Island Gets Ink’d

Artist Evan Lovett is dead serious about leaving a permanent mark on the Island.
Earlier this summer, Evan (who is responsible for Ben Wurst the Osprey Hero’s epic osprey tattoo) and Ben head out to the Wurst Family nest in Barnegat Bay.
There they meet up with Ben’s brother, Dr. Andrew Ethan Wurst, DVM, of Barnegat Animal Clinic fame. The Wurst Family Nest was built by the Wurst family to honor the late Dr. Stephen Wurst. The Wurst bros grab the two osprey bros from the Wurst family nest and pose for a quick pic before banding.
Incidentally, way earlier this spring, we caught the hatch of the Wurst family nest. The older sibling (who is about to be banded 97K) was already out while the younger one was still in its egg.
Both Dr. Andy and the osprey carefully audit Ben’s work! Hahaha.
Evan gets to hold the sibling meanwhile, carefully observing the beauty, intricacy, and detail of the osprey.
Speaking of detail, check out this sweet pic of 97K’s “nictitating membrane.” It is a clear, inner eyelid which birds like the osprey use to protect their eyes when they still need to see (like in flight.) Notice they close sideways!
Evan can’t take his eyes off of this beauty while he holds for Ben’s banding of 97K. And that’s not just because osprey are unbelievable beauties; it’s also because Evan has come out to learn more about these animals and Ben’s work before making a a huge mark on Long Beach Island in honor of them. (I can’t believe how badly I botched this shot… why didn’t I shoot from the other side and get Ben’s amazing Osprey tattoo, done by Evan, as the foreground??? What is wrong with me?)
Evan has painted a massive osprey mural on the Drifting Sands Motel behind the 7-11 in Ship Bottom.
This thing is epic. Not only is the artwork phenomenal, but the spirit of the thing is pure. Evan designed the whole piece as a tribute to the osprey and the work of the NJ Osprey Project after experiencing it all first hand.
Every stroke with a higher purpose. It was astounding to watch the master at work.
Almost finished. But what about the band? Who is the lucky red banded osprey who has been memorialized as the Island’s ambassador? Evan had to put a red band on this thing, right? I made a point of telling Evan the story of the mural based off of “Bridgette, a Bird With A Backstory” and how wrong it was that they took the band off.

You’ll just have to stop by and see for yourself! It is literally the first right heading north on the boulevard just after you enter from the bridge. Right behind the 7-11 in Ship Bottom.

And each time you drive by it, remember to honk if you love osprey! Wait, no… don’t do that. That will be really annoying for everyone staying at the Drifting Sands, and they were so generous to let Evan do this.

Three cheers for Evan Lovett, Ben Wurst, and The Drifting Sands. This is truly a spectacular masterpiece, an amazing tribute, and a new, hidden gem of Long Beach Island. Have a look & celebrate!

3 thoughts on “Island Gets Ink’d

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  1. Just gorgeous! And, one more reason to drive down to LBI soon! LOVE the close-up portrait; what beautiful eyes!
    Since I checked nests with Ben about a month ago, this eagle monitor has “discovered” and eagerly watched, and reported on 3 osprey nests here in North (or Central?) Jersey with 7 healthy, mostly fledged chicks! They are truly beautiful raptors. Southern nests vastly out-number our Northern nests, but thankfully we are catching up and holding our own!

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