Saturday, July 28, 2012


Ever since I have been filming at the river, there has been at least one bamboo pole on the interface between river and marsh.  Who puts them there and what purpose they serve has been an ongoing mystery. The birds, however, appreciate them.  Osprey, hawks, red-winged blackbirds and kingfishers have all used the poles both to rest and to use as a place to spot fish in the river below.  In this photo, a kingfisher has a small minnow in it's bill, one of many it caught that morning while using the pole as an observation post.

The osprey on the pole is an immature osprey and the mother is flying in background.  She was trying to encourage the juvenile to follow her and get some hunting experience. The baby was very reticent.  It would follow the parent for a while, then turn back and return to the pole to sit. This was a couple of years ago and I remember worrying that the juvenile might not learn to hunt in time to survive.

Here is another photo of the parent trying to encourage the baby to follow her in the hunt.

Earlier this spring, I saw these two men inspect the pole that had taken the place of two that were along the shore in previous years.  This one had been placed last year right at the end of the marsh and was quite a bit larger, both in length and girth.  It looks to be fifteen feet or more tall, which is quite a bit taller than the previous ones.  You can see there are no official markings on the boat identifying who they were.  Organizations will often use center-console boats, so they may be there is some official capacity even though they are not wearing uniforms.

Recently, I noticed the bamboo pole had been broken off about ten feet up.  If you know anything about bamboo, you know how difficult it would be to break this pole off clean like that.  I got to thinking about it. If it had been hit from the side, the impact would have had to have dislodged it from the mud at least enough to no longer be upright. So, what could have broken it? I think the best guess would be a bolt of lightning.  It is the only thing I think would have left the pole standing upright in the same position.

Where the top broke off, it left a spear-like piece sticking up on one side, which causes some problem for the osprey trying to roost on it.

Here, the osprey has it's head down studying the pole under it's feet, trying to figure why the pole is spreading apart.

It is laughable how in this photo it looks like the osprey is on stilts.  I hope they put in a new pole and so do the osprey.

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