Osprey, Terrapin Cove, NJ
I know that looking everywhere—the bottom of the ocean, blackest caves—is a colonization of the invisible. But does that mean I should look away? Is there a way to look and also make that looking into a kind of art? I try to only watch broadcasts that take place outside of zoos (I don’t know if this is the right tactic). Apparently this means lots of birds, who mostly make highly visible homes and stay there several months of the year. They become easy targets. What’s more, it’s almost April now, and at least in the Northern hemisphere that means birds are coming back. In Terrapin Cove on the Delaware Bay the ospreys have set up a near constant chirping and calling. Someone has combined the views of six cameras into one Mondrian-like pastiche of nesting platforms and wide swaths of estuary rippling. Reeds shift slightly in the wind. I watch a bird land on a nest in one view and see his talons grip the wood far off in another with a slight delay. I can’t piece together the orientation as birds fly left, right, up, down, and sometimes appear in opposite corners at the same time. One has joined the other in the nest and they turn their backs to the camera and shake like they find something very funny. It’s a dried up old fish, this cause for hilarity. I don’t get the joke but smile anyway. There are no eggs yet, and this is the foreplay.