YUCATAN OSPREY | FRESH BREAKFAST FISH
Yucatan, Casa Blanca & Playa Blanca Lodge
Osprey: A highly specialized fish catcher, with closeable nostrils, a reversible toe, and spicules under the foot to maximize grip. They are extensively celebrated in mythologies and folklore throughout world history and reside on almost every continent. One famous native civilization has this interesting doctrine to say about the famous fishy bird:
An osprey doesn’t wait for the fish to jump out of the water to meet him, instead he splashes in headfirst into an element that he could not survive within. He even places his head under the water – unlike sea-eagles. He teaches us how to plunder our resources and the necessity to move outside of our comfort zones in order to do this. Osprey teaches us to take risks, and to not be frightened of grasping opportunities just because they seem like they’re out of our reach.
I am fortunate to have Osprey as a daily sighting here at home on the banks of the Henry’s Fork River, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. I’ve noticed people have the same reactions all over the world when an osprey is seen hovering in place above water, everyone stops in their tracks, waiting and hoping, anticipating the dive. Often times nothing happens, no big splash, no show, no fish. There is no warning to when these astonishing optical moments in nature will happen. But when this big event happens, it causes people to cheer enthusiastically, smile big and laugh out loud, for no other reason than watching an Osprey successfully catch a fish, dry off and fly away. Both are an amazing thing to witness. In a world where money talks, material objects are trophies and an everything costs something cause nothing is free mentality, its inspiring to see this small act of nature can stop the rat race of time and for only a moment makes everyone stop and think about something more. Nobody won anything watching nature going about its daily routine, nobody was paid, nobody bought a ticket, and the event didn’t require a board membership and not one person needed sign a waiver in fear of a lawsuit. It required only a few small things, first to be in the places where these creatures live, second to be lucky and the last would probably be something along the lines of being able to be noiseless enough to see when the big event is about to go down.
I was thrilled to spend a brief morning photographing two osprey fishing in the Sian Ka’an reserve: two birds, two fish, and a once in a blue moon experience to observe. The Mayan name “Sian Ka’an” literally means “the birthplace of the sky”. The local Mayans say their ancestors believed, that in the beginning of time, the sky was created in the area surrounding the atoll, where I was based, Casa Blanca. I suppose it could be fitting to capture these awe-inspiring birds airborne in the sky and hunting fish in the water at the exact place where legend says it’s where the sky was born. Or just lucky, either way, it’s always a great experience watching these birds.