Whirley was the first chick to hatch on the Whirley Crane nest on May 12, 2017, to Richmond and Rosie. This was not the first year the nest had been used, but it was the first year there was a camera, provided by the Golden Gate Audubon Society, so that humans could watch and enjoy and learn about ospreys on the SF Bay. Whirley and her sibling Rivet captured the attention and love of many people, both local and afar. A lively chat group ensued. Whirley fledged successfully on July 3. In the early morning of July 4, she flew off the nest for some reason and wasn't seen again until July 5, when a barge crew fished her out of the Bay. She was taken to Wildcare but her injuries were too extensive and they had to euthanize her. Her sibling Rivet was banded, migrated South in the Autumn of 2017 and returned briefly to the nest in 2018.
(tune: Old Blue, supply your own voice!)
There was an osprey named Whirley
Lived on a crane not in a tree.
Hello, Whirley, we’re glad to meet you.
Hello, Whirley, and your sibling too.
One day Whirley said to mother nearby
“Momma dear, I want to fly.”
“Go on, Whirley, give it a try.
Go on, Whirleybird, you can try to fly.”
So Whirley lifted off from the nest,
Hovered in the air above the rest.
“Good job, Whirley, now you are free.
Good job, Whirley, now, you’re just like me.”
The next day, Whirley left the nest,
Flew around then landed to rest.
“Come back, Whirley, come home to me.
Poppa has a big fish to eat.”
After a while, Whirley grew hungry
So she flew back to her family.
“Good girl, Whirley, you got your wish.
Now it’s time to eat your fish.”
But that night, Whirley could not rest,
And so she flew again from the nest.
“Come back, Whirley, it is still night,
“Wait until early morning light.”
But Whirley that restless bird
Didn’t heed a single word.
“No,Momma, I want to be free.
And I just want to be me.”
Whirley flew all that day
Up and down and around the bay.
Chirping, “Here I am, family, now I am free.
Here I am, family, don’t you worry about me.
Then Whirley dove into the Bay
To catch her first own fish prey.
“Oh no, Whirley, wait for us to come too.
“No, no, Whirleybird,, we have to teach you.”
But for Whirley it was too late,
Her restlessness cast her fate.
“Good-by, Whirley, we’re sad to see you go.
Good-by, Whirleybird, we’ll miss you so.”
Now Whirley dives into primordial sea
Catches shining fish for all to see.
Dive on, Whirley, catch a fish for me.
Dive on, Whirleybird, be wild and free.
And she soars so high in the skies
The sun reflects her golden eyes.
Fly on, Whirley, fly to the sun.
Fly on, Whirleybird, oh restless one.
Now when you look up in the sky,
If you chance to see our Whirley fly by,
Tell her, hello Whirley, now you’re wild and free.
Fly high, Whirleybird,, looking down on me.
Hello, Whirley, now you’re wild and free,
Fly high, Whirleybird, looking down on me.
You were always the restless one,
Ever looking towards the sun
Just waiting for the day
When you could fly away.
You were eager to try
To spread your wings and fly
While your brother wanted to rest
You couldn’t wait to leave the nest.
And that restlessness cast your fate
As you flew off into the late
Dark night sky on your own,
Spent the next day alone.
Now,Whirley, a year from that day
We send our loving thoughts your way
Pray that you now are flying high
In some far off, beautiful sky
Fishing in a mythical sea
Happy and content to be free.
Rivet's big sister
May 12, 2017-July 8, 2017
Good by, Whirley Bird. You will live in our memories.