Good evening from the finally Spring-like Eastern Shore of Maryland. After being able to write the last two blogs during the light of day, I am back to authoring my blog at night. And what a great night it is! After patiently waiting for the first egg to be laid, Tom and Audrey now have two! The first was laid very late on the night of April 17, and the second egg was laid around dinnertime on April 20. This is a little later than last year, when Audrey laid her first egg on April 12 and her second one on April 15. It remains to be seen how many eggs will grace our nest over the next few weeks. We certainly know that Tom has given his all to fertilize all these eggs. He has been an enthusiastic donor of osprey sperm to be sure! So we just need to have a little more patience before we have the final egg count. Ospreys will generally lay 2-4 eggs in a clutch, usually 2-3 days apart with an occasional outlier.
Typically, osprey eggs will be incubated for 5 to 6 weeks, or 35 to 42 days. In our nest, the most common incubation period has been 39-41 days. As the eggs are laid in intervals, they will also hatch in intervals. But we are getting way ahead of the game! By the time the next blog is published, we will know what the egg count will be for the 2016 season. Then the waiting will really begin!
There never seems to be any shortage of drama in this nest, does there? The big excitement since the last blog (other than our 2 new eggs, of course) was the plastic bag that Audrey brought back to the nest. She managed to get the bag tangled around one of her legs, much to the consternation of all of us. Here are some photos that were taken shortly after the bag was noticed:
Tom did seem concerned about Audrey’s plight. He brought her the fish and she took off with it and the bag. Tom tried to get close to Audrey while she was attempting to eat the fish with the bag attached to her leg. He landed on the ground near the piling, which is unusual to see:
After a fitful day and night for all of us, human and avian, Audrey managed to pick at the bag until she got rid of it. All’s well that ends well, I guess! But we did have some nervous moments until the coast was clear.
I have been working many odd hours the past few weeks, necessitating early departures from the house, like at 4:15 a.m. When I leave under cover of darkness, it is not under cover of silence. There is nothing like the sound of a squawking, hungry female osprey (not naming any names here) in the wee small hours of the morning. We are probably not the most popular people on the street when our neighbor’s bedroom windows are open at night!
Our downstairs birdie neighbors are also back. The sparrows who live in the basement apartment under the nest have been busy flitting around stealing bits of grass from Tom and Audrey’s stash. They are a cute little addition to our viewing pleasure, don’t you think?
After what seemed to be a slow start, our Calico Tom seems to be retaining his fishing fool status. The interesting thing is that neither COM or I have seen Tom actually catch a fish this season. He always shows up with the back half of a fish for Audrey, but his whereabouts while obtaining his delectable delights remain a mystery. Tom must have a hidden fishing hole somewhere near the secret location.
Here are a couple more photos for your viewing pleasure. All of the photos in this blog were taken since the last blog was posted:
I want to take a moment to thank you all for continuing to follow our blog and watch the ospreycam. Comments may now be posted on the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Facebook page. In case you were wondering, we have almost half a million views of the blog since its inception in 2013 with over 91,000 viewers from all over the world. I will keep you up to date on our numbers as the season continues. In the next blog, I will let you know where some of our viewers are watching from around the world.
The hour is late, so I will end for now. Until next time, we remain-
COM, Mrs. COM and Osprey Girl
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