Lessons From The Wurst Nest

While out on a mission with Ben Wurst the Osprey Hero, we dropped a camera for the morning at the Wurst Family Nest at Sedge to see how the couple who has claimed it as their own is getting on this season. This is a very, very special Osprey platform in Barnegat Bay which Ben and his family erected in memory of Ben’s dad, Dr. Stephen Wurst.

Dr. Stephen Wurst was the founder of the Barnegat Animal Clinic and a respected lover of animals. You might remember his clinic from past Readings. It is the only place in hundreds of miles that doesn’t treat me like a hopeless lunatic when I have a seagull needing urgent medical assistance. Instead, they tell me to come right over. Today Dr. Wurst’s legacy of caring for all animals, wild and domestic, lives on through his clinic and his children. And apparently it also shines on at the Wurst Nest where the young Osprey couple is sitting on three gorgeous eggs.

Enjoy this special moment of family bonding at the Wurst Nest.

Gender roles are clearly defined in an Osprey family. The male does almost 100% of the fishing, while the female cares exclusively for the young.

The female is therefore 100% dependent on the male, as are the children. Osprey bonding is all about trust. In this short clip you will see the male return with a fish, and the female beg him through a series of chirps to feed her. Every fish is hard won and precious. At each meal, the female must convince the male she is starving, that she needs that fish, and that she needs him. You often get the sense that the male is making the decision reluctantly, and anew, each time he returns to the nest. No meal is ever taken for granted.

I love this simple, but critical, moment of Osprey life. This is the time of year we hear the sweet, painful, cries of the mother Osprey on their nests, begging for food, desperate for each meal. It reminds us of the precarious and urgent nature of each and every moment and of each and every meal.

Life is just so much more rich and interesting when we take nothing for granted. I believe Dr. Wurst would be pleased that the nest raised in his memory would remind us of this.

Summer is almost here. Let’s make this the one where we truly savor every moment of this mysterious life!