School Days

Happy August 4th everyone! I hope all our viewers with empty nest syndrome are doing well, it’s not fatal, I promise.

COM's photography

COM’s photography-How artistic!

Remember, you can click on each photo to enlarge for your viewing pleasure.

There have been some major changes around the nest thanks to Breezy and Spitz. They have both begun to fish, a very important skill to learn for obvious reasons. I know that many of you noticed one of Breezy’s recent catches. Just a few days ago, Breezy proudly brought home a blue crab. This year has been incredibly terrible for crabbing, at least at our house. Reproduction has significantly decreased while the demand for blue crabs has remained the same. Another reason for the decrease in the blue crab population is the scarcity of bay grasses. Bay grasses are a three- in- one deal. They keep the water clean, as well as provide food and shelter for animals such as our crabby friends. Unfortunately, pollutants, humans, and waterfowl have hindered the growth of these important plants. While bay grasses are now beginning to thrive in early August, be sure to keep the scarcity of bay grasses in mind the next time you are on a boat. Follow the posted speed limits in shallow waters to avoid pulling the grasses out with your propeller and obviously, never dump your waste into our precious water!

With that mini lesson out of the way, back to the birds. Since crabs usually hang out among the grasses on the bottom of the bay, the one that Breezy caught was probably swimming near the surface. Breezy must have been really confused, surprised and disappointed when his family was not happy with his proud catch.  The crab remained in the nest for a couple of days, and disappeared.

Just a few minutes ago, Spitz found himself in an altercation with some crows. Although I didn’t see the beginning of the incident, we think Spitz had a piece of fish in the nest.  What we did see was when out of nowhere, several crows began to dive bomb him. Spitz then took off and the crows followed, dive-bombing and bullying him. Screeching and evasive flying ensued until the crows flew off and Spitz returned to the nest. We then noticed a crow sitting on the boat lift eating a piece of fish. We assume that the crows took the fish from Spitz, and despite his efforts, our youngest osprey couldn’t win it back from the gang of robber crows.  The fish was lost, but skilled flying was practiced. There’s a life lesson for you, Spitz.

Not only crows try to steal fish from our osprey.  Here is one of our young ones after a fish in flight:

 

Bringing home the bacon (fish bacon) with a young escort

 

Three of our family on the dock two doors to the south of us.  Tom likes to hang out on the swim ladder and eat, his family members are just enjoying some time away from the nest.

I spy an osprey with a fish (hint: he's on the left)

I spy an osprey with a fish (hint: he’s on the left)

The birds continue to spend time at their favorite hangout spots: our neighbor’s tree, our boat lift, our dock and the three perches. Yesterday, we saw father and child sitting on the same perch; even though there are three perches, the center one is obviously the best.

Sharing is sometimes not so caring

Sharing is sometimes not so caring

That is all I have to share with you guys for today, have a great week and I will talk to you soon!

Keep sending in your “Where In The World” photos to Tom_audrey_osprey@yahoo.com.  Here is the winner for this week (can you top this to win the Grand Prize at the end of the osprey season?).

 

Rachael watching from the airport in Helsinki, Finland

Rachael watching from the airport in Helsinki, Finland

P.S. Thank you again for all of the fish updates!  Keep them coming, please!

Adios Amigos,

Until next time,

Osprey Girl

129 thoughts on “School Days

  1. Thank you so much for the update and the pictures. I have been far to busy lately to even check in. I appreciate your updates very much!

  2. Hello, thank you for the updates, I saw a few crow land on the nest earlier today, I’m just glad Spitz wasn’t hurt in that skyway robbery. Breezy and Spitz are getting big and they are so beautiful!

  3. So informative and entertaining! Another good one for the “Essay Portfolio…” Loved the pictures, too! Thank You!

  4. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels just reported that crabbers have just told them that crabbing is really picking up, so hopefully it will get better where you are too.

    • I’m sure Breezy learned it’s lesson that crabs are not their food. Perhaps Spitz, seeing the crab go untouched in the nest, will have learned that lesson as well.

  5. Not sure whether to leave comments here or on the previous post. Since the headline “School Days” doesn’t show up on the home page, only those who know to click on the words “Osprey Blog” know how to get here. (Dear COM/Mrs.COM/Osprey Girl — can that be fixed, by the way, so newcomers to the site can find this entry? Definitely a great one with amazing photos!). 7:15 a.m. on Aug. 6th: empty nest. Alas! More and more of that! Those beautiful, extra photos from the Crazy Osprey Family really help “fill in the blanks” as we wonder what “our” Ospreys are up to when we can’t see them on the cam. Thank you again!

  6. 7:35. Breezy is in the nest, hunkered down…seems to be tired. None of the usual standing around and squawking. Rough night? Tough bit of fishing or attempted fishing this morning? Not easy having to grow up so quickly and learn all the ropes by the end of summer!

  7. Loved the update—- Spritz is such a home body—is on the nest now at 5:00 PM Easter Standard time. I see our baby coming back more than any of the others. How long before they won’t return at all- on average? I think it will take cold weather or snow for Sprit to leave home!

  8. 10:30 Breezy in the nest with Audrey. She was there alone for a while, but when I checked in again a few minutes ago, Breezy had arrived and was very noisy. (Where’s the sushi, Mom!?). Guess they’re waiting for Tom to show up. Wonder when Spitz will make an appearance?

  9. 12:05 and Audrey is in the nest looking for her family! Are they beginning to check in less and less now? ) : Miss them being there at my” peck and enter!” So enjoyed seeing the photos of them outside the nest. Now I have a little idea of where all the action is!

  10. 4:32 PM first a little sparrow checked out the nest—as soon as it flew away a sea gull checked it over—very little left over for anyone ( :

  11. 9:05 a.m. Audrey in the nest with one of the youngsters… can’t be 100% sure but seems to be Breezy (he/she at far edge w/back to camera, but seems to me it’s Breezy’s darker head feathering). Anyway the younger one is squawking up a storm. Food begging I suppose. (Where’s the food?! Why is breakfast late again?!). I know that both offspring are fishing for themselves, but they do seem to enjoy being fed by Mom. (Enjoy it while you can, guys!). Thank goodness for that… at least we can still watch them for a bit longer. Anyway, the younger one moved a little closer to the camera and turned the head to a 3/4 profile… turns out to be Spitz. Should have guessed; he/she seems to be more of a “homebody” as others have noted. Audrey seems to be a good mom, hanging around the nest. (For the sake of the kids?) So let me share a funny little incident. There was a stick jutting up out of the nest, on the side closest to the camera. Audrey went over to put things in order. But the stick wouldn’t cooperate. Every time she pushed it down, it popped back up. She got into a real struggle with that rebellious stick… but those of us watching the camera could see what was going on. Spitz was sitting on the other end of the stick, which was at the outer edge of the nest! So every time she would push down, Spitz would go up… and let out a couple of squawks, of course. When Audrey let go, Spitz’s weight would bring his end down again, and the other end would go up. This went on several times. Audrey pushing the stick doen, then the stick jutting back up. Meanwhile, Spitz was going up and down at the other end, squawking. A private, in-nest teeter-totter! Truly a well-equipped nest! Anyway, Spitz finally took a step forward and the end of that stick which had been jutting up came back down and stayed down… so bAudrey stopped fussing with it. All’s quiet in the nest now. Spitz is hunkered down in the middle of the nest now at 9:45. Mom is keeping watch. Too much excitement for one morning! Too funny!

    • Haven’t checked for a couple of days and just found this delightful account. I started giggling part way through and couldn’t stop. Wonderful! Thank you!

    • Hadn’t looked at posts for a bit and had a good laugh at this little story. Wish I had seen it. Wonder if the COF can go back and give us a video of it! Thanks for the story.

  12. Checked back in just before 11:25. Audrey in the nest with a good sized fish.. I wish I were more informed, but having looked at a field guide…could it be a menhaden? (Silvery all over, split tail, a bit of darker shading across the top of the body.). Spitz returned to the nest. At first Audrey was doing all the eating, with Spitz off to one side making those continuous begging sounds… almost the way older hatchlings sound when they’re hungry… higher pitched than squawking. After a while Spitz inched closer and closer to Audrey. Finally, the good mother began feeding her young one. Good mom! Gosh, I’m going to miss watching all this. Just preparing myself for the inevitable.

    • Fran, I clicked reply to your story about the stick and got this??? Anyhow, cute story! Thanks for sharing. ( :

  13. Thank you for sharing that Fran, our Osprey family certainly does keep us amused. Yesterday I saw two black birds land in the nest, they were walking all around and checking things out, I heard Audrey in the distance, sounded like she was on her way, telling those intruders they better beat it, or else! They flew off fast, Audrey landed on the nest and boy did she carry-on, then Tom landed on the nest, they both sat there for the longest time.

    • They really protect the nest, with or without the chicks! “This is ours, we built it, we labored long and hard (several attempts!) our babies still come home, AND we will be back!!!”

  14. MOM AND SPITZ ON THE NEST BEGGING FOR FOOD !! IT IS COOL WHERE I AM SO I AM GUESSING IT IS COOL THERE ALSO, EMPTY TUMMY ON A COOL MORNING NEEDS ENERGY, AND REALLY BEGGING !!

  15. 2:14 Spitz in the nest alone eating from a chunk of fish…neither a head nor a tail there. Did he/she catch it? Did Tom bring it? Did Audrey? Or even Breezy? Did anyone see? Anyway, nice to see any activity in the nest!

  16. 4:00 both Breezy and Spitz on the nest. Not eating or doing anything in particular… just preening themselves and being “at home”… keeping away the crows, seagulls and other visitors.

  17. 11:48 p.m. I’ve never checked this late before…was prompted to do so by Kathy’s previous entry just before 9 p.m. Wow! You can see so clearly! Audrey is in the nest alone. Standing on the edge of the nest, preening herself every now and then. No rest for the weary?

  18. 6:35 a.m. Spitz in the nest with a parent… can’t see the head clearly, but I think that’s Audrey with Spitz. Spitz is eating the tail end of a fish, I’m guessing a menhaden by the tail. Beautiful, early morning light over the scene!

  19. 8:39 AM-Spritz, Breezy and a sparrow shared the nest briefly and all flew off –the cupboard was bare. Grateful they still come back off and on. Caching them is pure luck. Getting so big and beautiful!

  20. I HAVE A PAIR OF THOSE GLASSES TO DRIVE IN THE RAIN, AND AT NIGHT I AM GOING TO TRY THOSE OUT, AS I KNOW YOU CAN SEE THE MOM, AND I SAW SPITZ ONE NIGHT. IF THERE IS LIGHTING YOU CAN SEE REALLY WELL. I HAVE SEEN MOM THERE TODAY, AND THAT IS IT.

    • I live on a lake and have all kinds of birds ( from the Everglades)resting on downed tree trunks all the time. It amazes me that they are not fearful of lightening and thunder! The way God created them. I heard a great deal of tweeting going on earlier today in the Osprey Nest but it was in the background as I was busy doing something else. Sound as if several of them were there and either begging for or had food. Anyone see that? I also briefly saw a seagull checking things out again.

  21. I live in the city and only see sea Gulls Crows Doves and small sparrow size birds but no nests.
    This has been a true education for me Thank you

  22. 9:00 a.m. just checked in to find Spitz in the nest, eating the tail end of a fish. Audrey on the outer edge of the nest on the opposite side, just looking on. I guess that means she has already eaten and is satisfied. I’ve noticed that on many occasions she keeps control of the fish, if she’s still eating, and might feed one or both offspring directly from her beak to theirs. But this morning she’s just looking on. And it is just the tail fins, not much more that seem to be left for Spitz to pick at. Another lovely morning.j

  23. I’m watching Breezy (I think) devouring a HUGE fish. I don’t know if he caught it himself or it was a catch by one of the parents. I did see a mom/dad eating a smaller fish about 10 minutes ago, so this may be Breezy’s own catch. If so, it’s mighty impressive.

  24. I’m watching Breezy eating this giant fish and it’s making me laugh because he/she is pretty sloppy with the food – picking pieces of fish off, trying to eat them but flinging and dropping smaller pieces in its wake. Sort of watching a human toddler eating mac & cheese with his fingers. I guess it’s all a learning process, but I’m getting a good chuckle watching the whole scene. Never get tired of watching these birds – something new every time.

  25. 4:25 Audrey and both offspring in the nest. Lots of squawking, no fish in sight. Breezy took off at about 4:30. Gone fishing?

  26. Lots of “to-ing and fro-ing” in the nest this morning. Just before 6:15, Audrey was in the nest alone. At 6:18, Spitz showed up and started some loud and non-stop “food begging” noises. After about a minute of listening to all that racket, Audrey flew off. Spitz immediately quieted down. (No audience? If only he knew to how wide and attentive an audience he was playing!). At 6:21, Spitz also flew off. He came back just before 6:40. I had to go away to get some things done. Now, just past 7:35, Breezy is alone in the nest, quietly preening himself. No sight of food yet!

  27. Really nasty day today. Wonder where the Osprey family is hanging out? I love to listen to the sound of the rain beating down on the camera I am guessing. Anyone see anyone eat today? Imagine as the weather gets cooler they will think of flying to SA. Time for another little update on what’s going on beyond the camera? How bout it? ( :

  28. I AM THINKING SPITZ IS STILL ON THAT WET NEST, HE/SHE DROPPED SOME FISH AND CANNOT RETRIEVE IT, HAD A SPITZ FIT OVER IT !!! HOPPING, AND CRYING AND BEGGING, JUST CANNOT GET TO IT, POOR LITTLE THING WAS GULPING DOWN FOOD, AND IT WAS SLIPPERY AND IT SLIPPED, BUT THIS IS ANOTHER LEARNING LESSON. I SAW A DUCK, GOOSE, SOMETHING WITH WEB FEET TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO GWT IT ALSO. CAMERA IS FOGGED UP, HOPE IT STOPS SOON, SO THEY CAN EAT.

    • Thanks for the food report—poor baby, caught the fish and lost it! Also hoping it clears soon so they can eat! They must be sheltered in a nearby tree. Wonder how the little sparrows are doing under the nest—are they still there? I heard them the other day but not today. Signing off for today. Have a pleasant evening ( :

  29. I DON’T KNOW THAT SPITZ CAUGHT THE FISH, THE FISH WAS BEING GULPED DOWN, WHEN PART OF IT SLIPPED, NOT ALL.NEAR THE TAIL AREA.IT IS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE NEST OR WAS, AND DOWN INTO THOSE PIECES OF BRANCHES, IT WAS DRIVING.THE BABY NUTS !!! SO HUNGRY !! HOPE THIS LETS UP SO THEY CAN EAT. PRAYING FOR YOU BABIES, AND MOM AND DAD !!

  30. With this wind and driving rain, it makes it very difficult to hunt. Between the white caps and the plopping of the rain drops on the water. It would be the equivalent of us trying to look through a piece of frosted glass. They are learning that they won’t necessarily be able to hunt and eat every day!

  31. Breezy and Spitz in the nest at 6:25… Spitz eating and in control of the breakfast fish. Breezy sitting off to one side of the nest. Not much noise, other than Spitz’s usual chattering to himself. Nice to see them both clearly after trying to watch through the rain spattered lens during yesterday’s rain. (I think that was a leaf or two that got blown onto the lens at one point… large, brown blobs that seemed to pulse as the rain fell. Either that or very small aliens?) Obviously, the kids rode out the storm just fine, but they are hungry bright and early!

  32. Breezy yapping non-stop. Spitz eating and sneezing/coughing or has the hicups, not sure which it is. Anyone else see that?

  33. Minor P.S. Just about 6:30, Breezy got tired of watching and inched toward the center of the nest where there was a smallish tail fin with a tiny bit of meat. Spitz issued a warning cry or two in between bites of the good sized fish head (not in a sharing mood!). Breezy snapped up his little prize and took it back to his spot on the outer edge of the near. Although there’s another tail fin in the nest, but it’s right at Spitz’s feet. At 6:39, Breezy took off. Realized he/she had better go fishing in order to get anything more. Poor old Breezy! It’s tough when the tables are turned!

  34. Post P.S. When I checked back in just before 6:50, the nest was empty. Then, just about 6:50 or shortly thereafter, a seagull dropped in to scavenge… Seemed to find lots of bits and pieces left behind by the sloppy eaters who were there earlier. Gulped down the little fish’s tail fin that had been at Spitz’s feet earlier. Then poked around some more and found a larger tail fin with quite a bit more flesh on it and proceeded to tackle that. Too much for one gulp! Took about 2 minutes to eat it, but bolted down every last bit. Nothing left behind… a much more efficient eater, is the seagull Poked around some more for snacks, and then took off at 6:55. Got a lot done in those 5 minutes! (Fascinating to watch all this! Downright addictive! Must get to work now.)

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