Good afternoon from the hot and humid Eastern Shore, where foreboding rumblings have been heard from the west. I haven’t been home very much this week, the call of the Almighty Dollar has taken the place of peaceful hours watching my feathered friends. But I have a couple of short stories to tell (observations), some discourse regarding what has been going on in the nest and surrounding environs (comments) and some responses to inquiries that have been posed on Facebook (questions answered). So here goes….
Observation: This goes to the missing third marked stick that Crazy Osprey Man put out a few days ago. The third stick is in the nest, but is not visible from the camera view. It is in the side of the nest closest to the dock. Each of the three marked sticks that Crazy Osprey Man put out are accounted for, although one of the marked sticks in the nest is getting covered. So I apologize to Tom for insinuating in the last blog that he picked up a stick that didn’t make it to the nest due to his ineptitude. I’m sorry, Tom, I will never doubt your nest building prowess in public again!
Observation: On Tuesday afternoon, when not chasing the call of the Almighty Dollar, I heard the sounds of laughter and merriment emanating from our neighbor’s dock. This is the dock where Tom likes to go to escape Audrey’s nagging and eat his fish in peace and quiet. Some of my neighbor’s children and grandchildren were enjoying a beautiful day on the water, swimming, kayaking, running around and just having a good old time. Well, Tom and Audrey were also attracted to the unusual noises coming from the neighbor’s dock. They both turned and fixed their gazes on the fun-loving group with cold, hard stares as if to say, “Who are you people, and why are you making all of that noise on our auxiliary dock?” Their piercing looks were not noticed by the true owners of the dock, so Tom and Audrey grew tired of trying to make their point and went about their osprey business.
Comment: At around 7:30 this evening, there was some Facebook chatter about Audrey yelling for more food. I can tell you in no uncertain terms that Audrey was not fussing about fish on that occasion (although she frequently fusses at Tom about needing more fish). At my request, our daughter was at the end of the dock taking a picture of the third marked stick in the side of the nest. She is our technical expert extraordinaire, and her skills are highly valued by her sometimes technically challenged parents. Audrey was not happy about having her picture taken, and was letting everyone hear her displeasure.
Comment: Chick #3 seems to be holding his/her own for now. Crazy Osprey Man has chatted with Dr. Spitzer a couple of times during the last week and Dr. Spitzer commented that Chick #3 is getting a reasonable amount to eat. So we will keep our fingers crossed that #3 will continue to thrive and Mother Nature was just messing with us those few days after #3 hatched.
Comment: Our current Tom and Audrey pair have never raised 3 chicks to young adulthood. Over the last ten years, we have only observed two years when all 3 chicks survived. In each of those instances, the original Tom and Audrey pair were the parents who successfully raised the brood, not the current pair. However, the current Tom and Audrey have gotten much more proficient at nest building and maintenance, and Tom is really getting the job done when it comes to providing fish. Audrey is a fabulous, attentive mom. They are becoming experienced parents, so we have high hopes that this will be the first year all three of their chicks make it. Please refer to the blog dated April 29, 2013 to read about clutch size, hatching and survival rates at our nest.
Comment: When Tom is not in the nest, he spends most of his time (when not out fishing) on the camera or perch. He seems to like the perch overnight, in the early morning and around sunset. Unless you can see his shadow on the nest in the late afternoon or hear him landing or moving around, you would not know he is on the camera. But he spends quite a bit of time there. When he is eating, he likes to sit in a tree or on our neighbor’s dock.
Question Answered: One of our Facebook followers asked a question about sparrows in the nest. Two previous blogs address the sparrow issue. Please see the blog dated 5/16/2013- refer to Fun Fact #2. The blog dated 6/8/2013 has some of Dr. Spitzer’s insight on the sparrows.
Question Answered: A few days ago, a comment was made about the camera zooming in on the nest. This had to be an optical illusion, because although the camera has that capability, there is no live operator to make it happen. Crazy Osprey Man, in conjunction with the Conservancy and partners, have some ideas for next year. I can’t spoil any of their surprises, you will just have to wait and see!
The very good news for tonight is that the Weather Gods have spared us once again. We had a little rain, a little wind and a little hail, but nothing destructive. The brunt of this latest storm has gone south of our location, so our osprey family and their nest are safe and sound. We will address more questions next time, but until then, 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!