Good morning from the breezy and humid Eastern Shore of Maryland! Well, we were all hoping for a quiet, normal third osprey season with you, our faithful camera watchers and blog readers. After all of the drama of the past two seasons, surely a peaceful few months were in store for us. But it was not to be……………
It certainly started out with the promise of good things to come. Audrey showed up the morning of the new pole installation in March, and immediately started to build a fabulous nest to house her family to be. A few days later, a dark stranger arrived and seemed to be ready to take on Tom’s role. His tenure didn’t last long when, to everyone’s surprise, a mottled visitor appeared at the nest, usurping the dark stranger and assuming the role of protector and defender of the nest. We all wondered about the skills of this Calico Tom, so aptly named by Dr. Spitzer. But our new Tom proved himself to be ready to take on the necessary duties of the male partner. At first, Audrey didn’t seem to be taken by this unusual looking new mate. His attention to Audrey was met by her annoyed bites and general agitation. As the days went on, however, he really showed his stuff and Audrey grew to appreciate her new mate. Calico Tom helped with the nest, provided fish, deposited his share of the DNA (wink, wink) and took his egg incubating duties quite seriously. And weren’t we all thrilled when three lovely eggs made their way into the beautiful new nest? Tom turned out to be everything we hoped for, and more. We couldn’t have asked for a better new mate for Audrey and their partnership grew smoother as the days went by. Tom and Audrey were functioning like a well-oiled machine, and the window for the first hatching was right around the corner. We were all waiting with breathless anticipation for the first new life to make his or her grand entrance into our own little osprey world!
So here we are. The windows of opportunity for the first two eggs to hatch have passed us by. When I am home, I am constantly looking out the window at the nest, to see if Tom and Audrey are standing on the edge peering down into it with wonder, as they always seem to do when the first hatchling appears. My eyes keep trying to see a crack in one of the eggs, something that will give us a little hope that we will yet have a new osprey life to take us through the summer. But still nothing definitive appears. Here at the secret location, we have been observing our nest since 1995, and have never been without at least one youngster to capture our hearts. Although hope is dwindling, in the words of Yogi Berra, “It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over”, so we will keep on watching and waiting for our new arrival.
To lighten things up, here are a few favorite photos from the last few weeks. Remember, you can click on each photograph to enlarge it for your viewing pleasure.
Tom flying under the radar:
Tom is looking for COM’s boat. What fun is it to poop in the water?
A five a.m. view from our back yard:
Audrey taking a break from the nest:
Can you just hear Audrey now?
Tom, Audrey and friend:
Please don’t forget to enter your photos in the “Where in the World Are Tom and Audrey” contest. Submit a photo of yourself watching the ospreycam, and include your first name and the location from where you are watching. We will post your photo in one of our blogs. The winning photo for the season will win a cool prize from the Chesapeake Conservancy!
That’s it for now. Keep your fingers crossed, everyone!
Until next time, we remain-
Crazy Osprey Man, Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man and Osprey Girl (who graduates from high school this Saturday!!)
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://chesapeakeconservancy.org today. Thanks very much!