Few things say summer like watching Osprey mauling fish down the shore. And this is a great time to watch as the Osprey you’ll see flying over your beach chair with freshly mauled fish have, hopefully, lots of brand new, tiny mouths to feed back at their nests in Barnegat Bay. Like these one-hour old hatchlings who were just-borned yesterday in Surf City. These precious babies are born with an unquenchable taste for our local seafood, so dad will have to fish constantly, all day long, for the next month to keep them healthy, and quiet.
Sounds like a dream come true to a lot dads down the shore.
But things are never easy for our Osprey. Storms, plastic trash, fishing line, balloons, invasive predators, and all kinds of irritating hazards are just waiting to snuff out the magic of a Bay full of baby Osprey.
Thankfully for all of us, Ben Wurst The Osprey Hero and the NJ Osprey Project have just launched their seasonal surveys and nest-checkups of our local Osprey nests. And this year is a big one as it’s the Big Five Year Osprey Census. They’ll be counting all the babies.
Our Osprey are an indicator species and their health lets us know how well we are taking care of the shore. As go the Osprey, so will go the Bay, and our summers down the shore. So here’s hoping for an epically wonderful season. We need our summers at the beach, so we need our Osprey babies to thrive.
If you love the beach but have not yet contracted a severe case of Osprey Fever then you’re missing out. It is absolutely contagious so shouldn’t be too hard to catch. Start by learning to identify them fishing over the ocean and flying over your beach chair. Increase the fever by annoying your friends and family by interrupting them while they chat, sleep, and read on the beach by jumping up, pointing, and yelling “Osprey! COMIN’ IN HOT!!!11!” Turn things up to eleven by packing binocs and learning to identify what kinds of fish they’ve caught in their blood soaked talons as they fly over the beach and back to the Bay.
Then go completely down the rabbit hole and follow along with Ben’s adventures on the NJ Osprey Project Facebook and over at the Conserve Wildlife Foundation Of NJ web site. Hopefully you’ll discover what I have: that the lives of our local Osprey are unbelievably instructive and inspiring.
Osprey never get old, but hopefully these babies do.