Osprey Overboard!

How "alien kindness" helped a flight-challenged chick find its way to the sky

If you’ve ever in your life spread wings on plans to soar into the limitless sky above — but suddenly found yourself picking up shards of shattered dreams from the dusty earth below — then you probably have a pretty good idea how this young osprey must be feeling in the video above.

I have plenty of experience with that feeling myself. But awful as any of life’s curveballs have ever left me feeling, none ever culminated, as this one did for the poor bird above, with a bunch of giant aliens grabbing, probing, and ultimately stealing me away in a bucket-shaped spaceship to an unknown fate waiting above. Methinks I would have soiled my knickers.

Which is why, I think, when I watch and re-watch this video now, I feel driven to look as deeply as I can into those big yellow osprey eyes — I just can’t help but wonder what this fallen, flightless fellow must have thought he was seeing as he watched a murder of aliens materialize and slowly close in around him — to save him? I gotta confess, to eat me! would have been the terrifying thought foremost in my mind.

This young bird was fortunate, of course, that we aliens on that day proved to be of the “E.T.” variety, not “Independence Day.” Situation reversed, I’m pretty sure he’d have seen a lot more Fay Freaking Wray than Obi-Wan Kenobi emanating from my own watery eyes. How could a mere bird, I wondered, in the face of such well-founded fear, project such a cool countenance of comprehensible concern? Most amazing to me, he seemed most to be … curious.

Maybe, I thought, he was simply too young to understand the deadly danger that aliens of the human variety most often bring to creatures like him. Maybe my own projection of sheer terror, if not exclusively a human trait, is merely learned behavior acquired from age and experience this young bird had yet to accrue … but which I, evidently, possess in abundance.

All such musings aside, the aliens in question here did not bring disaster, but in fact delivered the osprey from it — the good-hearted alien who looked out his Warrenton window to witness the hapless chick tumble from the sky, immediately called the benevolent beings at The Wildlife Center of the North Coast, who in turn reached out to the Earth-based Guardians of Groot working nearby in Astoria under the guise of Arbor Care Tree Specialists. With a final call to a nature-loving camera bug (moi) known to be deadheading through the parsec at the time, this group of aliens, eclectic enough to make “Men in Black” swell with pride, joined forces to produce the “Close Encounter of the Bird Kind” you see above.

I love a good Hollywood ending, and was relieved in the moment to see the osprey parents quickly welcome their wayward wonder back into the nest — happier still a few days later to see the nest itself standing empty, proof that our intrepid fledgling had put its “first flight plight” bravely behind, and taken to wing precisely as nature intended.

He will always in my mind be “out there somewhere” flying still … thanks, I’m sure in his mind, to a horde of helpful aliens who happily, once upon a time, didn’t eat him.


If you find a bird or animal in distress on or near the North Oregon Coast, contact:
The Wildlife Center of the North Coast

Should you ever need professional tree service in or around Astoria, contact:
Arbor Care Tree Specialists

And be sure to check here regularly for ever more great imagery!
Nature’s Coast Oregon

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