Snake River Osprey

Yesterday, an osprey watched me peddled along the Washington shore of the Snake River. I always considered the fish eagles birds that only work clear waters. From it perch in a cottonwood tree, this citified eagle could watch cars and trucks clank over the interstate suspension bridge. Across the river, a factory cranked out bullets. What it did next left no doubt that it was the real deal.

The bird launched from its perch and hung in mid-air above the river, beating its broad wings to tread air like a swimmer can tread water. It dived toward the river. A sceen of trees blocked my view of the osprey until it had pull back above the tree line, its talons empty.

This morning I passed another urban marmot as well as a great blue heron that let me approach much closer than its Alaskan cousins. Later in the day a coyote crossed the road in front of me. I have long known of that trickster’s ability to thrive on a city’s margins. I suspected that herons can handle the stress of suburban living. But the osprey really surprised me.

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