. The other day as I was commuting by train to London as usual there was an osprey in the train reading the Financial Times. He was wearing a bowler hat and carried an umbrella. He told me he'd had enough catching fish and took a job in the City.

    God bless.

  2. Beautiful birds, but I wouldn't change places with them. Yes indeed our lives are good.

  3. Surviving is a 24 hour a day job for all creatures.

  4. Birds are always interesting to observe. Especially when they build a nest in dumb places (like on top of garage door opener light) and you knock it down, and they come back and try over and over again.

  5. Wild life really does make us realize that what we once thought as a boring life as being a life of plenty and leisure.

  6. That is such a great analogy how they have to work so hard to eat and most of us do have those breaks that we don't have to work and can enjoy a bit of life. I too would enjoy watching them if I was on the New Jersey Shore.


  7. It's called thinning the herd. If you don't work, you don't eat and if you don't eat you'll die. That lesson has been lost for so many.

    Have a fabulous vacation watching the Osprey's. ♪♫♪♫

  8. Our osprey couple lost their young or the eggs never hatched. Nest is so old and high I could not see heads. Now they stop by the nest on a morning and look around and then fly away pondering their unexpected vacation.

  9. It's a different world for them, isn't it.

  10. They wouldn't know what to do with a day off.

  11. They have one job to do, so they get pretty good at it. Or they die. Not a lot of thinking or remorse involved.

  12. this is sublime piece of writing dear Joe !

    i so enjoyed your observation of ospreys and comparing your routine to their's

    their patience is necessary for what they do and they know it unlike us the humans who are most impatient specie of this planet i think


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