Koo spreads his wings and takes a break in the nest. (note his left leg goes backward)
Bye bye KOO...Death of the Bird by Alec Derwent Hope
For every bird there is this last migration;Once more the cooling year kindles her heart;With a warm passage to the summer stationLove pricks the course in lights across the chart.
Year after year a speck on the map, divided By a whole hemisphere, summons her to come;Season after season, sure and safely guided,Going away she is also coming home.
And being home, memory becomes a passionWith which she feeds her brood and straws her nest,Aware of ghosts that haunt the heart's possession And exiled love mourning within the breast.
The sands are green with a mirage of valleys;The palm tree casts a shadow not its own;Down the long architrave of temple or palaceBlows a cool air from moorland scarps of stone.
And day by day the whisper of love grows stronger;That delicate voice, more urgent with despair,Custom and fear constraining her no longer,Drives her at last on the waste leagues of air.
A vanishing speck in those inane dominions,Single and frail, uncertain of her place,Alone in the bright host of her companions,Lost in the blue unfriendliness of space.She feels it close now, the appointed season;The invisible thread is broken as she flies;Suddenly, without warning, without reason,The guiding spark of instinct winks and dies.
Try as she will, the trackless world delivers No way, the wilderness of light no sign;Immense,complex contours of hills and rivers Mock her small wisdom with their vast design.The darkness rises from the eastern valleys,And the winds buffet her with their hungry breath,And the great earth, with neither grief nor malice,Receives the tiny burden of her death.
Unedited text and picture was with text.
This crippled osprey in a nest in Finland amazed me with his disability of having his left leg being broken in the knee and was more of a hindrance than any benefit. He tried and showed his sisters that he too could learn to stand, eat and fly just like they did. Rules are so different in different countries. When Koo was banded, something should have been done then, possible surgery at that young age. I timed Koo many time when he flew off the nest and his average was 1 minute and the maxium time was 4 minutes. As it gets dark in Finland at 3 pm EST, I was watching one afternoon and Koo flew off which concerned me as I had never seen him fly at night. He did not return for 16 hours and I thought since he only stayed at the nest for 30 minutes he was going to be fine. Instead Koo flew off the nest and after 30 hours of not seeing Koo, I became concerned. He left the last time on a Tuesday and on Saturday according to newspaper article in Finland, Koo was found in a ditch by a hunter and was taken to the local Zoo hospital. For whatever reason, it was to be 09-09-09 before Koo could even be xrayed. Today Koo was driven two hours to the vets office and assisted by another vet. The very next news was that Koo was gone, they chose to euthanize Koo. Koo would have been fine in the zoo and used for educational purposes. I never imagined crying over Koo, but this literally tore my heart out since learning how wonderful many of the things in wildlife interested me. I am very upset that Koo could not have continued being a lovable bird even in captivity. I told Jerrell I cannot take this anymore, having to worry through Tiny falling from the nest, Bandit fledging early due to a huge limb breaking in his nest tree. Losing another bird that got tangled in her mother's feathers, the mother desperately trying to get her loose in human ways seeming very unconventional. Had she waited til Dad got back, his sharp beak could have cut the feathers and saved Echo. I never watched that nest again. During the time of watching the cams ( 4 months) I lost 30 pounds and began having hair loss, both of which my doctor attributed to stress and diet.
Sorry for the long post, but this is my tribute to my Koo, who gave me so much joy and never let his handicap stop him, but when in the wild, he just could not catch his food and no way to eat on a branch with only one leg. Bless all wildlife, pets, etc. How can people think there is no God????