The Birds of Summer

strange behaviors

(Photo: Roger Phillips/Idaho Statesman, via Associated Press) (Photo: Roger Phillips/Idaho Statesman, via Associated Press)

My latest for The New York Times:

THE other morning, as I sat on the porch having my coffee, an osprey came plummeting down toward me out of a smoky, overcast sky, with a fish caught in his talons. He was screeching, “See, see, seeeee!” over and over. I suppose there must have been another osprey in the neighborhood. The males can be shameless at showing off their catch, but it’s mainly for other birds, not me.

“Stick around and eat,” I cried up at him. “Plenty of room, water views. Excellent neighbors.” He went winging away instead to some other, more osprey-perfect place, leaving me muttering, “Fussy bastards,” into my coffee cup.

I am a frustrated landlord. A few years ago, local volunteers put up an osprey nesting platform — basically half a sheet of plywood atop a 10-foot-high post…

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