Tuesday, May 9, 2017

THE OSPREYS OF THE FRENCH BROAD RIVER

The French Broad River at the top of Douglas Reservoir finally received enough water to make it navigable.  Yesterday was a relief from from routine daily activities by being on the river instead of a busy, muddy reservoir.  




Heavy foliage creates mysterious dark places
 Then there they were, appearing suddenly on an old dead snag in the center of the back eddy adjacent to the river proper.

The above shot shows sun and shade together on the same subject.  It is a warm shot of normally harsh appearing white flowers.  I believe its called variation.
He watches his precious family from above and will swoop aggressively at what or whoever gets too near.



 The female is alarmed at my close passing.  There's nothing I can do as I must get up river.  My passing by is of no concern and causes no harm.

 Problems of intense fright and concern by them occurs if photographers approach close and stop to photograph them.  That sends them into intense fear.  This is why I use a 500 mm lens.  I can avoid the necessity to be close to wildlife.  I am always moving past or away but have the luxury of attaining photographs that appear as if I'm on top of the subject.  I will not ever knowingly cause stress on any wildlife.  Love the critters.
 Mrs. Osprey, however, feels threatened and leaves the nest in haste.


 The male stays put and watches the huge white boat pass close by as it moves upstream.  I might add here that there is mono fishing line attached to this bird's foot.

 Notice the clear fishing line following behind.

 This bird has come in contact with discarded monofilament clear line that probably has been discarded along the shoreline or just tossed into the water.
 Many times fishermen will get a tangle in their line and rip off yards of the plastic stuff and it ends up in a ball of fishing line.  Sportsmen pack it away and leave the water with it to dispose of properly at home.  Slobs simply toss it in the water or on the shoreline, as they do their McDonald bags and empty plastic water bottles and Icy Lite beer cans.  Icy Lite seems to be the beer of choice for slob fishermen.  Unattended limb lines are another killer of these birds.  It is sickening how we treat our wildlife with so little respect.  All eyes and minds are focused on the surface of the water in hopes of seeing the elusive, coveted bass and all else seems to receive little attention.


 He is banking around a tall tree to let his dismay with me known.
 Yikes, that was close!
 He is screaming at me.  I believe this pair of ospreys has small young in the nest.  The aggressive action is unending.

 And there's that clear fishing line hanging on.  I pray this animal can eventually shed this abomination.  It is so dangerous for him.
 He is watching and presenting his most threatening posture.
 Magnificent!









 These animals are precious gifts and we need to do all we can to preserve their habitats, which are rapidly diminishing with the onslaught of humans into their spaces.







The osprey's habitat - help keep it clean and safe by removing any fishing line seen laying on the shorelines or snagged on floating logs or brush.  Bobbers dangling from trees appear amusing due to the poor cast that lodged them there but the fishing line that  dangles from them is a deadly trap to flying critters.  Wading birds are in constant peril from the balled up, tangled mess of clear fishing line, and many times there is a hook still attached to the line.  I use the word slobs because I'd get in trouble if I used the words that really apply to those who trash our waterways and show such disregard for our precious animal resources.  And so on those cheerful words I take my leave.  Hope you enjoyed the Ospreys.