Waiting and Watching-Part One

Good evening from the Eastern Shore!  We have spent a good bit of time this weekend on “Egg #3” watch.  The sun went down a little while ago, and there were still only two eggs in the nest.  We did have a couple of false alarms today, but they turned out to be errant shadows that our eyes were trying to make into an egg.  But alas, it was not to be.  We have titled this blog “Waiting and Watching-Part One” because once all of the eggs are laid, we will have “Waiting and Watching-Part Two” as we watch for the eggs to hatch, which will be a long wait!

We did have an interesting event today.  Tom came back with a fish, and decided to eat it at the end of our dock on top of the happy hour picnic table.  I am guessing that before any happy hours occur at the end of the dock, there will be cleaning of the picnic table involved.  While Tom was on the table trying to enjoy his lunch, he was joined by a group of crows.  The crows were swarming around him, the picnic table and the dock under the table looking to steal the fish, or at the very least, snack on bits of fish that ended up on the dock and not in Tom’s mouth.  Tom seemed unperturbed by his visiting friends, and munched away happily until he was full.

The usual course of events after Tom catches a fish is that he will eat his fill, always starting from the head down (we guess the good parts must be in the upper half of the fish).  He will eat the fish somewhere other than the nest, either on a neighbor’s dock, the perch mentioned in the previous blog or sometimes in a nearby tree.   Today was the first time we have observed him on the picnic table.  Tom will then bring the bottom half of the fish back to the nest for Audrey, who is now spending the vast majority of her time incubating her eggs.  If you are following the osprey camera, you will probably see Tom arrive with his leftovers for Audrey, and it will always be the bottom half of the fish (from the midpoint to the tail).  She doesn’t seem to mind, and is always appreciative of the meal.  You can hear her calling with delight when he is approaching with a fish.

In the coming days, we will be including some very interesting osprey facts and observations from Dr. Paul Spitzer, an ornithologist and osprey expert.  We have known Dr. Spitzer for many years, and have helped him in the past on another project which involved trying to provide suitable habitat for egrets who were living on a small island near our house.  Dr. Spitzer is a wealth of valuable information, and we are delighted (and very lucky!) that he is observing the nest and providing his thoughts. We will post some of his observations later this week.

So that is it for tonight.  Good night from our waiting room on the Eastern Shore.

Crazy Osprey Man and Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man