It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

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:

Calico Tom skimming over the water with his beautiful mottled feather quite visible

Calico Tom skimming over the water with his beautiful mottled feathers quite visible

Tom is looking for COM’s boat.  What fun is it to poop in the water?

Tom on COM's boat lift-better than on the boat!

Tom on COM’s boat lift-better than on the boat!

A five a.m. view from our back yard:

Sunrise from the secret location.  Wow!!

Sunrise from the secret location. Wow!!

Audrey taking a break from the nest:

Audrey in our neighbor's straggly stick tree.

Audrey in our neighbor’s straggly stick tree.

Can you just hear Audrey now?

Audrey telling Mrs. COM to get lost

Audrey telling Mrs. COM to get lost

Tom, Audrey and friend:

Tom and Audrey at home with the downstairs tenant (check out the bottom right under the nest)

Tom and Audrey at home with the downstairs tenant (check out the bottom right under the nest)

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!

151 thoughts on “It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

  1. To Mrs. COM… No, I don’t think I’m clairvoyant! My frustration level got so high that I started absorbing any and all information I could find. I started with a search of ‘osprey egg hatch’ and went from there. There is a huge amount of info on the net from very reliable sources (universities, etc.). Adoption has been tried before though most authorities side with letting nature set the course. I remember last year’s torture of watching the youngest chick’s battle for life. If this/these events are any example — it is very hard to do!

    PLEASE, get out the video cameras if there is going to be an adoption! I hope that we can be privileged to see what the COFamily will get to see from the whole scene. It should be quite a sight! Have you got the protective gear ready; those talons and beaks are sharp! Maybe a night time swap would be safer… (NOT clairvoyant!)

  2. Oh, what a great idea–I’m so hopeful, along with all the other watchers!! Osprey rescuers have big hearts; thanks from all of us.

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