And Down The Stretch They Come!

Good evening from the windy Eastern Shore of Maryland!  We are still here, not to worry.  The Crazy Osprey Family has been incredibly busy these past few weeks.  Osprey Girl has started her senior year of high school, and the work just keeps on coming.  Mrs. COM will take over blogging duties for the rest of our time together this year, which is rapidly coming to a close.  It’s hard to believe that all of these months have gone by with our osprey family, but here we are, coming down the home stretch of the 2014 osprey season here on the lovely Chesapeake Bay.

You may have noticed the dwindling amount of activity here at the nest, but rest assured, we still have osprey action in the area.  Breezy and Audrey are long gone, but Spitz and Tom are still around.  Before Breezy left, he (my self-imposed pronoun, we have no definitive decision from Dr. Spitzer on the chick genders) was catching his own meals.  Here are a couple of photographs of one of his prizes.  Remember, you can click on each photo to enlarge it, then click again to zoom in on a particular area:

Wow, I caught a really big fish!

Wow, I caught a really big fish!


Breezy is chased off his perch by a woman with a camera-can't a guy eat in peace around here?

Breezy is chased off his perch by a woman with a camera-can’t a guy eat in peace around here?



Spitz continues to be a daddy’s boy, and Tom has been bringing her fish quite regularly.  They seem to have a quick meeting in the mornings.  Spitz will arrive at the nest, and shortly after, Tom will arrive with breakfast.  Their exchange is brief, and Spitz will usually take the fish to a near-by tree.  Tom will bring Spitz fish at other times during the day, but I haven’t noticed a very predictable pattern.  The exchange is usually at the nest, and doesn’t last very long.  Spitz must know when her dad is on the way back with a fish, because she starts fussing before he arrives. When Tom eats, he prefers the swim ladder on our neighbor’s dock two houses to the south of us.  Here are a couple of photographs of Tom, his fish and a patient gull hoping for some dropped morsels:

When will fish learn to fly so I won't get wet?

When will fish learn to fly so I won’t get wet?


"Patience is a virtue", thought the seagull

“Patience is a virtue”, thought the seagull


The crows are happy to take over the nest when it is empty.  This one even had the audacity to sit in Tom’s favorite man cave:

Sure hope Tom doesn't find out I used his digs

Sure hope Tom doesn’t find out I used his digs


Spitz’s favorite hang-out is definitely the very large tree down by the water two houses to the north of us.  When I hear her fussing and she is not in the nest, this is where I usually will find her (yes, I have decided Spitz is a she, but we have no official confirmation from the experts, just my humble opinion).  Spitz’s unmistakable calls have not diminished with age.  I had to turn the sound off on our osprey viewing computer months ago, the racket was unbearable.  There is a seven second delay from what is actually happening at the nest until it shows up on the ospreycam, so we would hear everything twice in the house, once from outside and once from the computer seven seconds later.  The din was unbearable at times, and although we love our ospreys, our sanity was at stake until the mute button was engaged.  Here are some photos of Spitz on the big tree.  You’ll have to trust me on this one, it is hard to make out the white on her feathers without enlarging the view.  Of all the ospreys I have photographed, Spitz is the most camera-shy.  We cannot get as close to her to snap a few shots as we could with all of our other osprey friends.  As soon as we walk out the back door and take a few steps toward wherever Spitz is hanging out, she starts her fussing and takes off.  So this was as close as I could get before she took to the sky:


Spitz and two crow friends at the top of her favorite hangout

Spitz and two crow friends at the top of her favorite hangout


Two crows are company, three's a crowd

Two crows are company, three’s a crowd


Look, Dad, I'm wet!  No fish, but do I get an "A" for effort?

Look, Dad, I’m wet! No fish, but do I get an “A” for effort?


Tom and Spitz will sometimes spend time together in the big tree.  See if you can find Spitz.  The crow is hoping Tom will drop the fish and Spitz won’t notice:


Father/daughter bonding time

Father/daughter bonding time


So that’s it for now.  We won’t leave for the season without saying good-bye, so stay tuned for at least one more visit this season with the Crazy Osprey Family and friends.

Until next time, we remain

Crazy Osprey Man, Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man and Osprey Girl

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