On a recent Friday night, Dick Jennings, Rob Bierregaard and Gus Ben David visited with each other in Mr. Ben David’s “man cave,” a cozy woodstove-heated structure with a front row view of his swans, geese and ducks.

Connected by their history of research, conservation and monitoring of the Island’s osprey population, the men drew quiet as Mr. Bierregaard presented Mr. Ben David a copy of Belle’s Journey: An Osprey Takes Flight, Mr. Bierregaard’s first children’s book about a real life osprey named Belle. There is a dedication to Mr. Ben David.

From right to left, author Rob Bierregaard, Dick Jennings and Gus Ben David. — Alison L. Mead

“A lot of history,” Mr. Ben David said after quietly reading the words.

The two men met almost 50 years ago, in 1969. Mr. Bierregaard had been reading through the North American Falconers Association membership book and noticed a man with three first names: Gus Ben David.

“I had just taken a young red tail out of the nest, Gandalf,” remembered Mr. Bierregaard. “So Gandalf and I came to the Island and met Gus at the gate [of Felix Neck]. He took me around and showed me all of the parts of the Vineyard I had never seen.”

Mr. Ben David is the founder and former director of Felix Neck Sanctuary and over the years has been instrumental in bringing back the Vineyard’s osprey population, putting up poles all over the Island since the 1970s.

Author Rob Bierregaard will speak at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore on Tuesday, May 29, at 7 p.m.

“We wouldn’t be having this conversation today if it wasn’t for Gus,” said Mr. Jennings, who with the help of citizen scientists, monitors and collects data for over 200 active and inactive nests on the Island.

In 2010, Mr. Bierregaard tagged and tracked Belle, a now famous osprey among followers of his tracking website. Belle is one of over 50 young ospreys Mr. Bierregaard has tagged. She is his favorite because of her unique migration path.

“She migrated over the Atlantic, and that really amazed us,” he said. “No adult crosses the Atlantic from Martha’s Vineyard to the Bahamas.”

The book tracks a young osprey’s first trip to South America and back. The chapters alternate between Belle’s point of view and Dr. B’s, aka Mr. Bierregaard. The story takes events from Belle’s actual migration and adds to it experiences that other tracked ospreys have had.

The book is dedicated to Gus Ben David. — Alison L. Mead

Kate Garchinsky did the illustrations for the book.

“I started reading Rob’s manuscript, I thought, he knows what he’s doing,” said Ms. Garchinsky. “It was too good to be self published.”

She contacted Harold Underdown, a children’s book editor and her mentor, to see if he would help Mr. Bierregaard get the book ready for a publisher. Once the edits were done, she began watching live osprey cams to see their expressions and motions, and visited the Island in the spring and the summer of 2016 to get a feel for the landscape, observe the colors and begin sketching.

“The illustrator doesn’t just draw what’s in the book,” said Ms. Garchinsky. “My job is to show the reader things they can’t see by reading it.”

“They’re like photographs, they’re so good,” said Mr. Jennings.

Belle’s Journey was published on May 15. Mr. Bierregaard will give a talk on Tuesday, May 29 beginning at 7 p.m. at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven.

Mr. Bierregaard said he views the book as “logical extension” of his scientific and educational work, and he hopes it will inspire the next generation of birders.

“I find the world around me wonderful in the true sense of the word,” he said. “I wonder where the ospreys go in the winter. I wonder about how they find their way there and back. And satellite technology enables us to answer some of those questions and satisfy that sense of wonder. I hope that kids who read Belle’s Journey will be infected with that sense of awe and wonder. If they are, they may care about the world around them to take care of it.”

Ms. Garchinsky visited the Vineyard and watched osprey cams to perfect her illustrations. — Kate Garchinsky

As for Belle, she is no longer transmitting a signal but could very well be settling back in to her nest on the Cape and, as has been the pattern, making short trips back to Martha’s Vineyard.

Mr. Bierregaard said her radio broke down last year, after almost seven years of being tracked.

“There’s only one osprey who carried a radio longer than Belle,” he said. “Last spring as she was coming north, the radio came off and on, which probably means something happened to the transmitter.”

Rob Bierregaard will discuss his book Belle’s Journey: An Osprey Takes Flight at the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, 23 Main street, Vineyard Haven, on Tuesday, May 29 beginning at 7 p.m.