Friday, May 16, 2014

AN OSPREY’S STRUGGLE

You may want to watch these clips by clicking on the U Tube button on the movie square.
garysoutdoorwanderings 2

The mother goose in the above clip appears very small.  She becomes visible  about half way through the clip.  Watch her disappear before your eyes.  You have to be observant to see her evaporate.

garysoutdoorwanderings2

 This afternoon turned out to be very rainy and cold on the lake.  I ran on upper Douglas Reservoir again, the French Broad River to  be precise.  The water was rather strange as you can see in the clip above.  The French Broad usually does react quickly to heavy rain by turning brown with run-off but today it was really chocolate color indicating that the Pigeon River is carrying a lot of soil down into the main river system.  It must have rained hard far upstream.  A lot of farmer's are contributing some good top soil to the waterways over here in East Tennessee.  Thanks.
NOTE:  Camera was set on a "Landscape setting" for today and delivered a higher amount of saturation than normal due to intensely bright sun and rich greens.  Not unattractive though.  I left the pictures alone.


I never know what I'm going to get into from day to day as wildlife and nature are unpredictable most times.  I noticed some splashing back under the trees that stood in the water near the shoreline.  The water was probably about five feet deep there.  At first I thought it was a goose but then I realized it was an osprey.

I felt terrible as I figured he had broken a wing or a leg while slamming into the water to grab a fish.  It would be very easy for an osprey to break his legs plunging into the water only to strike a submerged log or a rock on the bottom.  What could I do?  Should I try to fish him out of the water and rush him to a raptor rehabilitater?  How would I hold him on the boat during the long drive down the lake?


He appeared so helpless out of his element, the sky.

He tried over and over to leave his predicament in the water.  His powerful wings tried to lift his water soaked body and failed over and over.  His wings seemed fine.  It must be his leg or legs that are injured.

He almost made it to the sky.  I worried over what I'd see when his legs became visible, broken and twisted sealing his fate in the unforgivable world of nature.  Only the strong - only the strong survive and the weak and broken will perish.  It was so sad to see him failing in his struggles.
 Then, he made the most powerful effort to lift off from the water and it was then that I saw the real reason he couldn't leave the water's surface.
His talons had hold of an enormous fish that I'm guessing by the color and size was a carp.  The noble bird could not lift the huge cargo, nor would he let it go.


Wow, what a struggle!  I was so glad to see that he wasn't hurt, but he was trying to pick up a load that I doubted he could lift.  That fish had to weigh at least 10 pounds or more and the osprey only weighs about 3.5 pounds.  Osprey's are dynamic, powerhouses and this one doesn't want to let his catch go.




He can't do it.  His talons are buried deeply into the flesh of the fish and the hold is secure but he can't lift the great fish and plunges once again deeply into the water.  He must soon either prove successful or open his talons and let the fish fall before his plumage and feathers become saturated and seal his fate to a watery death.

He releases the fish and uses his powerful wings to lift himself to safety - up to the sky where he is a king and free from the danger on the water and on earth.





I realized I was holding my breath during this entire adventure.  What a display of massive effort by this osprey.  Gotta admire them for they are noble, strong and one of the two dominant forces on the river.  The other force is the bald eagle.   A little drama in my day.

I had other shots to post but I'm having software problems and am losing patience with trying to post pictures.


I'll have to spend some time and work on this posting issue that exists on the blog.  Hope you liked the entry.