We continue to interrupt this winter with thoughts of summer.
First off, at the last minute I panicked and ran to the beach to hear Michelle Stantial speak at the LBIF. It was a packed house and a stellar presentation. So much fun science. We hear so many opinions about Piping Plover… it was great to hear the real science from the folks who are out there living with them and writing everything down. It is truly mind boggling how many commonly held opinions are rendered complete nonsense in the light of real, dedicated observation.
But I actually went as a fact checker & public defender because I became very nervous after Michelle had requested a photo of Smalls. I feared she might reveal a dark, foul rumor that I worked very hard to cover up this summer: the one insinuating that Tacey had a little fling with Smalls after Tufters left for the Bahamas last summer. Apparently, after Tufters & Tacey had successfully raised Samoa, Thin Mint, Do Si Do, and little Tagalog, Tacey lingered around LBI and started having worm lunches with that idiot Smalls. A few highly suspect scrapes appeared around Barnegat Light State Park. But I just know those are the result of Smalls being an idiot with various little floozy PIPL he managed to trick into spending the night at Barnegat Light on their flights down to the Bahamas.
I have had my share of problems with Tacey over the years, but I know her to be a bird of integrity. She just wouldn’t cheat on Tufters. Yet sometimes I worry that scientists might manipulate their observations in order to take some of the shine off of Tufters & Tacey. After all, they are the most world famous Piping Plover in the world (TM) and I’m sure that makes some people jelly. Fortunately, Michelle Stantial is also a bird of integrity so she bit her tongue on the subject of Smalls & Tacey. And so it all remains a secret and I can sleep well knowing you all will never hear about it. Mission Cover-Up Accomplished.
It is important we keep our summer scientists and wildlife managers busy in the winter. That’s why I’m so excited to have learned of an incredible opportunity that has come up for our own Osprey Hero, Ben Wurst. While Ben anxiously waits for our Osprey to come home to nest this spring, he has been invited to come study the rare Ridgeway’s Osprey in Belize with Dr. Paul Spitzer. This is an amazing opportunity for our own Ben Wurst, and also for the Ridgeway’s Osprey. Ben will bring his mad, NJ style to Belize, including his amazing Osprey Whispering, and he will bring a wealth of new knowledge and a higher perspective of the global, borderless nature of our wild animals home to NJ.
The Conserve Wildlife Foundation needs $5,000 to make this trip happen. One donor has already promised to match half of what they have raised. So they have launched a campaign on Generosity.com to raise the other $2,500. They are half way there. Only about $1,300.00 left to go to make this happen.
The best part is that Ben is is offering various sized photos from the trip to some of the donation tiers. The higher levels include Ben’s amazing reclaimed wood frames.
RFTNS just went all-in on the trip and donated $250. Can’t wait for my photo! Please help at least match that and send Ben Wurst far away from here so he doesn’t grow idle and start spreading Osprey gossip this winter.