Never Fear, The Date Draws Near!

Good afternoon from the still blustery, cold Eastern Shore of Maryland!  Since my last blog, we certainly have seen some nasty weather here at the secret location.  We went from hoping one of our feathered friends would make an early appearance to being oh so very happy that the platform is still bare.  I know many of you are watching, waiting, beginning to get nervous and a little worried about the fate of our beloved family.  Therefore, I have gathered some data on the dates our ospreys have returned since we have had our newest Audrey.  I hope these nuggets of knowledge will provide some relief over the next few days while we watch and wait.  This data was shared at the beginning of the 2016 season, but I thought it would be a good reminder that there is no need to panic just yet!

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.  The morning after we returned home, 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.

2012:  Tom arrived on March 21, but COM’s usually reliable 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 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.

2015:  We had a crazy start in 2015.  Audrey showed up first on March 16, followed by a brief one week visit from a dark stranger.  The visiting osprey showed up on March 23, and adult-rated osprey shenanigans occupied most of the week this Lothario was in residence.  Our Calico Tom arrived on March 30, and laid claim to his new mate.  The dark stranger moved on to more fertile, friendly grounds, and was not seen again.

2016:  Audrey was back very early last year.  The camera was scheduled to be put up on March 9, but she arrived back on the scene March 8.  After another early season of suspense and questions surrounding the arrival of a second osprey previously not seen, our Calico Tom finally showed up.  He took charge and reclaimed his woman on March 31 after a resounding aerial battle with the mystery osprey.

In my walks around the neighborhood, I have not seen any ospreys so far this year.  We have many active nests in our area, and none of the ospreys are back.  So at this point, I am not worried about Tom and Audrey returning.  Are you all feeling better now?  Get some sleep, it will be all right!

There have been many questions and comments posted on the Conservancy’s Facebook page, our blog and at the explore.org site.  While we wait for the return of Tom and Audrey, I thought this would be a good time to post some thoughts and insights in response to your questions and comments.  For some reason, the photos in this blog have reverted to posting at a small size, so please click on each one to enlarge for your viewing pleasure.

Swans:  Many of you have commented and posted photographs about our gorgeous tundra swans that grace the water around our nest.  In addition to being Crazy Osprey Man, COM is Crazy Swan Man from November, when the swans arrive at the secret location and March, when they fly north to their breeding grounds.  Our visiting flock of tundra swans usually numbers between sixty and seventy a day. A few years ago, some of our swans were banded and fit with satellite collars, and their summer home was determined to be in northern Hudson Bay, up near the Arctic Circle.  A general rule of thumb around these parts is that when the swans leave in March, the ospreys return.  COM feeds his swans daily when they are here, and when they see him walking down the dock, they take off in flight toward him to get to their daily ration of cracked corn.  The swans you see on the osprey camera are tundra swans, which are native swans.  They have a black beak, and have very loud calls.  The other swans that used to be seen around the Chesapeake Bay are mute swans.  They are non-native swans with orange beaks, who wreak havoc on the underwater grasses.  The mute swans were introduced to North America from Europe in the late nineteenth century.  They have been declared an invasive species due to their adverse effects on waterfowl and native ecosystems, severely reducing the density of submerged aquatic vegetation.  The mute swan population in the Chesapeake Bay was eradicated several years ago, and we haven’t seen any mute swans at our dock for many years.  The mute swans that would visit the secret location were very mean to the tundra swans (and would hiss at us), and although beautiful, we were not sorry to see them go.  We hope you have enjoyed watching the tundra swans swim by under the nest pole.

Some of our swans

 

Crows:  We have a plethora of crows in the area, and you may have noticed some of them sitting on the nest platform.  When our ospreys are in residence, the crows will hang around trying to mooch a free meal of unattended fish or scraps that remain in the nest.

 

Lots of crows waiting for a free meal

 

Infrared light source:  Once again this year, COM has spent a large chunk of his time trying to tweak our infrared light source for nighttime viewing.  He purchased a new light for this season, and we tried it out for a few nights.  Under the darkness of night, one of us would go down to the dock and try out different COM designed filters, while the other was stationed at our dedicated osprey camera computer monitor located on the second floor in COM’s office assessing the quality of the IR light using different parameters.  Communications between the end of the dock and the house were by cell phone.  I think the final product will be awesome for nighttime viewing this season.  From what we have seen so far, the IR feature is looking really good.

 

Unusually low tides:  The winds over the last ten days have really been howling.  When we have high winds from the northwest and a low tide,  sometimes the water will get blown out of the bay.  This usually occurs only during the winter months a couple of times a season.  Due to these high winds, a few days ago the swans could be seen walking around under the nest pole!  For those of you who observed this, it was quite comical to see the swans waddling around on their feet and not swimming by as their usual graceful selves.

High winds from the northwest and an unusually low tide=water blown out of the bay

 

Nest sticks:  I guess COM was feeling a little sorry for our ospreys this year, as for the first time, he placed a few sticks on the platform when the camera went up.  The platform is usually bare until nest building commences, but not this season. For those of you new to our nest, we have some of the luckiest ospreys around.  Every season, we gather the perfect osprey nest sticks, and put them in the backyard for the ospreys to use in building and maintaining their nest.  COM will tie various colors of construction tape to some of the sticks, and these marked sticks always end up in the nest.  Keep your eyes peeled during the season for the various color sticks that will appear.  You won’t see any green St. Paddy’s Day sticks this year as there are no ospreys around, but Easter is not far off!

COM’s supply of sticks

 

Roger:  Our resident scarecrow Roger, protector and defender of osprey nests, is resting comfortably in his winter quarters (the garage) until his services are needed.  He will make his appearance soon, and maybe we will give him a spring make-over (but maybe not, we will see).  Roger became one of the family after an attack at our nest by a Great Horned Owl last season, leading to the loss of one of our newly-hatched chicks and an unhatched egg.

Roger doing his thing. He looks like he is doing a little dance

 

Eagles:  There are three eagles that have been around since the fall, two adults and a juvenile.  They all spent a fair amount of time sitting on the nest platform, in the big trees two houses to the north of us, and flying around the area.  I don’t anticipate this will be a problem when Tom and Audrey return.  We will keep an eye out for a confrontation, but there is nothing we will be able to do if there is trouble between the eagles and ospreys.

The two adult eagles in the nest after the ospreys left but before the nest was knocked off

 

The two eagles after the nest was removed for the 2016 season

 

The eagle stands alone

 

A beautiful sunrise at the secret location during October 2016:

Mother Nature at her best-October 2016 sunrise

 

Remember, after a one season hiatus, comments are once again being allowed on our blog page.  Feel free to communicate with other camera watchers and blog readers at the end of each blog. Please follow the rules, which were posted in the last blog.

I hope I have soothed you about the return of Tom and Audrey and answered some of your burning questions.  Here’s hoping for some good news in the next few days!

Until next time, we remain,

Crazy Osprey Man, Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man 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!

 

 

251 thoughts on “Never Fear, The Date Draws Near!

  1. Good Morning — That was beautiful Moe and at 2:44 a.m.! The nest is empty right now but it looks like there may be another pink ribbon, unless it’s the reflection of the sun. Beautiful morning here.

    • Good morning Nancy and all: I think that reflection is playing games with our minds as it has done in the past! We all know there are more ribbons like last year! Looks like Audrey just landed and seems to be sitting down in the middle probably to pack the sticks down to make the bowl! Almost like trying to get air out of an old balloon. I am going to enjoy each step along the way! Happy Basket Weaving Audrey and Tom!!!

  2. Good morning! Audrey on the nest rearranging the sticks here and there. She seems quite content at the moment sitting in the middle enjoying the view. Yes…Beautiful morning here.

  3. 1pm ~ good afternoon everybirdie!! Audrey and Tom are both present with Aud making it known that she is in da house!!! The nest has come a long way since Sunday…. Both of our lovies have been doing housekeeping while enjoying the sun while it is not too hot. Moe- great reference to the song Brandy…. good song made even better! Is it just me, or does Tom look darker this year – perhaps shed all those calico feathers?
    For the love of the osprey!
    geri from md ~ formerly known as coreygirl 😎

    • Thanks Geri and I am planning another song-I didn’t realize the ribbon song I had done last year maybe differently! I see now that it must be !TANNING TIME! on the nest and a beautiful sight to be seen!! Do you remember when that first egg came last year anyone?? I can look but easier if u can tell me!! This will be a fun year I bet!! I love the nest like Audrey and Tom do!

  4. A job well done today Queen Audrey and Major Tom on the nest-definitely a work of art👍🌈👍🌈 nest is empty now with the sun shining 🌞🌞I bet with the next blog entry of Mrs. COM with all the gorgeous photos of the osprey outside of that nest-if Chesapeake Conservancy on a daily basis the moderator on explore comments mentions that new blog entry the explore.org viewers might start chiming in with us oldies on this journal🌻That is a dream I will dream each night as we know with setting up any blog🌸takes time! Also that they can post too🌺Blah blah. Adios moe and let the osprey games continue 🤗😘😘I know it can be done as anything is possible! Remember Frances from one year that had her picture in where the world deal? she always was so poetic in her writings and in the middle of the night I am trying to do that. Ha ha

  5. Good morning! Tom is busy gathering sticks while Queen Audrey is perched giving orders ..no sweetie over there yipp yipp yipp no over here.😂😂😂 You don’t realize is much you miss her yapping until you hear it. Just love watching them. Big wing hugs to all.

  6. Good Morning: Audrey was on the nest and Tom flew in and decided to rearrange some of the sticks. I get such a kick out of watching those two. It’s a bit windy there today. Hope you all have a good one.

  7. All quiet at the secret location for the moment, Audrey hasn’t starting yapping yet.
    The nest is looking great, only need a few pillows, hehehe!
    🙂

  8. Good morning everyone and I just peeked quickly on comments explore and people are just realizing the existance of the big blog of the COM family over the past years and chattering some about that-new bloggers have gone in and read the articles etc-now to get them to post on this area also-we all know the COM blog is very informative,personal.and provides the best osprey experience!! Oh yes the yapping-last night I did not hop on in the middle of the night to blog! We all know from last year Audrey is the boss. Last night on our osprey ride on the cape there was one on top of house near the couple’s nest hanging out and u could see this seagull come down towards the osprey and the little air battle pursued! Funny how this year there was no air battle between other ospreys and Tom just said-you are mine babe to Audrey. At this time the wind is blowing on the nest and Audrey alone-looks cloudy and cool at 42. Well enjoy the day everyone-be productive-think big like the osprey do-and flap those wings!!! adios moe

  9. Hi again! At this time nest is empty,water calm, and temp. 59 and explore chatterers want to know where Audrey and Tom hang out?? Once they check the big Mrs. COM blog they will have a better understanding of the places they hang out!! Enjoy the afternoon friends!!

  10. 3:35pm – Oh Major Tom ~ how do I love thee….. let me count the ways!!! Our master fisher/nest builder is busy busy busy doing housekeeping while he has the nest to himself. He’s pulling from the center and adding to the sides. The back wall is much higher today. Still waters – lovely place to be.
    For the love of the osprey! 😎

  11. The progress as the nest continues to grow is just amazing….I learned to turn the sound up and got to hear Audrey yapping for Tom, food, or more sticks. One of my cats came running and watched and listened – fascinated by it all. Then I switched to the DC Eagle nest where the first chick hatched yesterday and the second one hatched today and the chirps and cheeps there were equally fascinating for my kitty. So much is starting to happen.

  12. Early good morning to all! Well at first I thought some talons were scratching the post but then I realized it is raining 💧💦on the newly formed basket weaved looking nest bowl that Audrey and Tom worked so diligently on the last two days👍👍The plastic bucket that is covering the camera 🎥 is doing it’s trick once again for protection☔️I can see both Audrey and Tom standing proud almost facing each other with their bodies but one is looking toward me and ever slightly turning the head to loosen a tired neck! The other has face turned away and is probably 😴 The rain will be good to flatten down the nest in all areas for settling and also there will be more room for moss to be placed there to cushion the lowest bowl spot in preparation for a feather bed feeling for the new osprey 🛏babies..Wow I was checking Audrey and Tom and I thought this whole comment had gone poofed like it does but no it hadn’t! Now both have heads down and are 😌sleeping! Stay safe our feathered friends and we will see both of you at work in a few hours☔️☔️👀👀🌈🌈. Adios. Moe

  13. Good Morning! A rainy day here, but Audrey doesn’t seem to mind. Haven’t seen Tom yet. We need the rain, but it does make for a dreary day. Hope you all have a good one.

  14. Good morning all you birdies! Rainy day here in Baltimore. The camera is spotty I can see Audrey all hunkered down. Tom flew in she is asking where here fish is he won’t turn around to look at her. 😃😃😃

  15. Good morning! Looks like both Audrey & Tom on the nest. Tom brought in some grass and rearranging sticks. Haven’t seen any rush deliveries. Going to be a rainy day for them. Take care all.

  16. Good morning osprey lovers!! I bet with the rain, Audrey has taken Tom to her private hideaway where she was for the 2 or 3 days last week when she first arrived! In the area around the nest there are plenty of trees to blend in and most of all stay a little dryer!! As some say-flap those wings!! After all, Mr. Roger is guarding the new nest even though he probably looks like a wet dish-rag!! adios moe

  17. I have been observing my first local osprey for the last two days! It seems to be staring at the distance, I guess waiting for someone special to return! Our MD nest is looking nice! I see that they kept that metal bar at the bottom. For those of you who observed the raven cam in Wellesley for the last two years or so, this is the update after the tragedy last week. http://www.wellesley.edu/news/2017/node/115091#ySafDtwcyXoCFlEZ.97 Super mom raven is trying so hard. It is a shame that no one took the cause of safeguarding the local birds from glass collisions and they built the science center with so much glass. We always tend to react instead of proact, Always have. Many birds have died through the years but when it happened to a “celebrity” with thousands watching, that is when the college acted. So many eggs in the nest this year! Poor daddy.

  18. Good evening Audrey and Tom and friends that love them!! Enjoy your date night on the back of the nest-looks like the rain has stopped. Sleep well everyone!! adios moe

  19. Good Morning!
    beautiful here so far, no rain, yippee!
    Audrey and Tom have the most beautiful nest, I love the red colored leaves all around and the special bright pink ribbon on the right, it must be the best nest on the bay!
    Have a great day!
    🙂

  20. Beautiful sunrise this morning! Get ready for the April Fool’s Day tricks 😉
    Tom on the nest around 7:30 this morning bringing in more sticks. What a grand nest builder he has become. I could hear Audrey in the background giving her Saturday orders. Have a wonderful day!

  21. and did anyone just see a black glove lower left hand corner??? only kidding April Fools Day Everyone and we had so much fun that year with this blog! Well it has poured buckets all night on the cape and still is with gale winds and if the osprey nest got that much rain and wind it would sure be floating!! i believe Belle from the Vineyard might be blowing by my house soon as last night on our cape cod osprey ride a couple more nests have osprey back! Well everyone enjoy the view-the new 2017 nest is a work of art and each year we have been blessed to watch Audrey and Tom’s journey of the season! Thanks again COM family! adios moe

  22. Good morning Osprey Lovers! Empty nest at the moment, but it is looking so grand! Needs a little more cushion in the nest bowl though, but they are working so hard at it. Just LOVE Audrey and Major Tom! What an awesome couple we have the privilege to enjoy. I wonder when the downstairs neighbors are going to move in? Have a wonderful day all!
    Thank you again to the COF, best time of the year! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  23. Bella: Ospreycamblog IS NOT Mrs. COM. Mrs. COM is Ospreycam. Whoever you are opreycamblog, I wish you would change your identification. It is very confusing.

  24. oh yes and I just got confused again also! Maybe out of courtesy to COF especially MRS. COM
    a different name for whoever is posting would be appreciated! She has always been Ospreycam as is their blog!! and the nest is gorgeous as has been each year!! adios moe

    • So sorry everyone…totally thought I saw an egg…got so exited! As far as my name, I have been trying to change it without luck…was having trouble logging on and it came up as Ospreycamblog so I decided to keep it. Again I apologize for not being sure what I was seeing😔

  25. Hello everyone and so happy to see you all! It was a quieter season last year without all the comments, although Mrs. COM was always informative with her updates and wonderful photos (with highly entertaining captions). But it was more fun when we all could chat! So I’m very happy to see comments re-instated and I look forward to a great season with the happy couple!
    Nest building is going very quickly this year, it’s amazing how fast they’ve got that nest up and running. Looking forward to the egg laying!
    I might have missed it, but is Roger the Osprey-protector going to be installed this year, or is he already?

    • Hi CathE, yes, Roger’s up. They put him up the night Audrey returned, especially since an owl was spotted sitting on the platform the night before she returned. He’s on duty!

      • and Audrey and Tom are so much a part of the Chesapeake Bay and have Dr. Spitz always nearby for any incidents-like the year the osprey from another nest placed in!! that was so crazy seeing the newbies sitting on the plastic picnic table before putting into the nest!! I thought the night Audrey wasn’t there when first came home she might have taken up Mr. Roger’s winter storage spot!! this is going to be a great ride wouldn’t u say!! I forget when the eggs should start rolling? anyone remember as I haven’t read back yet. adios moe

    • Hi and we are all glad u others from last year are back!! We have to get the bloggers on explore realize this is here and all the beautiful out of the nest pictures and blog by Mrs. Com and family-I also love her humor in the captions-as we know the camera is what it is and won’t zoom around the neighborhood as one wants it to-except has better quality this year and looks sooo good doesn’t it?? i bet tonight Audrey and Tom will head into one of those trees for a break nearby to get out of the wind!! hopefully more colored sticks as need the Easter basket colors like last year! adios moe

      • I agree about getting everyone in one spot. I joined a closed group in Facebook for osprey cam watchers for A & T nest thinking that was where everyone went after comments were closed so now we are spread out. They will find their way,, like we did.

  26. AUDREY AND THOMAS ON THEIR NEST WINDY~~~SHE IS TIRED, SHE KEEPS CLOSING HER EYES, AND THEN SOME YAPPING ~~~SHE HAS BEEN BUSY~~~SHE MAY HAVE MORNING ,AFTERNOON ,SICKNESS ~~~JUST SAYING ~~~GOD BLESS OUR OSPREY~~~

    • just tired from mating and more mating and blah blah-she always pulls through the tiredness and does her part in the nest building especially supervising!! adios moe

  27. Well another day in ospreyland watching Audrey and Tom! Nest is empty now with that light playing games with my mind as it always does with the glare first thing in the morning. I was up around 4am watching nest and both on nest-one asleep and one awake. Weather looks 45 so far on the nest and calm waters. We got 3.7 inches of rain on the cape and last night ospreys were not visible on our ride as weather was too nasty! Enjoy the day everyone and flap those wings!! adios moe

  28. Good evening to anyone around!! another beautiful night on the nest. 2 more osprey nests we look at have the couples back on the cape! just watched a National Geographic program on osprey in Scotland-the nest in question was 5 to 6 feet wide-I have never seen one that big before. Well Audrey and Tom shut those eyes and sleep well as Monday is always a busy day for everyone!! adios moe

  29. Shhh shhh You could hear a pin drop at this time on the nest😏Both Audrey and Tom are sound asleep-one on front right perch and other back left on top of nest bowl-though as I type a second of talon scratching breaks the silence😃And in a few months all will be more noisy with hungry baby osprey yapping -as we have said so many times-their needs🤣🤣. Adios.

  30. Good Afternoon All – I just checked the nest and it was so quiet and serene with the water sparking from the sun–then I realized why it was so quiet–it was Tom on the nest and not Miss Audrey! Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful day.

  31. Hello on this beautiful day at 67 and breezy on Audrey and Tom’s nest which is looking like almost set except some minor adjustments. I noticed Belle made it to cape and others almost to Maryland Area and above! So life is good all around! Enjoy the view!!

  32. WE HAVE THE CAM BACK THANKS TO ALL WHO MAKE IT POSSIBLE !~!!AWESOME TO SEE THEM THIS AM ~~~NEST L0OKS AWESOME `~~~NEW VIEWERS THINK AUD YAPS TO MUCH ~~~I LOVE THE SOUND ~~~

  33. Beautiful Audrey sitting on the side of the nest in the bright sunshine.
    Tom just arrived, he’s walking around the nest while Audrey is yapping about lunch.

    • and I saw that also=the shimmering sunlight with that brown nest is so pretty! Rest up Audrey and Tom and sweet dreams to all!

  34. Good morning!! Beautiful morning calm before the storm. Oh my the cam seems to down. Hopefully everyone will have a wonderful day. Tomorrow we are getting rain and wind I don’t think Tom and Audrey will hang in the nest. ❤️❤️

    • Cam also down near Chestertown, MD, but I can hear Audrey “yapping”. Hope it soon is fixed as we wouldn’t want to miss the appearance of the first egg to the nest.

  35. Hi everybirdie!! Such a nice day in central Maryland today! Audrey doing some housework. She has been trying to move this same stick (curved with many tendrils) for a few minutes now. Lots of nice soft bedding in the bowl which means eggs soon! Now just need to get the walls upwards.
    Storms a-coming… be well all
    For the love of the osprey!
    geri from md ~ formerly coreygirl 😎

  36. ;44pm ~ Tom must have heard my earlier musings. He’s been very very busy bringing in many sticks which must have been picked up from the water. They were very wet and are curving nicely. I so love to watch him center his body on the bowl and dig his body in. This Tom knows what he is doing! Audrey came back to the nest, and Tom left after a few minutes of both of them scanning the horizon. Tom took off and came back less than 2 minutes with another wet stick. He’s doing furniture moving while Audrey is looking about. How adorable are these two?
    Very…………….
    For the love of the osprey! 😎

  37. Tom isn’t simply building a larger nest than last year.. he’s creating a mammoth fortress (that already has a moat completely all around it) to protect his queen Audrey and the babies that are coming.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s