Question: What is it with the birds of Virginia?
Answer: They sometimes fly right at you.
Birds are fascinating to watch on the water. Rob and Share Breitenstein of Pensacola, Florida, took their three beautiful children sailing on breezy York River, where we saw dolphins hunt for schools of fish. Either that or they were just playing; it’s hard to tell with dolphins.
Overhead about 300 feet flew two osprey in lazy circles. It was if they were scouting the dolphin prey in search of fish for their fledglings. They swooped down with a vengeance but we didn’t see them catch anything. When they do snare a fish, which is 70% of the time, the osprey quickly flex their talons to make the fish aerodynamically poised to fly.
The osprey are about to give birth, so we tend to give them wider berth when turning past their daymark nests. Once the fledglings are hatched, the mother will attack a boater who gets too close. It’s a sight to see since the boater is clueless about what he did to attract such vengeance.
Rob recalled, “While driving here on vacation, we saw two vultures in the road picking at a carcass. One of them flew at us and almost flew in the window. The air conditioning in our van is broken, so we had the windows down. It was a close call.” He paused as all of contemplated a confused vulture inside a van full of people.
Share added, “The same thing happened with a duck on the ferry from Scotland Wharf to Jamestown. The duck flew up and almost came in the window. What is it with these birds in Virginia?”
I told them the story of the personality Fabio, who years ago was the Hollywood celebrity hired to open a new at Busch Gardens. At the coaster descended from the top, he his face collided with a Canada goose flying by. It broke his nose and splattered blood all over several vestal virgins who accompanied him on the ride. He was a good sport about it, though.
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