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The Mystery Of the Drooping Osprey Perch


Broken perch (You can see the perch/arm drooping more clearly in the close-up photo, left)

7-9-13 broken perch close-upBack home in WePo after the long, glorious, perfect-sizzling-sunny-summer-beach-weather weekend in Paradise, aka Montauk.  Early-morning breakfast/exercise routine out there was the same for me every day:  Hop on my bike (actually, Matt’s bike; his is way better than mine and he was away in Iceland, fcol); ride across Napeague Meadow; cruise Cranberry Hole Road into Amagansett; glance over at chi-chi Mary’s Marvelous, where the line is


The stately osprey

out the door; pedal past too-cool-for-school Jack’s Coffee, where the line is out the door, and then some; wind up at good old Luz’s Deli — no line :) — for my egg-and-cheese and iced coffee.  Excuse me: not every day.  One day I headed east, to Montauk, instead of west, to Amagansett.  Destination: Coffee Tauk.  Beautiful ride.  Literally blew into town, with the prevailing easterlies at my back.  (Knew instantly the ride home wouldn’t be pretty.)  Very nice bathroom, btw, at

new digs

New digs, closer to East Hampton

C-Tauk.  Wound up at the same spot again late that night, for gelato.  One scoop chocolate, one scoop espresso.  De-lish.  Not crowded, either — and I’d like it to stay that way.  So let’s keep this entre nous.

But I digress.  What I really wanted to talk about was the osprey nest.

Nazca lines for space aliens in Middle-of-Nowhere, Peru

Nazca lines for space aliens in Middle-of-Nowhere, Peru

Every time I bike along Napeague Meadow Road, I check in on Momma Osprey, who’s watching over her brood from her perch atop the man-made pole.  But on this particular morning, the nest was gone.  And the perch was drooping.  I immediately came up with 5 possible explanations:

1.  The DOO (Dept. of Osprey) decided the nesting place was no longer safe, and dismantled the perchO-Road

2.  Momma Osprey took the thing down herself

3.  The Family Osprey felt it was time to upgrade to a more fashionable neighborhood, and relocated to a telephone pole 50 yards closer to East Hampton

Greg & Kelly at the Clam Bar:  Nothing to do with the story, but nice photo, no?

Greg & Kelly at the Clam Bar: Nothing to do with the story, but nice photo, no?

4.  The downed perch was intended as a signal to aliens — like the Nazca Lines in Peru

5.  It just broke

I haven’t discussed this conundrum with my family, for obvious reasons.  Carol would give me her look that says:  On the planet where you’re from, people really care about these things?  Greg, ditto — but worse.  Robby will not be reading past the first line of this post, once he realizes there’s no picture of Ricky.  And Matt?  Matt might actually care.  Might.  

Anyway, I care.  Deeply.  And I guess that’s what makes the Beagle Man the Beagle Man.



Categories: General
Hank Herman

4 Responses

  1. Hank says:

    Raccoons climb that high??

  2. Pam says:

    Dear Hank, so much info upon which to comment… I wonder what an Osprey expert would have to offer in the way of opinions? If you’d like to see some other REALLY COOL Ospreys, there is a place at the mouth of CT River called Great Island. Biggest birds I’ve ever seen. Over 100 nesting platforms. I’ll tell you more when I see you. But I have to wonder about raccoons destroying that nest in LI… they are the biggest culprits.

  3. Zelia Abbot says:

    The Buzzards Bay area where I go for the writing retreat has one active Osprey nest, which is huge. The Mom was sitting on something when I was there recently. Lots of little birds seem to nest in the bottom of the Big Nest, or at least hide there. Can’t imagine who would deliberately destroy the nest of those interesting birds, except they do eat fish, maybe a cabal of fisher folk. See ya tomorrow.

  4. Mimi says:

    My brother once called me, begging me to come rescue some baby birds that had “fallen” out of a destroyed nest outside of his office window. I came by with a ladder and materials to repair the nest only to discover that the mama bird had deliberately trashed the nest to make her kids spread their wings and fly. The mama nearly pecked out my eyes when I came near. I quickly left my nest-repair paraphernalia by the tree and headed for my car. In a short amount of time the little buggers were flying. Maybe that’s what happened with the Osprey family. Maybe mama got tired of feeding them and kicked their sorry ___es out! (Hank–you’re like me with the geese at The Grist Mill!)