Because You Asked…..

Greetings from the Eastern Shore!  As we are sure you are all aware, shortly after the last blog was published, bemoaning the fact that we were now in wait and watch mode, we all had a huge surprise!  A fourth egg!  Crazy Osprey Man has been keeping careful notes since 1995, and this is the first time we have ever had four eggs in the clutch.  Hopefully Dr. Spitzer will treat us to some insider information regarding the rarity of a four egg clutch among ospreys. We will just have to wait and see if he is reading the blog.  We will share any tidbits he provides about our newest osprey adventure as soon as we get them.

We have been following the Conservancy’s Facebook traffic about the osprey camera, and have noticed some questions and comments regarding Crazy Osprey Man’s thoughts on the hatching and survivability of four osprey chicks.  In this blog, we will share some of our statistics about the number of eggs we have observed in the clutch each season, how many hatched and how many of the chicks survived to adulthood.  We won’t bore you with every single year, but will provide a good sampling (last 10 years) and some thoughts and comments.  So here goes:

2012-3 eggs laid, 2 hatched and survived

2011-3 eggs laid, 3 hatched, 2 survived (This was a very sad year, we will discuss this one in detail in another blog while trying to fill the waiting and watching part 2)

2010-2 eggs laid, 1 hatched and survived

2009-2 eggs laid, 2 hatched and survived (Yippee!  Good year!)

2008-2 eggs laid, 2 hatched and survived (Ditto!)

2007-3 eggs laid, 2 hatched and survived

2006-3 eggs laid, 3 hatched, 2 survived

2005-3 eggs laid, 2 hatched, 2 survived

2004-3 eggs laid, 3 hatched, 3 survived (Yippee!  A very good year with the original Tom and Audrey pair, who were very experienced osprey parents by this time)

2003-3 eggs laid, 3 hatched, 3 survived (Ditto)

Please keep in mind when you are reading our blogs that we are not ornithologists and have no formal training in the ways of birds.  All of our comments and thoughts are based on 18 years of careful observation, both before and after Crazy Osprey Man installed our first camera, and reading we have done.  As you can see from the above data, out of a 10 year time period, only 40% of the time did all of the eggs laid hatch and all of the chicks survive to adulthood.  Additionally, only 60% of the time did all of the eggs hatch.  We don’t want to be Debbie Downers, but based on these percentages, we feel it is not likely that all of the eggs will hatch and produce chicks that will survive to adulthood.  But what if someone had asked us last week this time what we thought about the chances that Audrey would lay four eggs?  Based on all of our observations over the 18 years, we would have said no way!

Audrey's 2013 Clutch

Audrey’s 2013 Clutch

So we will keep our fingers crossed that we will be able to add the following data to our list for next year:

2013-4 eggs laid, 4 hatched, 4 survived  (Here’s hoping!!!!!)

That’s all for now!  Until next time, we remain-

Crazy Osprey Man and Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man

If you are enjoying the osprey camera and blog, please consider a donation to the Chesapeake Conservancy so they are able to continue supporting programs such as this one. Go to  www.chesapeakeconservancy.org today!  Thanks very much!