Calico Tom The Fishing Fool and Other Short Stories

Good evening from the delightful Eastern Shore of Maryland! Thanks for not giving up on me, life keeps getting in the way of my osprey time.  I had a problem yesterday getting the blog published, as Word Press tells me I have used up my free media usage, and wants some moolah to continue uploading my photographs.  I was able to dump a bunch of old photos, so the new photos are uploaded and ready for viewing.  I have asked Chesapeake Conservancy to upgrade our Word Press account so I am able to add all of the photographs I want.  Hopefully I won’t be stymied by lack of space again! We returned a little while ago from our visit to the University of Delaware to take Osprey Girl out to lunch.  She seemed quite happy to see good old Mom and Dad, and appears to be happy and settling in to her new chapter in life.

It is getting more quiet around the nest, which has not gone unnoticed by all of you.  There was very little action today, but there are still ospreys in our midst.  I observed two of them today in the big tree just to the north of us as well as a very brief stint on the nest.  As one of them made a quick fish drop, I am quite certain one of our remaining September birds is Tom.  I haven’t been able to get a good view of the other one, but camera watcher/blogger chat seems to favor the remaining juvenile as E.T.  I will keep a close eye out, and let you know if I am able to definitively identify the other osprey.

Today I am writing a blog of short stories, complete with photographs.  Remember to click on each photo to enlarge it for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy!

Chapter One:  Craig Koppie

What would we do without our dear raptor biologist, Craig Koppie?  Before his experience with us, he had not worked with ospreys as much as some other raptors, such as eagles and peregrine falcons, but now he is hooked!  Craig and his co-author, Teena Ruark Gorrow, recently published a book called “Inside A Bald Eagles Nest”.  The photographs are stunning.  Shortly after our foster chick placement and banding, Craig began to sit in our backyard for hours taking photographs of our ospreys.  So the birds would not be bothered by his presence, he asked if he could set up a photo blind in our yard to facilitate his photo taking without spooking our osprey family.  Much to our neighbors’ chagrin, we agreed.  Here is his little hooch in our backyard:

Here is Craig's home away from home.

Here is Craig’s home away from home.

Our neighbors were a little worried about us:

Not sure this structure is within our community guidelines!

Not sure this structure is within our community guidelines!

Craig spent many, many, many hot hours in his home away from home.  He has assured me that he has some fantastic photos, which I can’t wait to see.

During the time Craig has spent observing and photographing our nest and birds, he saw many different types of fish being brought to the nest by our adults.  He was never able to observe any of the juveniles catch a fish.  Craig has been amazed with the fishing ability of Tom, whom he calls a “fishing fool”.  He told me that one afternoon, he saw Tom bring six fish to the nest in a 90 minute period.  The vast majority of the fish caught were menhaden, which is not surprising.  He also observed striped bass (also known as rockfish here on the Chesapeake Bay), bluefish, Atlantic needlefish (the long, skinny, hard-to-eat ones), and an occasional blueback herring.  He would rarely see a catfish, and was starting to see some mackerel, which are just now coming into our area of the bay.  In years past, we have also observed a flounder every now and then.  The very red-fleshed fish we had been seeing this season were the bluefish, which have very dark flesh.

The really big news from Craig is that he feels very sure that based on their size, both Maine and Montana are female and that E.T. is definitely a male.  Maybe that is why poor E.T. ended up being so henpecked, or should we say, ospreypecked?

Maine on Osprey Girl's boat lift and E.T. on COM's boat lift.

Maine on Osprey Girl’s boat lift and E.T. on COM’s boat lift.

E.T. on COM's boat lift

E.T. on COM’s boat lift (close up of one-legged showing off)

Chapter Two:  Summer Vacation

As you know, the Crazy Osprey Family was able to enjoy a wonderful vacation in New England.  We spent part of our time in Maine, and part of our time in Massachusetts.  One of my big surprises for you is that we were able to visit the Hog’s Island nest in Bremen, Maine.  The Hog’s Island nest was the site of the unfortunate taking of two chicks by an eagle, and was the reason one of our foster chicks was eventually named Maine.  Before we left on vacation, COM contacted Rob Bierregaard, who put us in touch with the manager of the Hog’s Island facility, Eric Snyder.  Hog Island is the site of an Audubon Society camp, and a truly beautiful location.  Eric picked us up on the mainland in the camp transport boat, and took us over to the island:

Eric in the camp boat coming to pick us up on the mainland

Eric in the camp boat coming to pick us up on the mainland

This is the view from the area of the Hog Island nest, which is currently empty:

The view from Hog Island

The view from Hog Island-simply gorgeous

The osprey nest on Hog Island is on the top of an old transformer pole on land, and is much larger than our nest:

The Hog Island nest looking from the ground up.

The Hog Island nest looking from the ground up.

Hog Island nest

Hog Island nest-it is really big!

Hog Island nest

Hog Island nest-pretty fancy camera

Hog Island nest-it is really high up!

Hog Island nest-it’s way up there!

We had a fabulous visit on Hog Island.  Eric was a truly wonderful host, and was extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of life on Hog Island. Eric, if you ever read this blog, thank you again for all of your help. COM and Eric were able to compare notes on all the technical issues surrounding their respective cameras.  You will be thrilled to know that COM now wants to put an infrared light source on our nest for next year so all you camera watching voyeurs can spy on our ospreys when you can’t sleep at night!  Stay tuned for that one!

The second part of our trip was to Massachusetts, where we visited my brother and then went on to Cape Cod.  Early on in our osprey season, I had mentioned in a blog that we had friends on Cape Cod, and vacationed there every summer.  One of our faithful camera watchers and blog readers, Maureen, told us that she lived on Cape Cod.  Before we went on vacation, she told me about an interesting osprey nest that had been built on a boat moored in Osterville, resulting in the owner not being able to use his boat this season (bummer).  We were able to meet Maureen, her husband Gene and their dog Cocoa at their home, then traveled to Osterville to visit some osprey nests in the area.  Here is a photo of the osprey nest built on a boat in the harbor.  The boat was moored pretty far out even for my big camera lens, but you should be able to make out the nest on the bow of the boat:

There will be no boating for these unlucky boat owners this summer.

There will be no boating for these unlucky boat owners this summer!

I’m not sure how this osprey family safely gets to their nest:



Gene, Maureen, Mrs. COMomma and Osprey Girl:

The happy osprey gang in Osterville. COM is taking the photo

The happy osprey gang in Osterville. COM is taking the photo

Thanks so much Maureen, Gene and Cocoa for your hospitality and the luscious tomatoes!

Chapter Three:  The Nest

Our poor nest, which was so beautiful earlier in the season, is certainly becoming bedraggled.  The crows and gulls have really made a mess of things, haven’t they?  This silly gull thinks he is an osprey:

Stand back, I'm an Osprey!

Stand back, I’m an Osprey!

One of our marauding crows and gulls simulate an osprey landing on an occupied nest:

You be Montana and I'll be Maine before he could fly

You be Montana and I’ll be Maine before he could fly

When the osprey’s away, the clean-up crew will play:

Clean-up crew

Clean-up crew going through the “trash”

The gull and crow cleaning crews have unearthed some of COM’s marked sticks from earlier in the season.  For the new camera watchers and blog readers in our midst, COM (Crazy Osprey Man) puts out sticks in the backyard for our ospreys to pick up and use in their nest building.  He will tie colored construction tape to some of the sticks, which makes them easily identifiable in the nest.  COM hasn’t put any sticks out recently, so the marked sticks that are visible in the nest have been dug up by the marauders and are not new.

Here is a fun series of photos that I took showing E.T. returning to the nest, closely followed by Montana.  This was not one of Montana’s more graceful moments:

E.T. is returning to the nest after a nice afternoon flight.

E.T. is returning to the nest after a nice afternoon flight.

Easy does it on the landing!

Easy does it on the landing!

Ah, alone, all alone

Ah, alone, all alone

Montana must think E.T. has a fish or is about to have a fish, because she comes screaming into the nest. E.T. is on high alert

Montana must think E.T. has a fish or is about to have a fish, because she comes screaming into the nest. E.T. is on high alert

Montana misjudges her landing, and does a face plant. E.T. gets out of dodge.

Montana misjudges her landing, and does a face plant. E.T. gets out of dodge.

Another fun series of photos of the nest.  These photos start off with Tom in the nest with his three youngsters:

Tom and the gang

Tom and the gang

Montana decides to take off. The others watch her go.

Montana decides to take off. The others watch her go.

Where did she go?

Where did she go?

Who is coming now?

Who is coming now?

That was quick!

That was quick!

Montana doesn't stay long and is off again

Montana doesn’t stay long and is off again

We all know that Maine doesn’t like to share.  Here is a photo of her mantling.  I like this shot because you can really see her spread tail feathers:

Quit your mantling, Maine, no one wants your fish!

Quit your mantling, Maine, no one wants your fish!


Maine-Get back, you silly woman with a camera!

Maine and Montana hanging out:

Siblings hanging out in the nest-Maine and Montana

Siblings hanging out in the nest-Maine and Montana

Maine with a half fish:

Half a fish is better than no fish

Half a fish is better than no fish

Maine decides to leave with her fish:

The lady with the camera is back and I am outta here!

The lady with the camera is back and I am outta here!

Chapter Four:  The Blog-Questions Answered

Now it’s time for a photo break and a chance to answer some of your questions as well as tell you a quick little story.  Last week, I was outside and heard a lot of commotion coming from what sounded like a bunch of ospreys.  I looked up, and saw a juvenile bald eagle flying by with a fish in his talons being chased by six, that’s right, six ospreys.  Ospreys and eagles do not get along, and these six were not having any part of the eagle in their territory.  The determined gang of osprey and the target of their anger were in the air between our dock and the big tree two houses to the north of us.  The six ospreys were in hot pursuit of the eagle, who dropped his fish and decided to concede to the angry mob.  When the fish hit the water, one of the ospreys swooped down and grabbed his new found treasure without so much as a thank you to the dejected young eagle.  It was quite a sight to see!

Many of you wonder if I read all of the blog comments.  Rest assured that I do.  All of the blog comments are also delivered to my personal email, and this will be coming to an end quite soon.  As you are aware, there are a voluminous number of blog comments made, thousands of them, and each and every one comes to my email.  I will be setting up another email account which will be used strictly for blog comments, so my personal email will stop filling up so my work emails can’t get through!  So keep those cards and letters coming, kids!

Some of you have commented about Montana’s leg band looking funky. Maine and Montana’s leg bands are made of a silver colored metal, which are covered in tape.  Maine’s tape is yellow and Montana’s tape is red.  So what you are probably seeing is that the tape must have gotten mucked up (scientific term).  Craig told me that the tape usually lasts a very long time, so I am not sure what Montana got in to that caused the damage to the tape.

As with Craig, I have not personally seen any of our current juveniles catch a fish.  Over the last two years, I did witness all of our other juveniles, Chester, Essie, Ozzie, Breezy and Spitz (Kathy Berrier’s fav), catch their own fish.  I am sure they have caught fish, but neither Craig or I have been in the right place at the right time to observe their new found skill.

When I post photographs in the blog, I will not identify a bird if I am not sure which one it is.  I spend a lot of time looking at closeups of my photos to ensure that I accurately identify the ospreys in the photos.

I have seen Featherdog’s poster (via email), and it is quite the labor of love.  More details will follow about how to get your copy of this quite extraordinary undertaking, which is a reflection of all your devotion to Tom, Audrey, Maine, Montana and E.T.  Thanks so much for everyone’s contributions, and a very special shout out to Featherdog for her incredible creation.

Montana in flight

Montana in flight-Check out the red band

Montana in flight with an observer

Montana in flight with an observer

Chapter Five:  The Neighborhood

Some of the more frequent questions I receive concern where the ospreys are when they are not in the nest.  None of them have been spending much time in the nest lately, especially since a couple of our friends are gone for the season.  The favorite place the past couple of weeks has definitely been the big tree two houses to the north of us, but I have also seen our friends in the scraggly stick tree in our next door neighbor’s yard just north of us, our neighbor’s dock two houses to the south of us and on various places on our dock.

Here are some of the places in the neighborhood I have seen our friends:

Maine on the lift to our old floating dock

Maine on the lift to our old floating dock

Tom on our neighbor's swim ladder two houses to the south of us

Tom on our neighbor’s swim ladder two houses to the south of us

Maine and Montana in one of the big trees two house to the north of us

Maine and Montana in one of the big trees two houses to the north of us

Maine and E.T. in the neighbor's tree two houses to the north of us

Maine and E.T. in the neighbor’s tree two houses to the north of us

Montana getting ready to land in the big tree

Montana getting ready to land in the big tree two houses to the north of us

This is where our ospreys have been spending most of their time when not in the nest:

Wide view of Maine, Montana and E.T. in the big tree two houses to the north of us

Wide view of Maine, Montana and E.T. in the big tree two houses to the north of us

E.T. with a fish and a few of his mooching crow friends

E.T. with a fish and a few of his mooching crow friends

Maine is mantling for the crows

Maine is mantling for the crows.  She and E.T. each have a fish.  If you are really observant, you can see a third osprey head.  Look closely!

E.T. with a fish surrounded by a few of his close mooching friends

E.T. with a fish surrounded by a few of his hopeful friends

E.T. with a fish and a friend

E.T. with a fish and a friend-another view

Well, the hour is getting late and I must be off to bed.  There are at least two more blogs planned before I bid you all adieu for the 2015 season, so don’t go away.  An end of season gathering is in the works for the local ospreycam watchers and anyone else who would like to join us.  I will leave you with our next “Where In The World Are Tom and Audrey” winner:

Eric watching the ospreycam from Hog Island, Maine

Eric watching the ospreycam from Hog Island, Maine

That’s all for tonight.  Until next time, we remain-

Crazy Osprey Man, Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man (Mrs. COMomma) 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 today.  Thanks very much!

1,229 thoughts on “Calico Tom The Fishing Fool and Other Short Stories

  1. Thank you Bella, We will do it! 🙂

    Featherdog, Audrey is so motherly, I just don’t see her doing the “Snoopy Happy Dance”. But ya never know, what happens in Migration, stays in Migration! hehehee.
    For the love of birds…

  2. Good morning all. I agree Lillie. Audrey is so maternal ! Who knows what she might be thinking ? Maybe about next spring !!! like all of us ! Thank you Bella for the start the day smile :).

  3. Lillie, I don’t know about the happy dance. I remember when it began to sink in that Ken & I had the WHOLE HOUSE to ourselves after nineteen years. We could run around NAKED if we wanted to (Woo Hoo)!. We could come and go when we wanted to. We could… we could… we could…! Just think, Audrey gets that same ability for six months out of EVERY year! Then those raging hormones (aka ‘magnetic field’ changes) compel her back to the grindstone.
    I hope Tom3b comes back. I don’t believe how many fish he brought to the nest for such a youngster (3-4 yr old)! This year feels so “magical” for all of the things that happened (and didn’t)! It will be hard to top it…

  4. A reply email from the Wetlands Institute about Chance: “Thank you for your interest in Chance and continuing to follow her progress! Our Director of Marketing and Communication is working on an update as we speak. Both Chance and Dad are still around. Chance is observed daily and Dad was spotted this past Saturday morning resting on the nest. Chance is able to catch fish on her own – she was observed holding her first catch about two weeks ago! It is getting harder to observe Chance on the webcam as both she and Dad prefer to reside on a nest on the other side of the marsh now that Chance has fledged. Stay tuned for our latest updates!”

    • Hi Donna! Thank you so much for the update on Chance. I hardly ever see her anymore and now I understand why! Have a great day 🐥🌹

      • Hi Donna…so glad you heard from Wetlands about Chance. We seem to have adopted her and have come to love her. Wetlands also posted an update today on its homepage. It’s amazing that Chance has already mastered the art of fishing. Her ‘birthday’ is July 8th – so she is now 11weeks old; 12 weeks tomorrow. She fledged less than a month ago and momma left very shortly after that. She seems well ahead of the osprey learning curve and has grown into a wonder osprey. It’s pretty definite that the Long Island osprey Dad and juvie have left. I believe this is the second day with no sightings there.

      • Hi Barbara, osprey “North Fork Bob” on Long Island finally found his wings and began his migration! The last time I looked he was somewhere in VA. Quin on Tangier Island in the Chesapeake is still sitting tight. His buddy, Nick, from Tangier was almost at his winter vacation spot in northern Colombia last night. It took Nick 10 days.

  5. Since the Hog Island nest failed due to the eagles, the viewers there have been watching other osprey nests during the season and chatting about them on the HI cam page. This is from a commenter at the HI nest regarding George and Sandy’s departure. She stated this happened early Sunday morning. Neither have been seen at the nest since then according to the commenters at the LI nest.
    “Steve watched over Pia until she was safely on her way south I believe George did the same for his Sandy earlier this morning.
    These 4 PICS of the LI nest were taken early this morning. George circled the nest twice (PIC I of George at 1:30 out from nest). During the first circle flight Sandy could be heard calling to him off-camera. She landed on the nest during his second circle flight, still calling out to him (PIC2). As he flew away, Sandy silently gazed out over the LI Sound for a short while (PIC 3) and then, just as silently, she raised her wings (PIC 4) and took off from the nest in the same direction as George.”
    This was buried in the basement in the comment section on the HI cam page. Awww Sweet George! It seems like he was telling Sandy it was “time to go” !

    • It makes you wonder what “hardwiring” was at work here for Sandy. It seems as if she made a choice based on George’s behavior in addition to the environmental cues. If George was following his magnetic/wind/light cues to take flight south, what was Sandy responding to when she waited and watched George and then decided to follow suit? Was she asking him if it was time when she was calling out? Did she feel the same cues but wanted to confirm? I hate using “hardwired” to explain behavior because it makes it so inflexible, like electric circuits that can only flow one way and there is no room for choice. May the wings of the majestic avian in heaven, protect their path.

      • Ive, I realize that you just don’t want to believe in instinct (hardwiring) but you are leaving out a critical element of instinct. Nearly ALL creatures, including humans, act out of instinct as opposed to ‘learned’ behavior. The simplest example of human instinct is that a newly born infant will cry when in pain or hunger. No one ‘taught’ the babe to cry, it just does. Another example is the newly hatched osprey chick — it wasn’t ‘taught’ to take fish from an adult or to even eat fish.
        One of the critical elements of instinct is the ability to have & use low level emotion, e.g., anger. So, to that extent, albeit limited, ospreys have the ability to make a ‘choice’ to be angry or express anger. However, they are believed incapable of high level emotion, e.g., frustration, the ability to hold a grudge and ‘mothering’ as a human mother does with her child.
        There is at least one oft quoted article claiming that ospreys do not have a cerebellum necessary for high level emotion. This ‘fact’ is false because they DO have a minimal cerebellum. However, most all scientists are unwilling to attribute high level types of emotion to them.
        An example of what most would use to argue against higher level emotion in ospreys and other creatures is what we have seen at other nests — siblicide (one or more nestmates killing other, weaker nestmates). This year chick #1, and sometimes chick #2, viciously pecked chick #3 to death. George was such a poor provider that fish were scarce most of the time. Gracie had to leave the chicks alone in the nest to fish for herself and them. Nevertheless, Gracie did NOTHING to stop the siblicide. Where was her “mothering” nature in that? Was it in her fishing to feed herself and the chicks? Was it in her watching #3 as #1 & #2 killed it and did nothing to protect #3?
        Here, E.T. has been ‘off-camera’ for days at a time. But for Mrs. COMomma’s short posts a couple of weeks ago, there was an osprey hanging out in the big tree, E.T.’s favorite spot. Without eyewitness accounts, perhaps George left South and Sandy is still there or visa versa. Perhaps they are both there but not at the nest.
        I don’t think you were here last year but many can verify that Tom2 left well ahead of Spitz. Mrs. COMomma is the only source that could tell us when/if Tom or E.T. has left South. Ospreys certainly do not begin their migration because they ‘see’ another orsprey leave the immediate area. They go when instinct tells them to go.
        The bottom line is that while ospreys have instinct to inextricably guide them through life, one must include low level emotional abilities in the equation at least until it can be proven that they have evolved to higher levels of emotion.
        It irates and angers some people when others attach to ospreys the ability to possess all high level human emotions. I am willing believe I ‘see’ some of the high level emotions expressed by osprey actions. I am not willing to state such advanced abilities as proof-positive fact. Anthromorphisising will not hurt a single osprey. It is merely our overwhelming desire to see and attribute human emotions to ospreys that they cannot likely possess.

  6. Donna thank you for all your info and updates ! So happy to hear about our little adoptee, Chance. She certainly has made great strides in such a short period of time !

  7. Chance is sitting on top of the left perch at her nest again tonight. I noticed they put the other 2 cams back online yesterday. They had been gone for about 4 days or so. It looks like they could be in for some heavy rains later this week and it really will be a “wetlands” everywhere!

  8. Good evening, everyone! Just a quick update on happenings around here. There was an osprey in the scraggly stick tree yesterday, I was able to get a few photos which I will post in my next blog within a few days. This will be my next-to-last blog for the season. The last one will be a wrap-up of the season, which I will get together after our end-of-season gathering. Based on feedback I have received from some out of town COP, I am looking at a weekend afternoon. I have tried a few places, none of which were available. So I will continue my search, and hopefully will have something nailed down by the end of the week. COM is planning on attending, and I will ask Craig Koppie once I have a definite date and time. So that’s it for now, my Crazy Osprey peeps. Stay tune for another blog and the gathering announcement soon. Mrs. COMomma (hoping not to float away over the next few days-finally some rain, but did it have to all come at once?)

    • Mrs. COMomma! Good morning and thank yo for the update. So could it be that ET is still around?, hmmm, I don’t think he wants to leave us, I don’t blame him, but I so worry about the winter if he doesnt get a move on. I am sooooo excited to hear that you are changing the gathering to a weekend, yay! I might just be able to make it now 🙂
      have a wonderful day!

    • For sure thank you for the update. Did you check Jalapenos in Annapolis? The prices were reasonable and they have a nice happy hour. Would be kind of nice to celebrate at a type of restaurant that represents countries where ospreys migrate to, like Mexico and Spain.

    • Hi, Mrs. COM! Suggestion for the get-together: Mezzanotte Restaurant (Ritchie Hwy, Severna Park, 410-647-1100), also, you probably know that the Boat Shows are in Annapolis: Sailboat Show: Oct 8 – 12, 2015, Powerboat Show: Oct. 15 – 18, 2015. (Annapolis is usually a crazy/busy place then!)

  9. Good morning all ! Thank you Mrs. COMomma for the update ! Ive, please feel free to believe as you see fit about hardwiring, instinct or any of the emotions that you attribute to the ospreys. I, for one, see complexities in their behaviors at times, and that leads to a state of wonderment and joy about their beings. Nothing is black and white. There are events that unfold in nature that we can not understand. This holds true for everything that goes on in this world. Laws of physics have been debated, for heaven’s sake !!! heehee. Believe on and continue to enjoy the vast unknown of these incredible birds !

  10. Good Morning! Remember the movie, “Fly Away Home” about the young girl who led geese on migration in a ultralight plane? Operation Migration is based in Wisconsin and they have been leading Whooping Cranes on migration for years (one of the pilots helped make that movie!). They are hopefully leaving for migration this morning – and the ultralight has a Cam! You can watch it here: – or they will post the url for a “flight cam.” I followed and watched last season – and got choked up daily! This years “class” has 6 beautiful cranes. If you have time this morning, take a look.
    The website has excellent background info, i.e., those who care for the cranes where “costumes” or “tumes” so that the cranes won’t imprint on humans….

    • (I am a former teacher… I did not proofread that post and among other errors, just saw that I wrote “…those who care for the cranes WHERE “costumes…” YIKES – “WEAR”

  11. Good morning from lovely Towson! Had to do some catching up I spent yesterday at St Joseph’s ER hubby had first kidney stone attack. All is well for now. I missed checking all of my saved websites. I see Chance on post now! YIPEE made my rainy morning. HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY! For the love of birds!

    • Good mornng Fran, So sorry to hear hubby’s in a bad way, ouch! I know that is very painful. I do hope he will be feeling much better soon. Have a beautiful day 🙂

  12. Good Morning Everyone! Wow, it really rained last night and apparently more is coming…
    Mrs. COMomma, Thank you for the updates, it rained all night here in the city too, and more to come, I hope it decides to go sideways or change it’s path, we were planning a busy weekend, The Fells Point Festival and The Renaissiance Festival. Looking forward to your next updates, thanks again
    Flamingo Fran- I hope your husband is feeling better, kidney stones can be very painful, we had a friend who suffered on and off for about a year with them, apparently some doctors say they will pass through the system, ouch! Are they crazy, I hope your husband doesn’t have to suffer like that. I’m not sure how your husband is with pain, but when mine has something painful, I want to kill myself (not really), let’s just say, he does not handle pain well, at all!
    Featherdog- Thank you for all of that interesting information, I like how you worded that , we as humans want to attribute human emotions to the Osprey or actually to most everything. Which is so true, cause we’re humans, like you said. I love when you talk scientific!
    Bonnie- I remember that movie, I’m going to check it out, as soon as I finish here. Thank you!
    For the love of the birds…

  13. Hi Fran, So sorry to hear about your husband. I understand they are extremely painful. I’m glad he got some relief after his visit to the ER and hope for his sake they don’t come back again!

    • Becky, I too am saddened by the news and will truly miss him. I watched his nest for the last 3 years and will miss his antics with Harriet and the way he gazed at each egg that was laid on the nest. He was a great eagle Dad ! Here’s the link to CROW’s FB page (the Rehab. Clinic). A necropsy will be performed. You Do Not have to Log In.

  14. featherdog, my feathery friend. It is not that I don’t want to believe in instinct, not at all. we are all bound to that program. is that I don’t believe it to be an unyielding program. I find animals behavior sometimes more “evolved” than humans because some don’t hold grudges, or dwell in self pity. And, at least with them doing nothing to help an offspring victim of attack or the adult herself attacking the young one, can be explained by survival needs. How do we explain Susan Smith’s behavior? There is no such thing as maternal instinct for humans either. If ‘hardwiring’ was all that was involved in the migration, then all birds of the same state of readiness, in the same area of the bay would have yielded to the environmental clues and left the same day, but that did not happen. So instinct seems to be an individual program as well as a universal program (crying in pain or hunger, smiling when happy). It does appear that there is some individual choice involved in the migration process so we don’t really know if seeing one bird leaving encourages another to do so also, if they are about the same age and fitness. Wasn’t there a note at the DYfi that 3 juvies fledged the same day within minutes of each other? Was that instinct or getting encouraged from the others fledge? and that some began migration together, the same day? I am not saying that they ‘encourage’ each other to leave, but we don’t know they don’t for sure, either. Instinct is powerful but it seems that at times, a choice can be made to override it. It looks like you are open to the “choice” possibility to some point. I think we agree more than you might have inferred from my shorthand writing. “Facts” are sometimes based on observations of behaviors and they seem to be changing as we gather more information due to the bird tracking and the numerous active cams. I wish there was a general database to which we as individuals could contribute our personal experiences with the observations we have made. And that it was accessible to scientists looking to confirm their own observations. There are so many people observing so many nests all over the country, but they might post their observations in just as many forums and some good data gets lost within the numerous posts. Maybe is just wishful thinking that a collective database could eventually be built. call me an ornithologist wanna be!
    you stay well and full of love for the birds!

    • Ive, this is go ’round number two on this. I would be willing to respond to some/most of the above by email because I don’t believe it belongs here on the blog. My steadfast policy is if I have a question about something or don’t know something I go out of my way to get answers from those experts that DO have the answers. I have found that education resolves many questions. So, I go get educated and don’t merely shoot from my gut feelings. My email address is


      • Thank you! I will consider following up. I too believe in researching extensively and accessing the available knowledge from the current data available. I do see that answers on the same subject varies at times, so I have to decide which “expert” to believe. I have a couple of them, even if I don’t believe they have all the answers, I am willing to learn from what they have to offer. Talk to you soon!

  15. In Memory of Ozzie…..Soar high and free my friend.

    The Eagle
    He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
    Close to the sun in lonely lands,
    Ringed with the azure world, he stands.
    The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
    He watches from his mountain walls,
    And like a thunderbolt he falls.

    Alfred Lord Tennyson

    • Right? He was exiled from his nest and replaced. He was unable to defend his reason for living. Maybe realized and accepted it was time to move on, especially after getting caged. I often hope that if there is a heaven, that it is overcrowded with every animal, wild or domestic, that has graced this planet. That is the heaven I want to be part of and I want to see Ozzie there.

  16. So sad about Ozzie…. 😓 Chesapeake Conservancy announced they’re going to take down the Kent Island nest and cam due to impeding weather conditions.

  17. Ive I love what you wrote !!! I love the thought process, the emotion. See my post early this morn. I agree totally !!! Arrgghhhhhh the nest is coming down as I write this !!!

  18. news flash! Due to the impending nasty weather, the nest and camera will be coming down around 2 this afternoon. We will record it. Please spread the news. Thanks mrs com

    • It’s gone! Oh it hurts so bad! 😓💔 why does that happen! You know it’s coming and then Bam! It’s like you ran into a truck. 😢

    • thank YOU for another utterly magical summer ! !! Have you scheduled the get-together yet? I indicated a desie to attend!

    • A little traumatic seeing it come down but what a wonderful osprey season it was! Glad you will be able to get everything down before the bad weather comes. Can’t wait until next year! Thank you!

  19. Hey everyone! It’s so sad seeing the nest come down but I don’t blame them for wanting to get it down before Hurricane Joaquin comes up that way. It was so sad hearing about Ozzie. I love bald eagles and it saddens me to know that one of them is gone. Just wanted to say that I still plan on buying a poster. My life has been hectic the past few weeks. My email got hacked 3 times in the past 3 weeks and I decided to close it out completely. I had to change all my email subscriptions and everything to a new gmail account first. What a pain! Now I’m working on a special project for my pastor’s retirement party this weekend. After that, hopefully things will slow down so I can get a mailing tube off in the mail. I’m not sure I can make it to the party. I’ll have to see when the date/location are set. I’d love to meet this crazy osprey family I’ve become a part of the past few months. I’ve certainly learned a lot about ospreys and I’ll definitely be back next year to watch. If the hurricane comes near where you live, be careful! Margie

  20. The path of hurricane Joaquin is very uncertain, but what seems to have no question is that there will still be a ton of rain. I have been through a hurricane and would not wish it on anyone. I am praying for everyone’s saftey. And for all our silly Osprey’s that are not sunbathing yet 😉

  21. Arrrggghhhhh !! I watched maybe Mr. Com dismantling the nest ! So sad ! and Ozzie too !!! what can I say. I did see a sign briefly on the nest something about the winter. can anyone tell me what it said exactly ? Thought something along the lines of gone for the winter.

  22. Thanks, Mrs. COMomma for notifying us. Aww, it was sad to see the nest come down, but the COF did the right thing to save the cam and the platform before the bad weather arrives, possibly a hurricane. They’re going to have a ton of rain coming down along with some winds. I’m sure they didn’t plan on doing this today! Not seeing the cam on the nest makes everything so final now. The last bird I saw was the whitish/beige seagull earlier today who seemed content to just stand there.

    • I saw that gull too, probably wondering where the fishing fool went. At least we know is not a problem with our viewing the camera and the nest.

  23. Well, I guess that being blocked from seeing the cam will help me not be traumatized by seeing the nest come down. Flamingo Fran – hope all stays well with your husband. My sister, too, had quite the time getting rid of her stones. Would be super stoked if the flocking could be on a weekend day!!!
    For the love of the birds 😎

  24. Mrs. COMomma, thank you for your quick update last night. We’re all looking forward to seeing the pics of the osprey in the scraggly stick tree. Do you think it was ET? Did you by chance see an osprey in that tree or neaby today when you were taking the cam down? I hope it got out of Dodge before the storm comes.

    I have another question for you also. We know both the M’s and ET like to hang out in the scraggly stick tree. I don’t know how many other ospreys were around in the immediate area. Do you know if any other local ospreys hung out in that tree too? I was just wondering if the M’s and ET were the only ones that hung out there. Thank you in advance! Please take care and be safe during the storm that’s heading your way!

    • Hi, Donna. I never saw any of the other local ospreys in the scraggly stick tree other than E.T. and company. I did see an osprey fly by this morning with a flapping fish, but could not see where it landed.

  25. HEY EVERYONE ! Remember to mark your calendar’s for St. Paddy’s Day next year!! Be sure to check in here!This year Audrey returned on March 16. She built most of the nest by herself before the new Tom arrived on the scene. He had it pretty easy because most of the work was already done by our industrious Audrey. Just like a guy, huh!! (couldn’t resist – lol). It’s fun and exciting to watch her/them build the nest almost from scratch, and you don’t want to miss it !
    We’re still going to have 2 more blogs from Mrs. COMomma (Yaay!) before it’s all over. Sniff, Sniff It ain’t over til it’s over!

  26. I hope Mrs. COMomma doesn’t mind if I share this information CC posted on FB an hour ago…

    It was hard to watch the cam and nest come down, but here is some good news! An End of Osprey Season Gathering has been planned:

    O’Loughlin’s Restaurant and Pub
    College Parkway Center
    1258 Bay Dale Drive
    Arnold, Maryland

    Saturday, October 17, 2015
    2:00-4:00 p.m.

    Cash bar with separate checks
    There will be a per person charge for food, menu still being figured out

    Featherdog’s poster will be available for a donation to the Conservancy.

    RSVP to blog or by replying below by 10/10

  27. Chance is standing on the top left perch at her nest again tonight. You can see her little head moving around. I checked on her last night after it started raining, and she was still there. It looked it was really pouring at the time but the cam can be deceiving.

  28. Thank you for confirming Donna, It is hard to tell at night, but I watched for a bit and yes, you can see her moving around. I will be holding my breathe for them when the weekend gets here. Water is one thing for them, not much of a problem, but the winds can turn them around.

Comments are closed.