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

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 http://www.chesapeakeconservancy.org today. Thanks very much!

 

97 thoughts on “And Down The Stretch They Come!

  1. You are amazing and have brought great joy to so many of us; it’s been a fantastic (and educational) spring and summer. Thank you for giving us a remarkable experience!

    • Thanks for watching the camera and reading our blogs, Pam. We are very happy that you have enjoyed the experience. Stay tuned for the nest take-down, then we will be back live in mid-March. Mrs. COM

  2. This is the first year I watched your Chesapeake osprey as I also followed the ones in the Montana I am now retired and enjoy this a lot as well as the Redtail Hawks in Cornell thank you and I have made a donation and got a beautiful Calendar

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Thanks so much for watching the camera and reading our blogs. We appreciate your donation, which will help the Conservancy to continue these types of programs. Stay tuned for the nest take-down, which will be announced after Tom and Spitz leave for the season. Mrs. COM

  3. Thank you for you time. I have loved learning about the life of the osprey. When will you begin recording next spring? I will mark that on my calendar. Gerry

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • Hi, Gerry! The ospreys will be back in mid-March, so we would plan to go back live around then. We will probably stay live this season until we take the nest down once everyone has departed. Thanks for watching the camera and reading our blogs. Mrs. COM

  4. Thank you for a wonderful summer – I am having withdrawal symptoms – rushing to the cam just in case. Already longing for next year. Thank you all again….for your knowledge and your updates. …till next year.

  5. How exciting to have the update! My husband and I were concerned that Spitz had been left to fend for him/herself while his/her family left for winter vacation. This has been a great experience for us and we thank you all for the pleasure we have had all season long. Needless to say, we are looking forward to next spring when we can begin again.

  6. Thank you for a wonderful experence. Will miss the osprey family, until next year have a safe fall and winter.

  7. Thank you COM family and the Conservancy for making this all possible. It is a joy to watch and learn about these magnificent birds.

  8. What a great summer with your “feathered family”. I too think that Spitz is female. She continued to bring adornments back to the nest like her mom did. I noticed that another cam (Crabby, one of the ospreys) on the bay is following the birds’ migration. Wondered if you knew anything about that. One of those birds is already in FL. Would be fun to follow ours:)

    • Hi, Bette! The Crazy Osprey Family helped with the banding of both Crabby and Chester here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Unfortunately, Chester did not make it through the season. A few weeks ago, Dr. B noticed that the transmitter had not moved in a couple of weeks. COM went to the GPS coordinates where the transmitter was located, and found a pile of feathers and the transmitter. We do not know what happened to Chester. I will talk about it in my next (and maybe last for this season) blog. We are so glad you enjoyed the camera and our blogs. Thanks for watching and reading. Mrs. COM

      • Oh my goodness! So sad, but life and death happens. I just get angry when it is foolish human interference that causes these upsets. At least there were 3 in the batch and I hope the others made it.

  9. I’ll add my thanks for the many enjoyable hours spent watching the osprey cam. I know all of us “watchers” wish all four a safe journey to their winter digs. (Hurry up March!)

    • Me too. I don’t want to let Spitz go yet. I worry that she doesn’t fish very well on her own, yet.
      Have you noticed when it is dark, but the nest is still somewhat visible, that small birds spend their nights there?!

    • Did you read the blog? It reported that Spitz and Tom were still around. I’m going to try in the morning since Mrs. COM says a fish is brought to the nest then for a sighting!

  10. Hark! It has been great and we will be back next spring. We will still watch until the nest is torn down. Dr. goheels has her laptop on all the time watching. It will be hard on her but she will be back at the end of ncaa basketball and so will I. Go Tarheels

  11. I have so enjoyed watching and learning about the life of the Osprey. I thank all those involved ever so. Yes, I will miss them unbelievably and also the “Ozzie” friends on-line with me. I think Spitz’s vulnerability helped endear her to us all. Just wondering if the Ospreycam family has seen any of them around lately? Looking forward to returning in March. Wishing all good health and happiness until we meet again.

  12. LET US NOT END THIS NOW, UNTIL THEY POST THE LAST DAYS, WE STILL HAVE THE CAMERA, AND SPITZ HAD ME ON HELLO !!!THE PERSONALITY , I CAN’T EXPLAIN HOW I BECAME ATTACHED TO AN OSPREY, BUT I DID, AT THE HIP !!!

  13. I add my thanks to those already expressed for all the work done by the Crazy Osprey Family to make this a fabulous experience for so many. This was my first year following the nest and will definitely do so next year. A contribution is on its way! (BYW. I hope schoolteachers make use of this in the spring term. What a wonderful way for kids to learn about these birds… and to learn to observe nature in general. Wish such things had existed when I was a kid! ). Crazy Osprey Girl, I think it’s remarkable that you’re still in high school! You write very well and have a delightful sense of humor which has added to the fun of this experience. Good luck with senior year!

    Will miss the “community” of all you fellow observers/bloggers. Next year!

    A question to Mrs. COM: Please remind me of how to enter a photo in the “where in the world is the Osprey Cam” contest, if its not too late. I took my ipad with me on vacation and someone took a fun photo of me watching the cam… would like to enter, if possible. Thanks!

  14. Hello, I also want to add my thanks and express how much I have enjoyed following our osprey friends. In those early days with the bonking I had to stop watching for awhile, reminding myself about nature and survival of the fittest. But slowly our baby Spitz grew and prospered and became very vocal. It’s been a real pleasure watching them, I even took them with me during jury duty back in July.

  15. OH MY ANOTHER ME , I COULD NOT STAND TO SEE SPITZ BONKED, IT JUST TORE MY NERVES ALL TO PIECES !!! SPITZ MADE IT, AND I SO THANKFUL, I PRAYED FOR THAT BIRD EVERY NIGHT. I BET SOME OF YOU. THINK I A NUTS !! I SUPPOSE I AM IN A WAY, BUT I MEAN NO HARM, JUST NUTS OVER THAT BIRD !!!

  16. 8:35… Continues to be very quiet. No activity at all in the nest. Not a sound. Alas! Could it be that the cool nights have given our friends the signal that they can’t put off departure any longer?

    • Morning Fran and Hi Kathy! I think the party is over! They were waiting for the cool weather to bid us ado ) : My son rescued a badly injured young hawk yesterday. Took him to a wildlife care center. Her also made a nice donation. We are keeping tabs on the little one. The Osprey family takes a bit of my heart with it–most certainly Spitz! I know she hated to leave home!

    • Hi Kathy, I think you can safely say they have flown the coop! Possibly coolish there now. Looks like you will have to locate some eagles now as they start their nest in late September I believe. I am awaiting the Berry College Eagle cam to re-open. See you back here next year. God’s speed to Sprit and Breezy–she Tom ad Audrey next year! Be well and thanks for all the updates!

      • Hi, Jean and Kathy! I saw Spitz this morning in the big tree with a fish, but no sign of Tom today. So the end is near for this season. Thanks for all of your comments and observations. Probably one more blog to go, stay tuned………….. Mrs. COM

    • Good morning, everyone. Spitz is still in the area. We had a visiting juvenile land on the nest this morning, and Spitz came flying over with great purpose, chased the intruder away, and kept going. At this point, I wish she would begin her migration, she has a long way to go for a youngster! Stay tuned for one more concluding blog and the nest take-down. I will announce the take-down through the blog comments, and on the Conservancy’s Face Book page. Thank you everyone for your dedication to our magnificent birds. Mrs. COM

      • Good Morning! You are doing a fabulous job of subbing. I had a feeling Spitz was still there and we all know (she) doesn’t want to leave home! Must be bewildered why everyone else seems to have. Is it possible she wasn’t programed to migrate? Sometimes, wires get crossed. Like you, I now want to see her get going if she must. Wish she’d fly on down to Florida!

  17. OH, I HAVE MISSED SEEING MY SPITZ, SO HAPPY TO KNOW SOME ONE HAS. SPITZ IS HAVING A HARD TIME GIVING UP THAT NEST, ONCE BREEZY LOST CONTROL, SPITZ REALLY LOVED IT, SUNNING ALONE WITH MOM. PRAYING THEY ALL ARE GOING TO SAFELY REACH THEIR DESTINATION. I TOO, HAD WANDERED IF SPITZ WAS PROGRAMMED TO LEAVE, SPITZ, CAN COME TO NORTH CAROLINA AND STAY WITH ME !!!

    • Kathy, I was born in and raised in NC. It gets cold there. MIght as well stay where she is! Amazing how we feel about these birds but if we would ever tried to capture them they would probably peck out eyes out! Keep your eyes peeled until the end ( : Have a lovely Sunday.

  18. I can not express how sad and brokenhearted I am now. Not knowing how they are and if they made it to safety, etc., etc. etc. I fell in love with them all and can’t wait to see Tom and Audrey again in the spring. I felt so sad when I heard about the demise of Chester and now worry about Spitz and Breezy. Missing them terribly…………God watch over them.

    • Kathy, I was born in Charlotte, NC. Gave me a smile to think of Spritz in a bird’s nest with a blanket over her! Are you watching any other nests? I think you are going to have empty nest syndrome. I had it for B3 (Eagle) when he finally left the nest. That’s how I came upon the Osprey family. Bless my soul I have the empty nest syndrome all over again. Time for the eagles to return ( :

  19. I WILL SEARCH THE WEB, BUT I LIKE THE VIRGINIA RESCUE HOSPITAL, I WATCHED ABOUT TWO YEARS, AGO, THE MOM WAS KILLED BY A PLANE, HER BABIES HAD JUST BEEN HAULED DOWN A HUGE TREE, AND BANDED, WHEN THAT HAPPENED, THEY HAD TO BE TAKEN THE DAD COULD NOT CARE FOR I THINK IT WAS FOUR,.THEY HAD TO CLIMB UP THOSE TALL TREES AGAIN. THEY NAMED THE EAGLETS, THE ROCK STARS, OF COURSE THEY ALL HAD NAMES, AND WERE FINALLY RELEASED. I WILL CALL HIM DR ED, WAS NOMINATED, AND ULTIMATELY WON THE EAGLE RARE AWARD. YOU CAN GOOGLE THAT SITE, AND SEE ALL THE WINNERS. HE WAS GIVEN I THINK TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND FOR HIS HOSPITAL. IT WAS VERY REWARDING !!! I CRIED MY EYES OUT WHEN SHE WAS KILLED. THEY HAD A CEREMONY, AND PUT A BENCH IN HER HONOR. HER BODY WAS FLOWN TO THE EAGLE FACILITY, I THINK IT THE LAW. THIS ED, HAS BEEN ON TELEVISION MANY TIMES, AND HE IS A BIRD HIMSELF . GOOD MAN, AND SOO FUNNY, HE WOULD GET ON THE BLOG AT NIGHT AND CHAT AND TELL TALES, AND ANSWER QUESTIONS , TOO FUNNY !! THESE PEOPLE THAT DO THIS TYPE THING, AS WELL AS THIS CAM, ARE WONDERFUL , TRUE NATURE LOVERS !!! GOD BLESS THEM ALL. I WILL TRY TO REMEMBER TO GET YOUR ADDRESS, AS TO SEND YOU A CHRISTMAS PHOTO CARD, OF SPITZ, WRAPPED UP IN THE BLANKET, THAT WILL BE ME DOING THE HOLDING, WHILE WE ROCK IN THE ROCKING CHAIR, BY THE FIRE !!! YES I AM CERTIFIABLE !!!!!!!!~~~~

  20. Unbelievable experience! Thank you everyone for sharing the incredible months of raptor lives in the making, especially COM, Mrs. COM, and Osprey Girl. You guys have brought us hours of joy and sense of wonderment into our lives and reminded us the true beauty of the world that we live in. I will be looking forward to next March for Tom and Audrey’s return. Until then, wishing everyone a great Fall and Winter. And the best of luck and smooth sailing for the Osprey Girl in her senior year!

    • Beautifully put Bill! Ditto for me and Kathy hang in there until be get that final farewell blog! Hope to see all of you back here next year. May you have a healthy, happy winter season– I love the holidays!

  21. I saw that too, web foot looked really cozy in the nest, I think he wants that to be his new pad. I really do hope that Spitz starts migrating, it’s a long journey, she needs to get going. Kathy, someone did take a quick snapshot of Spitz this morning on the nest sometime between 6-7am, it’s posted on the Chesapeake Conservancy FB page.

  22. Kathy, Go where it says (recent posts) that will show you what other people post, then you’ll see a post from yesterday by Edna, she snapped a shot of Spitz, I think it must be the last camera sighting.

  23. FULLERSISTERS, !!~ THANK YOU MUCH FINALLY FOUND IT !!! POSTED TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE, SO HAPPY TO SEE SPITZ, BUT BABY NEEDS TO FLY AWAY !!! I HATE TO SAY THAT BUT IT IS TIME !!! LOVE THAT BIRD !!!

    • Oh, you mean the one of her carrying the fish! I thought it was a picture of her on the nest recently. I read the blog with all the recent photos( thank you Cam crew) ( : Wondering if Spitz is gone or still hanging close? What if she doesn’t go???? No, can’t happen! Thanks for the assist.

  24. NO IT IS NOT THE ONE CARRYING THE FISH, I FINALLY FOUND IT, AND MANY MORE THAT I HAD NOT SEEN, JEAN GO TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE AND SEE IF YOU CAN SEE THE PICTURES, I POSTED KATHY HERRING BERRIER. THEY ARE REALLY GOOD LOVE THE FAMILY PORTRAIT. GOTTA RUN, BUT WILL CHECK BACK WITH YOU.GOOD LUCK, YOU MUST BE A DETECTIVE AND STILL HAVE HELP !! IT SHOULD BE EASIER, OR I SHOULD BE SMARTER !!!

    • I must be dumbing down also because I couldn’t find anything that would come up under this name. I did find out however, that Berry is back in business! Yea!

  25. Jean, Go to the Chesapeake Conservancy Osprey Cam site. It shows the picture of Tom and Audrey (large). The blogs are a bit under that. But at the very top of page you’ll see the Facebook logo. Sign in with your password. On the left are recent posts. On top there you’ll see arrows and previous posts will come up on your screen. I think you have to sign to see them all an not just the last few messages. Good luck.

    • Thank you LInda! I finally got to the picture~ beautiful shot with the sun coming up. Almost looks as if she is looking back and saying goodbye! I feel sad and a bit lonely for her/ God speed little one.

    • What we have with these bird cams is the best of both worlds. Lovely bird life with sound WITHOUT feeding and cage cleaning–not to mention vet bills! When you are in another room it’s easy to imagine a caged bird-birds there for you at all times ( actually,it is virtually caged.) Again, the best of both worlds. The sparrows underneath the Osprey nest sang for us also. For this I thank the Osprey Cam family. Indeed I do miss our fine feathered friend ( :

  26. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU SAID. I KNOW WE ARE GOING THROUGH WHAT OTHERS HAVE GONE THROUGH IN THE YEARS PAST.IT HAS BEEN A JOY, AND SOMETIMES A LITTLE NERVE RACKING TO WATCH THESE BABIES. ALL SAID AND DONE, GOOD JOB, BY THE PEOPLE INVOLVED, AND THE OSPREY PARENTS. PRAY THAT THEY ARE ALL SAFE AND SOUND. MISS MY SPITZ !!~~~

    • I know Kathy—we all feel the same way! Perhaps you, a little more ( : Got to find a new nest to watch–that’s the name of the game! Spitz finally got on the last train to Georgia! ( SO TO SPEAK) have a great day!

  27. I miss Spitz too – I just checked the nest (just in case!!!) and there was a crow squawking just like Spitz and rearranging things in the nest!!! Must have been a girl crow!!! She picked up a dried branch and flew away.

    • I saw that crow also. Robbing the nest to build one of her own no doubt. The nest will be torn down soon. Nice that another can use the material ( : Nice to see some action! Yep, we all miss this special bird family—Spitz was one of a kind ( : Hung around as long as possible–a real home body ( :

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