Wow, it’s already July 10th, I hope everyone is staying cool! I wanted to start by saying how much I appreciate your contributions to the citizen science research about the osprey’s fishing habits. The spreadsheets are starting to take shape and I can’t wait until we have our final outcome! If you could continue to monitor the fish with me, I would be very thankful. Those of you on Facebook have probably seen pictures from the Great Give visit. The Great Give is a fundraiser for non- profit organizations in the Annapolis, Maryland area. The Chesapeake Conservancy participated in this year’s Great Give and the individuals who donated the most were treated to a private tour of Tom and Audrey’s nest. During the tour, two sticks marked with yellow tape were put out in the yard. By the morning, both sticks were in the nest and if you look closely to the right, one stick is still visible.
I am aware that some of you are concerned about the well-being and nourishment of the chicks. We appreciate everyone’s concern for our feathery friends but have no fear, the chicks are well fed and doing fine. Even if the chicks were not being properly nourished, the best thing for the Conservancy to do is not interfere. We must let nature take its course, even if it is hard to watch. Recent interventions have been made at other nests due to situations created by human actions.
On that note, I would love to share this week’s excitement with all of you. This occurred yesterday at noon when Audrey was away from the nest. Tom brought a relatively large Menhaden back to the nest and sat there with the babies for a bit. When Audrey realized that there was food at home, she immediately returned to the nest, hoping to grab a quick bite. Tom was obviously not in the sharing mood and took off, fish in talons, to a dock two houses down. He returned a short while later with the headless fish, which was used to feed the rest of the family. Thanks, Dad. Keep in mind Tom must eat first, or no one eats.
Breezy and Spitz continue their wing exercises, sometimes despite twenty mile an hour winds and looming thunderstorms. Their flap-hops have started, which means first flight can’t be too far away. Last year, the oldest chick, Chester, first took flight on July 19th, closely followed by her siblings, Essie and Ozzie. In the not too distant future, Breezy and Spitz will be earning their own private pilot’s licenses. Keep those entries for the “Where In The World Are Tom and Audrey?” contest coming. One photo will be posted on each blog, and a grand prize winner will be awarded for the 2014 season!
Adios Amigos, Until Next Time, Osprey Girl