|An Osprey Encounter
Have you ever looked an osprey in the eye?
I did last summer. So did a dozen third and fourth graders in Summer Science Camp at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary.
The kids were eager to start a canoe trip on the Patuxent River. The bigger ones crowded to the front, urging me to walk faster, as I led them down the old Chesapeake Beach Railroad Bed Trail toward the river.
An osprey whistled, and I searched the sky. Nothing there. I had returned my focus to the path when I stopped in my tracks. So did the kids. There, on the ground beside the trail, stood the osprey.
I had never before encountered a grounded bird of prey. The osprey did not seem injured. Would it fly away if we moved toward it?
The raptor examined us with large yellow eyes and ruffled its feathers. Cautiously and quietly, we stepped toward it. The osprey shifted. We stopped. The bird did not move.
I crept closer.
Ten feet from the bird, I could see its sharp talons and curved yellow beak. What might it do now? Will it fight? Will it attack?
With safety in mind, the adults in the group joined me, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a human wall between the campers and the bird. Behind our shield, the children slipped past. The bird watched each child. Was the bird frightened of us? Was it as curious as we were?
The osprey never left its spot nor made a sound. It stood its ground in regal plume, black wings neatly folded back. Its plumage flowed like a robe over its strong body. Every feather glistened.
Safely past, the campers raced to the river. Guess what we saw! they bubbled at naturalist Karyn Molines.
Was it docile? she asked.
They had seen a fledgling, she told them, a young bird learning how to fly.
A young ospreys first flights, she explained, are like what happened when you learned to ride a bike. You fell off and probably had trouble getting back on.
Thats what the young osprey is doing out there on the trail, the naturalist said.
Ospreys eat fish and they dive into the water to catch fish from the river. Most likely, this young bird dove into the river for a fish and did not know how to take off from the water. So it swam to shore and climbed the bank where you found it just now. It will look for a tree to climb and then take off from a branch. It needs some height to fly.
Thats how we came to look an osprey in the eye.
Did you know that?
Ospreys catch and eat live fish. YUM
Ospreys shake water themselves off like dogs
Home Sweet Home
Home sweet home on a man-made platform atop a 40-foot pole. Ospreys will even try to nest atop telephone poles. They prefer living high in the air to get a birds-eye view. They also want to keep their eggs and chicks safe from enemies.
When it comes to building a nest, Ospreys will try anything. Some have even used hula hoops, rag dolls and toy boats.
Very Important Bunny
by Mary Brewer, Junior Reviewer
T he Talent Machines Very Important Bunny (or V.I.B) is a great Easter show. When we first came in we got to eat some yummy food, even dessert. The waiters were performers, so we got to meet them before the show.
During the show, they sang all different kinds of songs and did lots of tap dancing too. One little girl in the audience even had a song sung to her by one of the Talent Machine kids.
Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny were there. You could have your picture taken with them and do the bunny hop too. The little kids really liked that. Next they had an Easter bonnet contest and gave out prizes at the end.
I enjoyed seeing the Talent Machine kids again. I had taken one of their classes before and it was really fun. They are going to be doing neat things this summer like Cinderella and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. They also will have summer camps.
The same bunny show will be performed again this Saturday at Buddys Crabs and Ribs in Annapolis and Sunday at the Rod n Reel in Chesapeake Beach. Hope you get a chance to go. I think you would really enjoy it.
A Musical Cinderella
Thurs. April 13 (7pm)-Come enjoy the Story Minstrels as they perform A Renaissance Cinderella. Listen to the harp, lute and recorder and see the beautiful costumes. Lots of audience participation too. Ages 3+. Prince Frederick Public Library, Prince Frederick. 410/535-0291.
Guitars and Storytime
Thurs. April 13 (7:30pm)- Kids see how a guitar is made and enjoy the guitar music of John Dillion, too. Borders Books and Music, Bowie. 301/745-5897.
Sat. April 15 (9am-2pm)-Visit a marsh and see what effect nutria have on natural habitats . Watch demonstrations of trapping and learn about conservation. Ages 16 and under. LeCompte Wildlife Area, Vienna, on the Eastern Shore. rsvp: 410/673-2061.
Bunny Party Time
April 15 & 16:
Enjoy a party with Peter Rabbit, Mrs. E. Bunny & Talent Machine Soundstage Kidz as Bobbie Smith brings her cast of talented kids for an afternoon of singing & dancing. Eat lunch, bunny hop & join the Easter Bonnet Parade. Prizes! $10 April 15 @ Buddys Crabs & Ribs, Annapolis; $12.50 April 16 @ RodnReel Restaurant,
Chesapeake Beach. rsvp: 410/956-0512 X 5.
Kids and Dogs
Tues. April 18 (6:15-7:15pm)-Teach your dog to sit, come, stay, roll over and lots of other command and tricks. The 8-week program, Basic Dog Training I for Kids, will help kids learn to handle their dogs. Ages 6-14 . Broadneck Park Pavilion, Arnold. rsvp: 410/222-7313.