Ozzie 1 mile up River
Ozzie surveyed his new domain.
“Fishing grounds to be expanded this year,” he thought.
He planned to expand them from North River marsh, to the south bank, to 1 mile up river. He cleared the competition. Ozzie is getting tougher and wiser as he approaches his 7th birthday.
“All clear, and all mine,” he thought.
“All mine and Harr…” he paused.
The stress was tearing him apart, the instinct to breed and his love for Harriett pulled his heart strings painfully.
“Nine days! Has my Harriett perished?”
“I need a mate; I’ve got to have a mate.”
Ozzie’s instincts pushed him forcefully.
“I’ll make one last circuit before dusk,” he decided.
Ozzie’s powerful wings lifted him from his perch. He made his circuit counterclockwise; east bank first, then the North River marsh, and turning northward he followed the west bank towards the Taj Mahal.
When Ozzie rounded the bend at North River marsh he could see the Taj Mahal ½ mile ahead. And on the Taj Mahal was a bird. Not just any bird, an Osprey. His keen eyes focused narrowly.
“Could it be? Could it be Harriett, or am I in for a fight?”
With a few more powerful downward strokes, even in the fading light, he could see her necklace. A few more flaps and, “Oh my gosh, it’s Harriett!”
Harriett flew up to the nine foot spire and stood majestically.
Harriett stood confidently looking the other way.
“I hope I look alright,” she thought.
She had gathered all her strength, groomed her feathers and stood looking, scanning the sky in hopes of seeing her mate.
Ozzie took in a deep breath. His heart rate increased, as did his respiratory rate. He tried to calm himself. A lump encroached upon his throat.
Tears of Joy
Ozzie blinked his nictitating membranes.
“The air is dry and flying at this speed irritates my eyes,” he rationalized his tears.
Ozzie landed on the platform and tripped over his own two talons. He banged his forehead on the camera mount, then quickly spun around to greet her.
They stroked beaks as if they were sharpening knives. They pressed their necks together closely, as if to intertwine. Then a complex secreto-motor phenomenon occurred in Ozzie’s lacrimal apparatus (tear ducts); tears welled up from nowhere. He had to blink several times to disguise them.
(A neuronal connection exists between the osprey lacrimal gland (tear duct) and the areas of the osprey brain involved with emotion. Tears produced during intense emotion have a chemical composition which differs from other types of tears. They contain significantly greater quantities of the hormones prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, leu-enkephalin and the elements potassium and manganese. Getting rid of these excess substances relieves tension by balancing the body’s stress hormones and eliminating the build-up of stress).
Ozzie felt like a wuss and was embarrassed. He bolted off the platform and took a wide circumferential lap around his new 2015 home.
When he lighted again on the platform he felt wonderful. Harriett had accurately assessed his feelings. Their love and friendship burst like an ember into a flame.