The osprey, Pandion haliaetus, is a bird of character. The ancient poets knew this, and the Maryland Transportation Authority is discovering it the hard way. Last week, a pair of ospreys decided to build their nest on a platform overlooking the approach to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, where the MDTA keeps a traffic camera.
This past Friday, the MDTA removed the nest. The ospreys started rebuilding it. Yesterday, the MDTA removed it again. This morning, the live feed showed the ospreys getting to work for the third time, wrestling sticks into position to build anew.
Ospreys are no strangers to oppression. The lazy and thieving bald eagle, symbol of the United States of America, habitually steals fish from the smaller, harder-working birds. The ospreys just catch more fish.
So where ordinary Americans have learned to submit to the panopticon, the ospreys of the Bay Bridge fight on. The transportation authority wants to give the public an unobscured view of the often-clogged bridge, as the season for beach-bound traffic draws nigh. The ospreys likewise want a clear view of the bay, so they may more easily dive for fish and bring them back to their future nestlings. A spokesperson for the MTDA reportedly explained that the birds "have been captured attacking the camera" when it moves.