Blue Bonnet: Born of Imagination, Born Of Durt.

Jo Durt. Now, Truly, Queen of The Causeway.
A Special Gathering At BOIS.
Ben Plucks The Flower From The Resurrected Shack.
Bucket Of Durt.
Blue Bonnet. Our Little Bridge Monster with Kathy Clark: the Great Mother Of All Cool Things In New Jersey That You Can’t Shoot With A Gun.
Tina calls her “Blue” and tells her stories… stories about how hard she has worked for so many years to make this day a reality…. and Blue just screams at her. This tiny Falcon has enormous attitude.
Tara calls her “Bonnie” and also tells her stories… stories about what a huge project rebuilding the bridge is, yet how they still took the time to make sure not only that the Falcons were safe, but that they would wind up better off than ever before.
But Blue Bonnet didn’t want to hear any stories. She just wanted to murder everybody. Because she’s a good Falcon. They built her the Tower At BOIS not so she could appreciate us… but so we could appreciate her.
The BOIS Four. Ben, Tara, Tina, and Kathy have worked for three or four years to make this moment happen. Everybody smiling… except Bonnie. That’s a good Falcon.
We had a naming contest here on the Readings, and “Blue Bonnet” was the clear favorite. Both a flower (because her mom, Jo Durt, was born in a flower pot) and a reference to “Bonnet Island” where she was born. Nickname as you choose.
Even after he returns her to the BOIS Tower, Blue Bonnet is still yelling at Ben to get the heck off her darn Tower.
That’s one sturdy Tower. Great work, Ben Wurst! THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US ON LBI.
And now that the best part of the job is done, it’s back to the worst…. picking up our plastic waste, hidden just out of sight.
Blue Bonnet reluctantly thanks Ben Wurst, as much as an angry little Falcon can anyway, before going back to screaming at him. Photo by Ben Wurst.

What a great day for LBI.

Today “Blue Bonnet,” the sole offspring of Jo Durt and BridgeBoy of Bonnet Island, turned four weeks old so was ready to receive her green and black band. Now and forever “BD-88,” she’ll proudly wear the ring on her leg for life. Banding has been a critical tool in the decades of effort that have gone into recovering the Peregrine Falcon from zero pairs to the dozens we now have nesting in New Jersey.

The Readings has been telling the story of Jo Durt & The Resurrected Shack for years. Hopefully you know it. If not, read up. This day speaks for itself, so I don’t have much to add.

With the exception of a huge thanks to Kathy & Ben, and most of all, the NJ DOT and their consultants at Parsons BrinckerhoffMost especially, Tina Shutz, Tara Bencivenga, and Steve Balzano. No… forget that. Thanks to everyone working on that bridge.

On the one hand, it doesn’t take much to avoid destroying the lives of endangered Peregrine Falcons when doing critical roadwork. On the other hand, it takes a lot. It takes thoughtfulness, caring, effort, and perseverance. The fact that such a massive project as the rebuilding of The Causeway could factor in this one pair of birds and produce such a positive outcome is a story whose hopefulness could not be overstated.

What an acknowledgement that we indeed do share the planet with other creatures, whose needs have zero things to do with our own, that they are worthy of respect and humane treatment, that we can craft solutions for living together, that we can both build bridges for our convenience and benefit the animals at the same time…

This is a victory of imagination and will. Those things are so scarce in this world full of cheap excuses and quick fixes. Who would of thought the NJ DOT could be so inspiring? Who would have thought their skill and their integrity would set the standard of what we should be desperately trying to aspire to?

Thank you. And heads up: the new nature trail and overlook at Bonnet Island is having its ribbon cutting imminently. I believe it will be Wednesday, the 27th around 10AM. What a treasure that’s going to be.

And what a perfect to place to watch Blue Bonnet when she learns she was born to fly from that Tower.