For six luminous months–an entire nesting season–David Gessner immersed himself in the lives of the magnificent osprey’s that had returned to his seagirt corner of Cape Cod. In this marvelous book–part memoir, part paean to a once-endangered species, part natural history of the Cape–Gessner recounts the many discoveries he made in the course of that magical season.
Hailed by Roger Tory Peterson as the symbol of the New England coast, the osprey all but vanished during the 1950s and ‘60s because of the ravages of DDT. But now these breathtaking birds are returning. Writing with passion, humor, and a reverence for the natural world, Gessner interweaves the stories of the nesting osprey pairs he observed with the narrative of his own readjustment to life on a windblown, beautiful, and increasingly developed landscape he had known as a child. For Gessner, spotting an osprey dive for fish at forty miles an hour becomes a lesson in patience and focus, watching the birds build their nests illustrates the vital task of making a home, and following the chicks’ attempts to fly shows him the value of letting go.
A story of recovery and connection, Return of the Osprey celebrates one of nature’s most remarkable creatures as well as our own limitless capacity for wonder.