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. Oh, dear — the smallest falcon chick is face down in a corner, away from the others. I did see him move, and he is in the only shade, but he needs to get back for the next feeding. A parent is nearby, hasn’t’ totally abandoned him, but we can only watch and hope.

  2. MY WORD, I JUST WITNESSED A REAL FISHY FIT FOR SURE !!! MISS AUDREY JUMPED RIGHT ON THAT WHOLE FISH, THAT TOM DELIVERED. I DO BELIEVE IS WAS STILL MOVING AROUND. SHE ACTUALLY PULLED IT AWAY FROM TOM, ALL THE WHILE LETTING THE POTTY MOUTH FLY, SHE THEN FLEW AWAY HERSELF. TOM SAT DOWN AND IS DOING HIS JOB !! MERCY ME, HER NERVES ARE AS BAD AS MINE ~~ PLEASE DEAR LORD, BLESS THEM, AND US WITH A CHICK !!

  3. Oh good — the smallest falcon chick has revived and rejoined his siblings! They are restless; it must be time for a feeding.

  4. I don’t often see them sitting at the nest together during the day, I do hope this means the expectant parents know, that it’s time!

  5. Hello to all! Just enjoyed seeing Audrey and Tom on the nest-the laptop voice returned-Mrs COM-please the actual site to send a picture I just took to enter into the contest. I don’t do Facebook. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed like all for a baby.📈📈📈📈📈📈a new cherp to add to my listening pleasure. Adios moe

  6. I have been watching Audrey and Tom for many, many days now. I am from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. I am addicted to watching these beautiful falcons and osprey birds and do so hope for a new osprey chick to be born. Thank you for the news blogs and this camera feed.

    • Hi, Annette, and welcome! We are so happy to have you watching the camera and reading our blogs. When you get a chance, take a photo of yourself or someone else watching the ospreycam. Just have a person and whichever screen you are watching visible. Send you first name and from where you are watching, and we will post your photo on one of our blogs. The photo should be sent to Tom_audrey_osprey@yahoo.com. The winning photo for this osprey season will win a prize from the Chesapeake Conservancy. Keep on watching! Mrs. COM

  7. I know I am overthinking this again, but this little sparrow has been sitting with Audrey for over an hour. You know their coloring is similar, and it almost seems like “I am here for you” “I have been here all along but now it seems you need some “smaller” company, so here I am”. He/She has just been sitting on a twig not moving for such a long time, I just have to wonder how Mother Nature might be working, she is quite amazing. Of course as I write here comes dinner and off she goes! Nice job Tom! Still praying.

  8. If anyone has been watching the Hellgate site, it’s obviously a tough year for ospreys. Two of the eggs were destroyed, probably by hail. Stanley removed the embryos from the nest. The first egg was just a few days from incubation but there’s no way to know, of course, which were destroyed. Iris is faithfully guarding the remaining egg, just as our Audrey is doing. Two devoted mothers!

  9. We have an osprey nest on the end of our pier, and we now have a baby osprey! The egg must have hatched on Saturday morning. I don’t know if she laid more than one egg–can’t see that well into the nest–but there is only one baby. It makes me feel all the more sad for Audrey.

  10. I think it’s raining, I thought I could hear it a bit ago. I feel so bad for Audrey. I thought for awhile earlier, She was doing that thing of looking closely underneath her, but then stopped. I don’t see Tom with her this evening, why? My heart aches for these two. Is it over? What will they do?

  11. Thank you Kathy, it seems some of us need a support system at this point. I’m praying, everything is crossed that can be, I’m cheering them on as if they were one of my favorite sports teams to score!!!

  12. I see Audrey just sitting on the nest, occasionally looking underneath but stops. No sign of Tom this morning yet; I see they have a small horseshoe I wish them the best. The falcon cam was great this morning! Both parents were there and brought part of a bird to feed the babies; I noticed the smallest one, and the last to hatch, didn’t seem to get much. They are so cute and growing so fast! They walk around now when the parents are gone; makes me nervous that one will walk to the ledge before they can fly! I think the ledge is steeper than we think looking on the cam, and they couldn’t make that climb, at least I hope so!

    • oops! pat of a sentence is missing! I see they have a small horseshoe crab shell in the nest!

  13. 7:15a Calif. time Can’t see much in the nest ..looks like rain drops on
    camera lens .. really appreciate all your observations .. Got such a
    treat yesterday young Falcons walking all over the nest area one
    flapping it’s wings .. Yes Susan, the smallest doesn’t seem to be getting
    its share of the food. Have seen that is all the nests I watch if there are
    three or more hatchlings. All that I have watched have survived and
    seem to get a lot of attention when the older ones begin to flap their
    wings and wander around the nest more. Saw it in the Bald Eagles
    last Yr. Sadly won’t get that treat this Yr…. Yes I am keeping the
    Osprey Family in my Heart.. .. Am hoping to get a better view of the
    Osprey nest later today when things dry up.
    today

  14. It’s 12:49 and I see Audrey seems to be trying to keep whatever is under her dry…..I feel bad for them in the rain, and especially storms and hail. I went on The Nature Conservancy site and they have a live osprey cam with Josie and Elbert, in Alabama Gulf Shore area and they have two hatchlings! It is raining pretty hard there right now so she is keeping them covered up, but for those of you who want to see some hatchlings, you can tune in to that cam. Still holding onto hope for Audrey! Falcons are so sweet…walking around everywhere this morning; asleep right now.

  15. That is sweet as it is funny. They are so big now and keep wiggling and jiggling, she is having quite the time keeping her little ones safe. I wonder why she doesn’t use that tremendous wing span of hers though. Oh how I pray that Tom and Audrey still have that chance.

  16. Fingers are still crossed and praying that Audrey and Tom will have the last egg hatch. It is heartbreaking to watch as they worked so hard together as a team to become a family. Could the fact that Tom is a very young osprey have anything to do with the infertile eggs? I won’t give up hope. Tom and Audrey certainly haven’t!

  17. Thanks for the tip on the Nature Conservancy site, Susan. I looked at Hellsgate late last night and was certain I still saw two eggs. Iris flew away from the nest briefly so they were quite visible. I may have misread the message they posted but I was certain they said that two eggs had been smashed, probably by hailstones. Perhaps there were four……? Or I need new eyeglasses!

    • Hi Jane The osprey I saw on Nature Conservancy, w/two hatchlings are in Alabama, and are Josie and Elbert, not the Hellsgate cam…try google Alabama osprey cam and I think it will take you right to them. I did get to see them today and they are so sweet! I just looked at falcons and all are cuddled up asleep. Poor Audrey looks miserable in the rain! Well, we will keep praying for her and Tom and a possible chick! Susan

  18. I was wrong. First of all, it’s Hellgate and I KNEW that. There’s a tweet there now that says that, unfortunately, the “remaining egg” looks as though it’s cracking so they may not have any luck either.

  19. So sad that nature doesn’t always have a happy ending. It breaks my heart for these parents. Still praying for Audrey and Tom and now Iris and Stanley. Can they still lay eggs or is it too late in the season? Also, if they don’t hatch, will they return next year? I’m just so bummed, this is my first year for LIVE cams.

  20. My feelings mirror yours Michelle, and now I’m sure many, many others. I think a lot of us are going through the same “I’m so bummed” sadness for Tom and Audrey and the other Osprey that did not have beautiful new mouths to feed this year. I can’t wait for the “doc” and other professionals to answer the many questions we have asked over the last couple of weeks. I am still praying though and holding out hope. It is so difficult to watch her protecting those eggs all day in this nasty weather. Has anyone seen Tom? I tried to watch most of the day, and didn’t see him or a meal. Please tell me I’m wrong.

  21. Good morning to all…I was just on Alabama osprey cam, Nature Conservancy Gulf shores, and they have 3 babies in the nest….getting big, mom was on the nest also…beautiful view…..I wish the best for Tom and Audrey…..How long is it still possible for an egg to hatch for them? How long will they stay if they don’t hatch? This is my first year on the osprey cam. The falcon babies were so cute this morning; mom brought breakfast and I was see the smaller one right up front eating! When they stretch their wings now I noticed feathers at the tips! I live near the Chesapeake Bay in Chesapeake Beach and while we don’t have a cam, we do have many osprey nest boxes and platforms that have pairs of osprey in them…last week, we saw 5 osprey chasing a bald eagle away from a nearby nest. You can see many species of birds on our railway trail over Fishing Creek. Let’s hope for Audrey she will have a chick by days end!

    • Thanks, David! Osprey Girl is now an official high school graduate, and will be heading to the University of Delaware in August. She is currently at the beach with her friends where it has been rainy and in the 50’s since Tuesday with the same forecast for the entire week while she is there. Hmmm, I wonder what a bunch of 17 and 18 year olds do when they can’t go on the beach? Don’t think I want to know……………..

      Thanks for reading our blogs and watching the ospreycam. Mrs. COM

  22. Tom just flew in with a very large fish, sans head, and Audrey took no time taking it and flying off. Tom settled in nicely on the eggs. Falcon chicks have been fed and are now in a “food coma”.

  23. I noticed that soon after the osprey eggs were laid that there was a day when Audrey was sort of standing over them and not keeping them warm for quite a while. Not sure if this might have anything to do with the eggs not hatching. So appreciate being able to see these beautiful birds, and hoping that they have at least one baby!

  24. Susan, the Nature Conservancy hatchlings I watched are in Mexico, That’s probably why they’re so much larger. Their parents didn’t have so far to travel so they got an earlier start. I’ve been watching the Hellgate ones for several weeks. Two of their eggs were smashed by hailstones so they’re in as a bad a shape as Tom and Audrey. I really think I need to take notes, there are so many! I’ll look at the Alabama ones. New Jersey, which is solar powered hasn’t been available but I haven’t checked this afternoon. Still three eggs in Bremen,ME as of this morning.

  25. I have been checking in and wondered why there were no chicks as yet. I feel so sad for both of them as they cannot understand what is going on! So many questions as to why this happened. Is it possible that the new mate is faulty? We know Mama isn’t.

    • My husband said they may not have been fertilized. I don’t know. I am heartbroken though and don’t understand either….all 3?? So sad.

  26. Interestingly, the Hellgate ospreys who apparently have never had a problem before, have cleaned up the nest (including the last embryo) and, according to tweets, are trying to mate again! This will be interesting to watch. If they are successful, they would be VERY late leaving for South America since Iris probably laid the first eggs in late March. They’ve lost more than two months. Would that mean that, instead of leaving in September, as is customary, they would leave in NOVEMBER? Montana might be pretty cold by then!

    This has been a very intriguing year. Of course, last year I only watched Tom And Audrey. I had no idea of all the drama going on elsewhere. Now I feel the need to check on all my fine feathered friends every day. And it’s fascinating!

  27. I WILL BE VERY INTERESTED TO SEE WHAT THE POWERS THAT BE SAY ABOUT OUT TOM AND AUDREY, DOING WHAT YOU SAID, WONDERS NEVER CEASE.!!~~ STILL PRAYING FOR A CHICK.

  28. My count of days says it’s over. I did some research and found that one female roosted for 70 days before she finally gave it up. All of the eggs were lost in a freak hailstorm on 5/31/15 at the Hellgate, Missoula MT site (Stan & Iris) (http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/27/Hellgate_Ospreys/) However, it is VERY interesting that after they cleaned out the nest they are again mating! It will make for a very late start southbound if they are successful…

    The Boulder County (Colorado) cam (http://www.bouldercounty.org/os/openspace/pages/ospreycamera.aspx) has three of four chicks. This nest is HUGE. It looks big enough to hold three or more osprey families! Condos anyone?

    • Hi, Featherdog. Stand by for a big announcement later in the day. As in the title of my last blog, it’s not over till it’s over! Mrs. COM

      • Thanks, Mrs. COM. These two would make great candidates for adopting other osprey chicks who have lost their parents through some tragedy. Wouldn’t THAT be fun!

  29. Hmmm, Featherdog, are you clairvoyant? Stay tuned, as I said, it’s not over till it’s over………………………. More to come later today! Mrs. COM

    • Featherdog, I was thinking the same thing the other day, this would be great!! That’s what they did with Independence and Franklin, the Bald Eagles in Dollywood. I LOVE watching them raise their foster eaglet. 🙂 ❤

  30. Like everyone,I’ve been watching and praying and sort of holding my breath. Couldn’t bring myself to say much for the past several days. Have kept hoping that someone else would have the privilege of glimpsing that little bundle of life we’ve all been hoping to see in the nest… hoping to see someone post a “hatchling siting.” But I just tuned in at 10:18 and saw 3 beautiful eggs, with no one on the nest. Don’t know how long that’s been the case this morning, this untended nest. Perhaps it’s just been a moment,yet it’s so hard to see… It looks so forlorn! Okay, so I just checked back at 10:21 and Audrey is back. Perhaps she is gradually perceiving — in her own Osprey kind of way — what so many of us have been desperately resisting… that this incubation is going on for too long. Isn’t it fascinating how our emotions, hopes, and dreams have gotten stirred and caught up by the promise of new life represented by a nest with eggs? There’s something in us that instinctively delights in new life… in the buds of spring, in new shoots popping up out of the earth, in baby creatures (human babies… chicks, bunnies, puppies,kittens) … it takes extremely negative experiences for a human being to “unlearn” that instinctive response. And when the promise of new life is not fulfilled, the sense of loss is also deeply instinctive. Yet, in spite of it all.. In spite of having the cognitive ability to know what might go wrong, we humans have the courage to hope anew, to put aside the recollection of other times when hopes were left unfulfilled, to believe in miracles. And this lovely community, centered around this blog, demonstrates all of that. Blessings to all of you.

    • Congratulations on your photo and now I can put a face to a name! Can’t wait to read your new poetry on the new entry posted today. Keep the poetry flowing!🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊

  31. Oh my gosh! could it be true! Will Tom and Audrey adopt! My heart is so excited to hear the news! I so hope that is the case, I think we all agree that they would make wonderful parents considering how well they have been taking care of their eggs. Still sad for them though. I have to wonder what they think. Are they saying…why aren’t our chicks hatching? Yup humnaizing again, no way to help it, I love them!

  32. Waiting on olde Cape Cod for some good news!!!🍼🍼🍼🍼🍼🍼want to see some babies🐣🐣🐣🐣🐣🐣

    • That is the cutest Ever! I think we are all starting to crack, no pun intended, a smile again! Let’s get these two some babies!!!

      • Get the waders ready,low tide,ladder,pole climber aka-storks delivery HEROES and whatever is necessary to get the SHOW on the road to get rid of everyone’s depression huh so we all can as the song goes. Raise the glass!!!🍺🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻👣👣pitter patter footprints! As I say when I do nursing go team go!👬👬👬👨‍👨‍👦‍👦👨‍👨‍👦‍👦👨‍👨‍👦‍👦

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