Hello Ospreys, Good Bye Swans!

Good evening from the lovely Eastern Shore of Maryland!  Well, I have good news and bad news for all of my faithful blog readers.  The bad news is that all of our beautiful swans have departed for points north where they nest and have their babies.  The Crazy Osprey Family hopes you enjoyed the little swan diversion this winter.  Many thanks to Crazy Osprey Man, who masquerades as Crazy Swan Man from November through March every year.  He has been faithfully feeding the swans for as long as I can remember. It was his idea to move the camera from the osprey pole to the dock this winter to allow you to enjoy watching our beautiful flock of tundra swans and a few mooching geese.  The swans usually arrive a a little before Thanksgiving and depart around the time the ospreys arrive, which brings us to the good news (I think you may have guessed what I am about to say!).  The Chesapeake Bay ospreys have started to make their presence known, and we have our first beautiful osprey friend in residence!  The bird arrived much earlier than usual this year. Interestingly, our swans also arrived much earlier than usual last November.


Tundra swans near the end of the season. The grey-necked swan is a juvenile. We had a flock of about 60 swans visiting our dock for hand-outs all winter.


Our winter here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland was relatively mild with the exception of the Blizzard of 2016.  This was the first winter since 2012-2013 that we did not have to replace our pole and platform, and were able to utilize the same ones from last year.  The last two winters before this one, our pole succumbed to ice and wind and we had to acquire the help of the Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage to replace the pole and the platform.  COM was grateful for a little reprieve from the very cold water and air temperatures he had to endure before the last two osprey seasons.  Mrs. COM baked far fewer homemade muffins this winter, which had been needed the past two years to feed the hard-working, shivering, osprey-loving pole installers, cameramen and all our assorted helpers.  Check out some of the early blogs from 2014 and 2015 to read about and see photos of the pole replacements the last two seasons.

There has been some discussion as to the identity of our first arrival. I have carefully reviewed still photos and video taken off the camera feed since we went live last week, and am quite certain that we have had the same osprey at the nest platform and hanging out in the area since our first osprey sighting on March 8.  There have not been any other ospreys observed around us, not even at the other nest a few houses to the north of us. Please remember that we have a direct high definition feed to a dedicated osprey monitor in our house which does not go through the Internet, so our viewing image is much sharper than what goes out to our thousands of camera watchers. This gives us a decided advantage as to which osprey is on the nest at any given time.  Even with our viewing advantage, sometimes it is hard to tell who is who.  Our very first Tom and Audrey pair, who graced our nest from 1995-2009, looked completely different from each other, and there was no doubt as to which osprey was which.  Tom One had a very dark head, and our first Audrey had just a little splash of black on her forehead, decidedly different from that Tom. Our feathered friend this spring appears to be Audrey, but we are not a hundred percent sure.  It is typical for the male osprey of a pair to return to the nest site first, followed a few days later by the female.  When we had our first Tom and Audrey pair from 1995-2009, Tom always showed up first.  Even with our second pair, Tom always showed up first until the 2014 season.  Here are some dates from the last few years to give you an idea of when our pair showed up:

2009:  This was the last year of our first Tom and Audrey pair.  Tom showed up on March 22, 2009, and Audrey arrived on March 30 that year.

2010:  We were away on a Spring Break vacation from March 12-21, 2010.  The morning after we arrived back, March 22, we observed a new Tom and Audrey already in residence at the nest.

2011:  This was the year for a St. Patrick’s day return for Tom, with Audrey only three days behind on March 20, 2011.

2012:  Tom arrived on March 21, but COM’s notes do not reflect the exact day of Audrey’s arrival, which was sometime after Tom’s.

2013:  This was the first year of our partnership with the Chesapeake Conservancy and the start of our blog.  Tom arrived on March 21, 2013 with Audrey not far behind on March 24.

2014:  Our first anomaly year, with Audrey showing up before Tom on March 22.  Tom took his good old time, and made his grand entrance on March 27, 2014.

2015:  I know you probably remember what a crazy start we had last year.  Audrey showed up first on March 16, 2015, with a brief one week visit from the dark stranger which started on March 23, complete with adult-rated osprey shenanigans.  Our Calico Tom arrived on March 30, and laid claim to his new mate.  The dark stranger moved on to more fertile grounds, and was not seen again.

So that brings us to this year, with our first arrival (possibly Audrey) on 3/8/2016.  Until a second osprey arrives and we can observe the start of baby making, we will withhold absolute verification of our early bird.  We were quite surprised to see the return of the osprey so early, so much to our chagrin, the camera was not back on the pole the day of the return.  Fortunately, COM had scheduled the camera to go back up on the next day, March 9.  With the help of Peter Turcik from the Chesapeake Conservancy, we were able to go live with the ospreycam without further delay.  Thanks very much for your help, Peter, and I hope you enjoyed your muffins.  Here is a pictorial of the camera installation, which occurred at low tide:


Peter and COM getting the equipment ready for the camera installation.



The barren pole awaits a camera and osprey family



COM and Peter carrying the fourteen foot stepladder to the end of the dock. Peter is wearing his Chesapeake Conservancy osprey shirt, how appropriate!



The stepladder is going into the water off the dock. COM and Peter are still wearing their shoes, but changed into waders before going into the drink



Tools at the ready



You can see the big roll of cable used for the camera at the end of the dock by the picnic table. The tub under the picnic table with a brick on top is where the swan corn is kept. Can you spot Peter and COM’s shoes?



COM and Peter taking the ladder through the water out to the pole



The 14 foot stepladder is going up. COM and Peter are looking stylish in their waders



COM and Peter have waded back to the dock and brought out the camera attached to the mount and the junction box.  Don’t you just love the expensive camera cover-a modified K Mart trash can!



Resting the camera on the ladder until the junction box is installed on the pole



The inside of the electrical box on the dock. This is where Tom likes to sit, with the front closed, of course!



Attaching the junction box to the pole



The junction box is attached to the pole, now on to the camera



Maneuvering the camera to go up the pole



You add the caption to this one, as long as it has something to do with COM’s tools!



COM goes slowly up the pole with the camera, which is off-balance and heavy.



Getting closer-Don’t drop it now!



COM is attaching the camera mount to the platform



Almost attached!



COM is taping the cables from the camera to the camera mount



Working his way down the pole taping the cables



COM has the cables down to the junction box. Note how gracefully he stands on one leg, sort of like our osprey



Peter gets in on the cable action helping COM with the tape



COM and Peter carefully bringing the cables back to the dock to avoid tangling



COM and Peter taping the cables together



This job is definitely easier with two people



Attaching the cables to the dock



Taking the ladder down-back to the dock it goes




The pole is looking less bare!



Mission accomplished!


Shortly after the camera was in place, our new arrival checked out the platform additions:


Where is my nest?



You looking at me?



Take a photo of my good side!


Our big surprise this season is the addition of night vision capability at the nest.  COM has researched how to best provide viewing after the sun goes down for a very long time, and made his light purchase over the winter.  He spent many days testing the camera with infrared (IR) lighting, using a variety of different filters to get a good image. With my help on the inside watching images on the computer monitor, he moved the camera around on the end of the dock at night to decide on the proper placement of the IR light source.  For the near future, the IR light will stay on until 11:00 p.m.  The plan right now is to leave the IR light source on all night after the nest is bigger, which will hopefully cut down on the glare you see on the platform.  This is a work in progress, so please bear with us as we try to fine tune all the variables for your viewing pleasure.

Our osprey has been hanging out in all the usual places: the nest platform, the swim ladder two houses to the south of us, the scraggly stick tree next door to the north, but mostly in the big tree two houses to the north of us.  Here are some photos taken since our osprey’s arrival:


March 9, 2016-the big tree two houses to the north of us. Look way up in the top!



A closer view of the previous photo



A closer shot showing the markings on the back of the head-this is the same bird that arrived on March 8 and is still with us



Here comes the woman with the camera, I remember her! Outta here!


Here are a couple of photos taken on March 11, 2016:


I think I will just sit here on my bare platform and eat my fish.



Did you ever feel like you were being watched?



Darn, here she comes again with that annoying camera!



I am taking my fish and leaving!


Here is a photo taken on Monday, March 14:


A gloomy day on the electrical box.


Well, I think that is enough for now!  If there are any sightings of a second osprey in the area, and I let you know right away!

Until next time, we remain-

Crazy Osprey Man, Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man (COMomma) and Osprey Girl

Reminder:  The Chesapeake Conservancy will be hosting their annual Welcome Back Osprey Party on April 19.  Details as to place and time will be announced shortly.

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!







568 thoughts on “Hello Ospreys, Good Bye Swans!

  1. Not really looking for answers now, just thinking out loud, or in type. I have this new picture in a picture app so I can see the picture and the blog at the same time, I couldn’t do that before, it was either one or the other.

  2. Well I am just going to put out a thought I had although I know we really have no clue as to what is going on in the nest and who is who. I am watching the two on the nest right now. My first thought was that the one on the right is calico tom because the feathers are a bit lighter like calico tom was. Could have darkened a bit since last seen. Of course the size is off but could that be because the one on the right is closer to the camera making it appear larger than it is?
    All in all it is going to be another fun and wild summer! Cannot wait for the plot to thicken or be revealed. And Hi all.

  3. hi all and it looks like audrey and whoever are playing a game in survivor series as who can stay on the pole the longest nite to all

  4. Happy Easter everyone! Hope everyone had a nice day. 70 and sunny here in Indiana. Two osprey on the platform. It is going to interesting to watch how things shake out as the season goes on. I hope we end up with Audrey and Calico Tom but will be happy to watch 2 happy adults and some healthy yappy youngsters.

  5. Hi Bette
    I’ve been looking at that rust spot, too, and have decided it must be a common marking. I certainly recall seeing a bird with one last year but’s probably like the “V” on so many foreheads.

    • Thank you, Uta, for the video. Poor Audrey! This other bird is persistent. There’s a program here called Sunday Morning and this morning they were speculating as to how the Easter bunny became associated with the holiday. Apparently the custom originated in Germany and the creature was originally a hare rather than a rabbit. You are innovators! Our Christmas traditions began there, too.

  6. Hi Everybody! Interesting day @MILs + SIL… I’m STILL not ‘doing’ ( a good thing)!
    Here’s some thoughts on Uta’s video:
    Aud was doing a lot of wing-flapping & “Ms. Mystery-bird” took on the classic ‘submissive’ body language ~ same as when she kept chasing E.T. away. Aud keeps warning Ms. Mystery-bird off but I noticed the very light brown feathers at the base of the skull. This would be an indicator of a 3-season bird which would be its first return. It would also be something an inexperienced female would do in the presence of a mature female unless both were going for a male ( far less submissive).
    Lillie ~ one landing on another’s back isn’t exclusively male behavior. See the video of Iris chasing off She-truder that I posted recently.
    Cynthia ~ the bird you saw wasn’t Tom3b (aka Calico Tom). I posted how to get to the 2015 Family Portrait on CCs site with a lot of details for IDing Tom. Clearly not him. DRATS!!! He’s due back if true to last season on April 1st.
    Geez, I sure hope this post sticks… For the Love of the Birds ~ FD


  7. 11:30 pm Sunday After the 5 pm event when Audrey showed who was in charge……now it is 11:30 pm…..both are asleep on the nest…..it will be interesting what the morning brings…..I think we are off to another season of interesting lessons about our Osprey….hopefully….all will end well for all…..that is what we all wish…..

  8. Hi Bella, I will not make excuses… I just want to give you a very sincere apology. As I later re-read what I wrote to you I was so ashamed of myself. I realize you owe me nothing but I really wish you would consider forgiving me? Not only for being inconsiderate to you but for stickin’ my nose where it did not belong.

    Next… I must practice what I was preaching, (although in THAT situation, (our case), I was completely wrong okay)? but… I want to give credit, (to you), where credit is due. As I have read many of your comments now and then over the last year or so, you always seemed so very nice and I always enjoyed so many of the things you said. (That’s one of the reasons I felt so bad for saying what I did to you and again, I sincerely apologize).

    I will not blame you if you choose to not forgive me but, (again), I wish you would and… in return I’ll make a promise to you, (and everyone else… even “Bird dog”), that I will NOT allow myself to do that again, (i.e. speak so negatively), to anyone again…. I promise! ..(Sorry “FD”… 😉 …and I won’t try to rid myself of my firmly entrenched sense of humor). 🙂 And I assure y’all that keeping that promise will not be all that difficult for me because generally speaking I am a nice person; unfortunately it seems that (from “FD’s” recollection at least), 🙂 the only time over the last couple of years that anyone’s had a chance to make that observation was when I was being unfriendly and less than positive. And… if there is not a “statute of limitations” on being negative, (and it’s okay with anyone that was involved), I will apologize in particular and in general for all those times as well. (Gosh… for any “new” folks that have never read any of my, (really very few comments, comparatively speaking ),you might think I am an ornery old coot but really I’m not). 🙂

    In closing, (and in tears)… from here on I plan to obey something my precious, (now 87 yr old), Mama told me many times… “Son… if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.”


    PS….. By the way Bella, I did not apologize because today was a beautiful Easter Sunday, (although it was that too… at least here in Arkansas, RATHER… I apologized because it was the right thing to do.

    • Thanks, rcarter238! I, regrettably, got into a tiff last year for similar reasons. It was ugly but we have come back from it and have become fast friends! Redemption lives!
      FYI: I am in the process of doing a 2015 Season Yearbook of all of the blogs & posts. That’s how I was able to come up with the data. It wasn’t a ‘recollection’. 2015 was an amazing year to remember! If you want a copy, send me your email ~ nataliemb@erols.com. It’s not quite finished yet & there REALLY are 12,000 + comments! We’ve said a lot of things!
      The Shadow knows… FTLOTBs ~ FD

    • Good morning rcarter238,
      Your apology is very much appreciated. I do forgive you, however, forgiveness is not necessary as there was a lesson learned and that’s the most important. I am not a vindictive person, therefore I want nothing more than to just move on and look forward to another wonderful Osprey season.

      For the most we are a very caring, happy and friendly bunch and that’s the way everyone wants it, it can get a little osprey crazy, last year was one for the books, whew! But that’s what makes it fun! 🙂

      Have a good day RC,

  9. I want to thank the crazy osprey family for the new enhanced camera. I came to this bird-love-fest last year after the eggs were laid. I watched live too many hours to admit, and enjoyed reading the blogs and comments, viewing Ute’s videos, and others posted photos, and video suggestions. I would tune in on clear-sky full-moon evenings, to see what was up with the nest. I can’t wait to enjoy the late night viewing via the infrared feature. An additional thanks to COMomma for the photo blog of the camera installation. My heart is all aflutter with all the possibilities of another osprey rearing season!

  10. GOOD MORNING!!! Rainy day here in Baltimore. Audrey and the mystery bird are perching on the platform. Do you think Audrey is waiting for Tom to finish building the apartment? Water is on the camera big smudge spot or maybe Aud is imbarrassed at the lack of furniture. Sun is expected out yay! Hoping all is well with everyone remember to flap those wing and give a Bella 😊

  11. Two on nest this morning. Rain is supposed to clear up by noon. Let’s hope so. Both birds looking soggy. Audrey is still yapping away at the she-truder.


  13. Hold everything! Just had Audrey land on nest. Another flew in and I believe mating was taking place. Quickie!

  14. morning and that big brown blur just reminded me of the horseshoe crab last year!! enjoy the day friends!!

  15. Hey Lillie! I found more about your question about male-only behavior vs mating. This was published on May 9, 2015. Two Osprey’s deciding to make little Osprey’s at the Edwin B. Forsyth Wild Life Refuse – Brigantine Division in NJ. So, here’s a video of ‘osprey sex’…

  16. If anyone claims to have never in his or her life said something that was later regretted, he is surely fibbing. Looking forward to another great season with our osprey family.

  17. Good Morning Osprey Fan. I have always found that the BEST measure of a person’s character is NOT what they say when they are RIGHT ~ I’ve found the truest measure of a person’s character is demonstrated by what they do/say when they are WRONG! rcarter238’s earlier response today to Bella showed real class! As I said happened to/with me, redemption lives but only if one seeks it!

  18. Good morning to all! I see TWO osprey on the nest now! First time for me this season! I look forward to another season with the osprey, falcons, and all of you! For the love of birds! 😎

  19. Just a side note…check out the bald eagle cam in Washington DC…two baby eaglets and mom in the nest now, and HUGE fish! Very nice sight to see!

  20. Audrey was on the nest by herself at 10:09 and the “other” osprey flew in and landed on her back and mated or attempted to mate with her. It was quick! She did not resist. The other osprey then flew over to the other side of the nest where it is now standing.
    This “other” osprey has rust colored feathers on the nape of it’s neck. Tom from last year also had the rust colored feathers on the nape of his neck. The “other” osprey has a brown/black “dot” between the “V” above it’s beak and the feathers starting on the crown of it’s head. Last year’s Tom also had a brown/black “dot” in the same place.
    Both Maine & Montana also had the rust colored feathers at the nape of their necks. ET did NOT have the rust colored feathers on it’s neck. I’ve seen the rust colored feathers on the napes of necks of ospreys in other nests, so it’s not something unusual.

    • Audrey, I observed the same at 8:53 a.m. with the mating. I still don’t understand the lack of nest building, especially if she is mating.


    • Good morning RJ, no sound yet. Hopefully sometime today or maybe tomorrow. CC is aware that we don’t have sound.

  22. Oh my goodness FD, X rated! the people talking in the video are hilarious, no wonder it was a quickie, they didn’t expect an audience. Thank you for sharing the video, it’s certainly interesting.

    Donna, very interesting observations about the bird descriptions, good eyes!

    Moe- you lucky lady! To have osprey right outside your door, and other amazing birds I’m sure.
    Yesterday I saw a beautiful red Cardinal sitting on a branch, he was admiring his surroundings.

    We are so very blessed that Audrey is back safely, occasionally I peep into the Maine nest, Steve and Rachel’s nest, but neither have returned, at least as of Friday when I checked in.

    Oh, my friends who feed the little birds, I started feeding them at the beginning of winter, so I can enjoy them in my window observatory, but now I’m wondering should I wein them from my seed, so they can fend for themselves more, or am I expected to continue feeding them all year, which is okay. They have become demanding some mornings, especially on the weekends, when I’m running late getting the feed in place. There are a few really vocal birds, that sit on the window and screech. I have created a monster, but they are so cute and enjoyable to watch.

    Have a great day folks! Do some Fran Flapping, some Bella Smilin 🙂 and some Kathy Praying and all will be well.

    • GM Lillie, descriptions and pics about the comparisons of the rust colored feathers on the nape of their necks and the “dots” on the heads of Tom from last year and the “other” osprey this year came from Uta. We need to thank her for that. Thanks Uta!

  23. Good morning from the BlueRidge Mtns of NC,

    With the new Tom arriving yesterday, and mating going on this morning, I am most anxious to hear what you have to say…is Calico Tom not expected to return? Can you see any marking differences in Audrey and her new boyfriend? (They look exactly the same to me – even in size). Thanks so much. I know your reports take lots of time. Gerry

    Sent from my iPad


  24. Good Morning to all! Sound is back and so wonderful to hear Audreys voice again.Thank you to all ,who make this possible now. ❤ 🙂
    Video from bonding/mating before the audio stream comes back. 🙂

  25. Good morning to all my friends! Your are AWESOME! I love you all! 🙂 💕
    Wow! Mating going on, that’s welcome news, however I have a question. Oh please don’t shoot me as I know everyone’s been chiming in/speculating on this but I don’t remember anyone asking this particular question. Someone had mentioned that Tom’s feathers would likely get darker, therefore changing his appearance, so are we sure this is not him with the lighter feathers?

    Have a wonderful day, be well and be safe, and….don’t forget your SMILE! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🐥💕🐥🐣🐣

  26. Thanks Uta! That WAS a mating episode! Guess we have Tom4 because it was definitely NOT Tom3b (aka Calico Tom)… I sure wish our Tom from last year would hurry up and get back (if he’s made it to/from migration)! ~FD

  27. SOUND, I have SOUND!!! Oh HAPPY, happy day!!!! THANK YOU to all who worked so very hard to get this fixed!
    Have a beautiful day! 🐥 Oh it’s glorious!

  28. Here’s another video of mating from a different angle than what Featherdog’s video above showed. Thank you FD for posting that video! Both are very good videos that show a successful mating. In this video the female is receptive and she lifts her tail and moves it to the side to offer her cloaca.
    To mate, the male has to get on top of the female’s back. The female has to bring her tail up and move it to one side while the male brings his down. Males mount females gently, talons closed and tarsi resting somewhat precariously along the female’s back; vigorous flapping helps the male maintain balance. If the female is receptive, she tips forward to allow the male’s tail to scissor under hers. Successful copulations, those in which the cloacae touch, depend on this forward tilt. This is called the “Cloacal Kiss”.
    The female calls the shots for successful mating; she needs to raise her tail, move it to the side and tilt forward so that the male can curl his tail under hers and achieve a cloacal kiss. This contact enables the sperm to pass from his cloaca into hers.
    Unreceptive females refuse copulations by keeping a horizontal posture or by tipping back on their tails, so males just stand there flapping or slide off. Failed copulations are common. Somewhere I read that successful copulations occur about 40% of the time but I’m not positive about the percentage.
    So, after reading the above info it’s quite obvious that Audrey is not receptive to the attempted matings from the “other” osprey! Here’s the link, and I hope it works! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_acZVKmZYFY

    • So full of education! Great video. Woo-Hooooo ~ Osprey Sex is in the air (to the tune of “Love is in the air” circa The Love Boat)! Thanks for the entertainment & facts, Donna W!


  30. Bella, I wondered the same about calico Tom as molting does slightly change the markings sometimes and since our birds are not banded/ringed we don’t know how much the markings change on a younger bird from this nest. The mature bird will retain the markings pretty much the same after later molts. What I have been doing is watching the amber spot on the back of the neck and comparing it to the 2013 clutch. It is remarkable how much this bird looks like one of those juveniles. It would make sense that it would show up in this nest where he/she was born and this could be the time to return for them. I wonder how many of the ospreys in MD are banded, and where the database for the banded birds is? I hope we do get calico Tom as we have a champion fisher!

  31. Ive, Calico Tom was an amazing fisher! I remember watching him last season some days, non-stop feeding the three kids and Audrey, quite remarkable. I do hope we get him back, if he’s not already. I love the idea that one of these visitors could be one of Audrey’s, too bad they’re not banded. I was watching the SW Florida eagles early on, and watched one or two of their offspring return to the nest, it was very exciting, especially for all the eagle watchers/chatters. They even knew them by name. Did the 2013 babies have names?
    I do hope we can distinguish soon. Love is certainly in the air! 🐥💕🐥

  32. Uta thanks for the bonding/mating video you posted above! After watching Uta’s video above, it appears that Audrey was DEFINITELY RECEPTIVE to the bonding/mating because she had her tail raised up and to the side, and she was leaning forward.
    Something that bothers me and I’m sure others is the lack of courtship. If it’s happening, we’re not seeing it on cam. Usually the male brings fish to the female on the nest every day as part of courtship. We haven’t seen that happen until this morning when the “other” osprey showed up with a fish at the nest after her receptive bonding/mating. It’s possible he is/was delivering fish to her off the nest before, but we don’t know and I doubt it from her behavior. I think the reason she wing flapped, beaked him and pushed him off the nest yesterday is because she was protecting her fish from him. She was probably calling him a deadbeat and go and get her some fish! He’s supposed to feed her, not the other way around. Part of the courtship when the male delivers fish to the female is to show her that he will be a good provider for their chicks. When he proves that he can, then she is receptive to bonding/mating.

  33. I wonder if this could be 2014 Tom (Chester, Essie & Ozzie’s dad) since Audrey accepted him so quickly. If I recall, she resisted calico Tom at first sight last year, and it did turn out that not a single hatch occurred from their union (genetics?). It would be interesting to know, but suspect there is no way of being sure w/o tags.

  34. The construction of the nest is so fascinating. I would be great to see a time-lapse video from beginning to end.

  35. Uta, Thank you so much for the video and the other descriptive information you have provided, you and FD and now Donna W are wonderful for providing so much information, I keep hoping to have some time to look up mating info, but wow Donna described it beautifully, and I now have a few new words to add to my bird words vocabulary.

    Oh yes, sound is back, thank you CC and COF for all that you do to make this wonderful world of nature possible for all of us. Absolutely love hearing Audrey!!!

  36. It’s still morning here in Northern CA but a lot of chatter has taken place so far today and I am now more educated in the goings on of an Ospreys mating habits. Thank you and gobs of thanks to the sound committee. Glorious sound, it never sounded so good. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Lillie, in answer to your bird question: I feed mine, and the squrrels, all year round although I’m told I shouldn’t feed them at all because they become dependent. When I’m gone, I’m sure they’ll find another feeder or figure out how to find something else to eat. Several of my neighbors feed them, also, so they’re fairly relaxed not frantic like yours. I was thriled recently to see a woodpecker. The only times I have seen them before was when we had deep snow. You probably know that bread is not good for them. Saturday night someone dropped an entire loaf of bread in my yard around the feeder. I picked it up on Sunday. I had counted originally twenty slices. There were seventeen left and I suspect a racoon had eaten the others. It’s a good thing I picked them up. With the rain Sunday night, they would have been a real mess.
      Once when I checked online as to why you should not feed bread, the information was that a small amount once in a while wouldn’t hurt them.
      Poor Audrey! She just can’t get rid of this bird who is looking for a ready made nest!

  37. There is one heck of a West wind going! The platform is steady shaking, the birds holding tight as they are getting tussled about, feathers all ruffled…

  38. Well, I kind of sneak a tab in my browser at work and kept here bird squawk, until I realized that my pc volume was on, albeit very low. Ms. Audrey was the vocalist.

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