A few facts for our new readers:
1. Riki was born July 27, 2013 on the nesting platform behind the Doctor’s house. He is the first born of Ozzie and Harriett Raptor.
2. By summer’s end 2013, Riki was fully grown and able to migrate south with the rest of the returning osprey population. New born ospreys are on their own. Both parents “take separate vacations”, and every newborn osprey instinctively migrates south, to South America, to begin lives of their own. They generally link up with any skein they encounter as they fly south.
3. Young adult ospreys spend the first 18 months of their lives in South America. This is a special time for them. Ospreys mate for life and they generally pair up during this time.
I know, I know; Riki is a heart throb. But keep your panties on young ladies. There is more than what meets the eye in this photo.
As you can see, Riki is a beautiful bird. Of course he is young and immature, but not any more so than other osprey his age. Riki has an advantage over his contemporaries. Some ospreys must learn the core values of Right from Wrong, Good from Bad, Honesty from Deceit and be taught the virtues of Truth, Peace and Love, from their environment and/or experiences.
He knows not why, but Riki instinctively comprehends these concepts and takes them for granted. Responsibility, compassion, discipline, forgiveness, are part of his consciousness, to which he already feels an allegiance. Values are natural to Riki; he knows the difference between an egoist and an egotist just as ospreys breathe air and like to fly.
Commanded by nature to fly south, Riki left the North River in late summer. He could hardly contain his excitement; the stories he had heard of his upcoming months played like a rock and roll laser beam directing him straight to Lake Maracaibo. “Hot fun in the winter time; light shows of sunrise; cool lights, ospreys delight”; a new generation of ospreys, reveling in the pleasures of youth; enjoying their freedom and hedonistically indulging in the pleasures of irresponsibility. Lagoons teeming with fish; a cornucopia; tropical utopia; Mother Nature’s gift to the best and brightest. Yahoo!
As Riki passed over Port-au-Prince and crossed into the south Caribbean Sea, a deep voice reverberated in the northern sky.
“Grow up Riki”.
“What the hell was that”?
It gave him a chill.
Riki spent his first three months at Lake Maracaibo. Why he stayed three months is a mystery even to himself. Riki’s disenchantment, disillusionment and disbelief neurons fired off in rapid cessation. He was seeing; seeing but not believing.
Riki tried to ignore the pollution, trash, algae bloom and oil slicks. He pretended like it wasn’t there, and stuck out to find some company. He meet a few other disheartened youngsters; this was not the place they had expected. Where were the floating villages? Where were the rivers teeming with fish and the Catatumbo lightning and love mist? Something was terribly wrong. The cornucopia of Lake Maracaibo had disappeared, vanished and morphed into a polluted, dead zone; devoid of life, cheer and hope. Even its pleasurable memories were fading. So decayed and rotting was their parent’s paradise that young osprey left as soon as they arrived. Lake Maracaibo was dead. Paradise lost.
“What the #$%! Happened to Lake Maracaibo”? Asked Riki.
“Forget it”, all agreed. “Let’s get the #$%! Out of here!
Venezuela; wintering site for generations of ospreys, was no more.
Riki headed south. He wanted to see the famous Amazon river Basin and its exotic wildlife.
He met a young osprey named Maria in Columbia and they liked each other immediately. She was feeling insecure since being on her on her own for the first time. Her parents were from Ecuador. Maria was born in south east Texas on a radio tower in the Corpus Christi Bay. Her migration south had not been too difficult, but she was lonely and wanted to find a friend. Maria only spoke Spanish.
“¿Será mi amigo”?
“Soy solo y quiero ser su amiga”.
“Creo que sería bueno para usted”
“Sí, usted. Nunca lo lamentará”
“What? Well OK, I guess”.
Like a fairy tale in my granddaughter imagination, Riki and Maria flew off into the beautiful Amazon basin and lived happily ever after.
Take one last look at Riki. I loved that bird.
Good Bye Riki