Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Early Bird? Nope. On-Time Bird. Late Snow.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, or if we're Facebook friends, you've probably seen this guy before. This is The Early Bird, and I was inspired to paint him a few years back when I'd seen my first oystercatcher of the spring a good bit earlier than I ever had before - mid-March or so - and then a couple of days after that, it snowed, and I just couldn't stop thinking of the poor bird out there in the sloppy wet snow, wishing he hadn't been such an early bird. He now reappears on my social media every time I see a spring bird and then it snows.

Snow in mid-March isn't that unusual, but this year spring keeps giving us false starts and then winter comes back for another encore, even though the folks in the northeast and midwest are all yelling "GO HOME, WINTER, YOU'RE DRUNK!"

So we had a bit of a snowstorm in early April and our Jamaica Bay Guardian Don Riepe totally outdid my bummed-out oystercatcher with this magnificent photo of an osprey wondering what is this white stuff doing all over the nest.


Actually the osprey doesn't look nearly as put out as my oystercatcher does, but seriously, this poor guy just flew a very long way starting from someplace warm and sunny only to be greeted with a snowstorm - well, wild animals are tough, but I still can't help feeling a little sorry for them when this happens!

Click here to read a great NY Times article about an osprey tracking project that Don was involved in a few years back. They actually had a blog while it was running, and I absolutely loved following the sea eagle's journey from his wintering grounds in South America back to the nest platform in Jamaica Bay. I was so sorry when it ended!  


2 comments:

Beth Havey@Boomer Highway said...

My son-in-law is an ornithologist, so I love much there is to learn about birds. Thanks for this and the photos.

bonnie said...


You're welcome! Watching the birds come and go with the seasons is one of the best things about paddling Jamaica Bay, really such a treat for a citydweller.