Patience Is A Virtue

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.

 

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Tom making his sperm donation. A different view than you are used to seeing

 

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As copulation doesn’t last long in the osprey world (the old quantity over quality school of thought), I was able to snap a couple of photos before the opportunity was over

 

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Tom and Audrey smoking a cigarette after their interlude (ha, ha, not really kids). Tom loves the high ground

 

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Tom is finished with his pre-fatherly duties, and takes off to the north

 

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!

 

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This is what Audrey looks like from our backyard while in the nest incubating her eggs. You can see how low and deep she snuggles down in the nest

 

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:

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It was one of those windy days when Audrey brought the bag back to the nest. Before it was attached to her leg, the bag kept blowing in her face

 

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“What the heck is this thing” thinks Audrey, looking quizzically at the bag

 

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Audrey seems a little annoyed at the bag as she tries to get it in place for use in the nest

 

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Right in the middle of the bag drama, Tom decides to bring Audrey the bottom half of a fish. What’s a girl to do? Fly to a piling with bag and fish. The bag is now firmly wrapped around her leg.

 

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You can clearly see the bag handle wrapped around Audrey’s left leg.

 

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Audrey can multi-task with the best of them. Poop, eat fish and maneuver a plastic bag wrapped around your leg.

 

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Audrey is either looking at me for help or getting ready to get out of Dodge

 

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:

 

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Tom on the ground close to the piling where Audrey is eating her fish.  He seems to know that something is not quite right

 

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Another photo of Audrey with the bag attached and fish. It was not a flimsy plastic grocery bag, but a heavier duty, larger bag from a retail store

 

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Audrey has had enough of Mrs. COM stalking her, and takes off with her fish and the bag firmly wrapped around her left leg.

 

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Audrey landing back at the nest still trailing the bag.

 

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.

 

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Audrey with a tender fish morsel at her favorite dining spot, the electrical box at the end of our dock

 

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Digging in

 

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Yummy, this is one of my favorite pieces!

 

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While Audrey was enjoying her free meal, Tom was keeping watch from the boat lift

 

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:

 

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Audrey on the electrical box after finishing a fish meal. Notice she is standing on only one leg

 

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Our beautiful Tom and Audrey in the late afternoon sun before the first egg was laid

 

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

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!

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Patience Is A Virtue

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write a new blog Mrs. COM, in addition to some great pictures as usual. We only have a handful of our bloggers posting on the CC page, but I assumed that is simply because they didn’t know what to do or where to go when the comments were closed here. So hopefully with now you mentioning it they will come back. Thank again 🙂

  2. Another fantastic Blog Mrs. Com, there’s nothing like it anywhere else, you and the Crazy Osprey Family are very much appreciated by myself and so many others.
    I bet the drama of the plastic bag was even harder for you because of your proximity to the nest, one of those, so close but yet so far away, feelings. I know you, me and everyone else, had a big sigh of relief once that terrible bag was gone. Thank you yet again, for all that you do for the osprey!

  3. RISE AND SHINE IN OSPREY LAND!!! another beautiful understanding with your photography into the world of Audrey and Tom and 2 eggs so far!! I’m loving it and I thank you!!! moe alive and well on cape cod!! enjoy the day osprey and friends!!

  4. Good morning! What a pleasure to hear from you and see all the wonderful photos! Many thanks, as always.

  5. Good morning to all my wonderful Osprey friends! Could you be more excited?! I read the new blog at 2 something this morning, I almost couldn’t go back to sleep!
    I also must have misunderstood about commenting here since Mrs. COM stated you can comment on the CC page, and I’m soooo Happy I did and that we can post here
    Have a beautiful day, and SMILE for all of this goodness! 🐥💕🐥🐣🐣🐟🐟🐟🎉❤

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