Albireo is the fifth largest star in the constellation Cygnus. It appears to the naked eye to be just some regular, old star. But on closer inspection, it is actually an amazing binary system comprised of two distinct starts, working together to light up the darkness.
It is also the name of Bill Clarke’s sweet, Osprey-saving Trimaran.
Talk about Livin’ The Dream.
LBI resident Bill Clarke is a smart, kind, good humored fellow who is well known for being neighborly and investing in his local community. He is the kind of guy who not only knows the right thing to do, but knows how to do it. With style. Many people know Bill Clarke for having built LBI’s only LEEDS certified green home. What many people may not know is that he also has a severe case of full-blown Osprey Fever.
Like most humans along the coast who happen to be lucky enough to live within a sight of an Osprey nest, Bill has developed a healthy obsession with our local fish mangling monsters, especially the Osprey couple living in his neighborhood.
So when Bill noticed his wild neighbors acting a little odd, he took a concerned closer look and discovered the top of their nest had blown off during some recent high winds. He watched the now homeless Osprey clinging to the remains in hopes the problem would somehow magically right itself.
But Bill, a guy who has dedicated a good portion of his life to helping others in need, knows that things only get fixed when someone makes the extra effort to actually fix them. So he promptly reached out to Osprey Hero Ben Wurst; not only report the problem, but to offer his help. Including the use of his sweet Trimaran sailboat, The Albireo, complete with its solar-charged battery powered motor.
Click a photo to launch the slideshow and see what a difference twenty minutes of being awesome can make in the world.
Thanks to Bill & Ben, this special pair of Osprey have a second chance at fulfilling their dream. It’s the same dream we have. To raise our families down the shore. As we’re all painfully aware along the Jersey Shore, fixing up a storm damaged home in a timely manner can save a whole season. Longtime Readers might remember another fallen nest Ben fixed just in time from the 2015 Reading Heroes Simply See A Job That Needs To Be Done, While The Lazy See Great Opportunities As Difficult Inconveniences.
The New Jersey Osprey Project really encourages everyone to be as cool as Bill Clarke by taking an active interest in their local Osprey. To watch them, to check on them, to report on them, and to enjoy them. This is what a hard won recovery looks like. So many years of hard work by scientists and wildlife management folks restoring these incredible, fish-mangling monsters have paid off, and Barnegat Bay’s Osprey population is a healthy, happy treasure. The Osprey are a gift to us from nature, and the Osprey Recovery is a gift to us from a handful of very thoughtful people. Now all we have to do is treasure that gift. Easy.
Nothing shows the urgent need for our embrace like the events of the past few days. The storm front that ripped through New Jersey on Tuesday afternoon was especially nasty in the southern part of the state. High winds destroyed several Osprey nests, blowing baby Osprey chicks to the ground where they were totally helpless. The New Jersey Osprey Project made a heroic effort to get out to every nest affected and do what they could to minimize the impact. You can read all about it on the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey Blog. There are some sad, sad photos there, but worth a close look so what is at stake can sink in. Last year we had a similar incident here in Barnegat Bay as covered in the 2015 Reading Blown In The Wind.
If you live near a nest, contract or feed a case of Osprey Fever and get involved. Your sharp eye can make all the difference. If you have a strong back, the NJ Osprey Project is always looking for volunteers to help build and repair nests. And right now, more than ever, a tax deductible donation to the NJ Osprey Project through the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey will make a huge difference.
And thanks Bill Clarke. Every Osprey counts, and every Osprey Hero makes a huge difference. Readings From The Northside thanks you, on behalf of the whole Island, the entire State of New Jersey, and all of the Osprey everywhere.