Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Osprey -- Savior of Fishermen

PHOTO:  Sparky, the famous Everglades City Osprey, tends to her nest at the Camellia Street high-voltage electrical substation while a curious Mockingbird looks on (click on photo to get close-up)

Reprinted with permission from The Muller Rapper Newspaper

By Catherine Greenleaf

The Osprey or fish hawk, is a large and regal bird with a high-pitched cry that circles over open water, searching for fish to eat. Often mistaken for an eagle because of his mostly white head, the Osprey can live to 20 years of age or longer. He feeds by expertly dive-bombing his prey, freefalling from a height of up to120 feet and building up to speeds of 30 mph before crashing feet first into the water to deftly grab up a fish for dinner.

This winged messenger has ancient ties harkening back to the Incas. Peruvians believed a nesting pair of Ospreys close to one’s home symbolized good luck and good fortune. These peoples also believed the Osprey was a harbinger of plentiful fishing.

The Osprey was well known for centuries as the “savior of fishermen,” due to the bird’s large nests built high above the ground along the edge of the water. In times past, these nests often served as the only navigational aid for fishing boats in dangerous weather. The Osprey’s piercing cry was heralded as a warning of rocky shores in fog or pouring rain.

Osprey nests can reach very large proportions, sometimes achieving a weight of several hundred pounds. These nests have been found to contain popsicle sticks, soda cans, cardboard, plastic toys, sneakers and even cell phones.

Everglades City has its own famous Osprey. Nicknamed “Sparky” by locals, this Osprey prefers to make her nest each year in the high-voltage electrical substation located at the corner of Camellia Street and Copeland Avenue, just 200 feet from the Barron River. To this date, Sparky has apparently been able to fledge her nest of young safely without being electrocuted.

According to some Native American legends, seeing an Osprey in your dreams means you have been granted great power as a spiritual leader. If you hear the cry of an Osprey, it is a message to hold fast to your emotional moorings and embrace the blessings of home and family in your life. Don’t lose spirit. Appreciate the small things. While the grass may look greener on the other side, it actually is not.

One of the important symbols of the Osprey is mastery. If you are attempting to master some new skill, remember the 10,000 Hour Rule. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to truly master any skill, whether it be race car driving or playing the fiddle. As a young juvenile, the Osprey tries, again and again, to hone his skills in diving and catching his prey. The Osprey represents an individual who keeps his focus and his senses sharpened.

If the Osprey is your totem animal, then be prepared for things to happen fast, whether it be closing on a property, being hired for a job, or falling in love. The Osprey doesn’t waste any time. This bird migrates 4,500 miles in a mere 30 days, soaring on geo-thermals from the northeastern United States to El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Argentina in winter.

You will want to be careful in your dealings with others, if the Osprey is your totem. You may have the urge to react and strike out quickly, but prudence is called for in how you treat the people who love you and care about you. Because of the Osprey’s amazing vision, you will always have strong intuition about what is going to happen next in your life. Don’t doubt that tug in your gut. It will not lead you astray.

Culled from various books, articles and internet sites.

Copyright 2015