Deja Vu All Over Again

Good evening from the fantastic Eastern Shore of Maryland!  It is finally starting to feel a little like Spring here at the secret location, with the promise of even warmer weather later in the week.  There is no doubt the humans and birds in the area are going to be very delighted to encounter some much deserved warmth and sunshine.  There certainly has been some eggcitement since my last blog, so here we go!

As the title of this blog suggests, Audrey presented us with three lovely eggs on the exact same dates as last year.  So in the words of Yogi Berra, it’s deja vu all over again! Our first arrival was on April 12, the second on April 15 and the last egg arrival was on April 18.  These dates correspond to the very dates in 2017 when the three eggs were laid.  In 2016, Audrey’s three eggs entered the nest on 4/17, 4/20 and 4/23.  April 2015 brought us eggs on 4/12, 4/15 and a surprise after six days on 4/21.  Going back to 2014, our eggs were laid on 4/15, 4/18 and 4/21.  Our first year partnering with the Chesapeake Conservancy was in 2013, when Audrey laid a total of four eggs on 4/17, 4/19, 4/23 and 4/25.  This was the only year since we had a camera on the nest that we had four eggs.  I will discuss the hatching results in the next blog, have to keep you guessing!  Just a little hint, though-typical time from laying to hatching is 35-42 days, with the usual times on this nest being 39-41 days.  If you are inclined to do the math, we can probably expect our first egg to hatch between May 17-May 30.  Complicating the guessing game this season is the loss of one of our precious eggs. Since we don’t know which egg is now missing, our first hatch may be delayed.  We will just have to wait and see, but it is possible we are less than three weeks away from our first nestling!

After the third egg was laid on April 18, the rate of Tom’s sexual escapades (copulation is such a technical term) slowed down considerably, but did not completely stop.  Here is one of his last attempts to have his way with Audrey.


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In addition to eggs showing up in the nest, there was a plethora of other objects that made their appearance in April.  One of the more concerning ones was a plastic water bottle, probably brought back by Tom.  Fortunately, it didn’t remain very long and was carried off by the wind, hopefully to a place where someone found it and had it recycled.

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We hate to see these types of items show up in any kind of nest, especially here at the secret location


A wad of some type of black matter was the subject of much discussion a couple of weeks ago.  COM and I took several good looks on our dedicated osprey computer monitor, which has incredible resolution. We determined it was a piece of filter cloth from our rip-rap, the structure that protects our shoreline from erosion.  When rip-rap is being installed, a layer of  filter cloth is laid over the bare earth that has been exposed, before any rocks are put in place. This will keep the dirt in place, but allows water to flow through.



This is the top of our rip-rap at the interface of the stone revetment and our backyard lawn. The filter cloth has become visible over the years as the lawn has been exposed to the elements and eroded.



This is most certainly what was brought back to the nest, and not monofilament fishing line (at least not this time)


I had a discussion with our dear friend and osprey expert, Dr. Paul Spitzer, and he told me that ospreys bring every sort of “stuff” into their nests.  He suggested putting out a little dolly, so we may have to sacrifice one of Osprey Girl’s old Barbie Dolls to the osprey gods.  It might be kind of creepy, though, so I will have to rethink that one.  Sorry, Dr. Spitzer, you have had some incredibly good osprey ideas over the years, but this might not be one of them.

There have been a few comments on the Explore site asking about how high the nest and platform are above the water, as sometimes it appears from the camera view that the nest is very close to the surface of the water.  Have no fear, the nest is well-protected from the waves.



Plenty of room between the nest and the water. Tom and Audrey should be safe from any Chesapeake tsunamis!


Have you noticed how much Tom likes to incubate those eggs?  Sometimes after he takes over incubating duty, after bringing Audrey a fish or just giving her a break, she has a very difficult time getting him to leave when she returns.  When either Tom or Audrey is in the nest incubating, you can see it very clearly in the camera view.  However, from land, sometimes it is hard to tell if anyone is home, as evidenced by the above and below photos.  The incubating osprey sits very low snuggled into the nest.



Is anyone home?


If you watch the camera with any regularity, you can’t help but notice that Audrey is, shall we say, quite vocal (that is an understatement, to be sure!).  There is a thirty second delay in what is happening in real time, and what is going out over the internet for your viewing pleasure.  We haven’t had an abundance of warm, window-opening weather yet this season, but when the windows and doors are open, we hear Audrey’s enthusiastic vocals in real time, then again thirty seconds later.  She also likes to start her sweet calling (yeah, right) before the sun comes up, shattering our early morning peace and quiet.  But this is a small price to pay to have our beloved osprey family right behind the house.

It has been brought to our attention that the sound from the camera is somewhat erratic.   This is a brand new camera and set-up this season, and we are trying to work all of the bugs out of it.  Unfortunately, with the eggs now being incubated, we are not able to approach the nest to try and troubleshoot the sound problem. Unlike our last camera, the new one has two-way sound.  This means that we can hear what is going on at the nest, and whoever is on the nest is able to hear us if we choose that option.  We are hoping that the two-way sound feature will be useful in keeping the crows away if the nest becomes unattended like last season.  I will discuss what happened last season in my next blog.  I am trying to keep this one happy and upbeat, and what happened last season was anything but happy or upbeat.

One of the real advantages to living here at the secret location is to be able to see Tom and Audrey when they are off the nest.  Our camera operators, including Crazy Osprey Man (COM to you newcomers), have done a wonderful job trying to locate our favorite osprey couple when they are not on the nest.  When COM and I are home, which is sporadic, we keep a lookout and try to move the camera to the location of the action.  This is another feature of our new camera, PTZ, or pan tilt zoom, which has proven to enhance everyone’s viewing pleasure.  Thanks for helping us out, camera operators!

So where are Tom and Audrey when they are not in the nest?  Guess what, you are in luck, because I will now answer that question in photographs!

One of Tom and Audrey’s favorite hangouts is what I have nicknamed “the scraggly stick tree”.  This is the tree right along the rip-rip of our next door neighbor’s house directly to the north of us.  In years past, Tom and Audrey would swoop down and snap a stick off this tree in flight, giving the tree a rather scraggly look, hence the name. COM’s stick locker has lessened the destruction brought upon the poor scraggly stick tree, since there are always a few sticks readily available in our back yard, sometimes even marked with colorful construction tape. But between Tom and Audrey, there is usually an osprey sitting in the scraggly stick tree a few hours of the day.



Here is the scraggly stick tree, complete with Tom, half a fish and a dastardly crow sitting down low, willing Tom to drop his fish. Please try not to get seasick looking at this photo, I must have been distracted by something really amazing (probably not, just messed up)


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Tom is giving Mrs. COM the hairy eyeball, or should I say the feathery eyeball, or should I say the fishy eyeball?


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Tom is wondering just how close I will get before he has to take action. We can tell how close he got to the fish, which would be really close.


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Okay, that was close enough and action has been taken by Tom. I normally wouldn’t include a blurry photo, but it was too cool to leave out. I call this a quantity over quality photo!


One evening, just at dusk, I noticed Tom in the scraggly stick tree.  What really caught my eye was a rather large half a fish clutched in his talons.  The next two photos aren’t that great, because the light was fading fast, but I think you will get the idea. Now that’s a fish!


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You don’t need great light to see the blood trickling down this really big fish


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Tom wasn’t in a sharing mood, so he takes his bloody fish and departs with one foot holding the fish, and one foot remaining aerodynamic



Audrey also enjoys hanging out in the scraggly stick tree.


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Another purposeful stare from an osprey, only this time it is Audrey.


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Audrey looks like she means business. I am beginning to think I’m not wanted.


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Trying to avoid confrontation, Audrey decides it is time to move on.


The dock right next door to us to the south is a regular stop, but not as frequent as a couple of the other perches.  In the past, I have referred to this location as the “poop dock”, as opposed to the “poop deck”.  The house is for sale, so I think an eager realtor has recently had it pressure washed. As there is plenty of room on this dock, it is not unusual for Tom or Audrey to have company when enjoying a fishy snack.


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Maybe if I ignore them, they will go away, thinks the osprey. The gulls, however, remain hopeful.


The next series of photos began at the poop dock.


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If it’s not the crows or the seagulls, it’s Mrs. COM and her stupid camera, thinks Audrey.


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Audrey is looking quite grumpy. I am warning you, Mrs. COM, if you don’t stop right there, I am going to leave…..


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Audrey leaves, and relocates to the scraggly stick tree, a short flight to the north, still clutching her fish.


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Are you going to make me move again? This is getting on my nerves.



Audrey has relocated yet again, way up to the top of the big tree two houses to the north of us. I feel sorry for her and go back home. She still has her fish.


One last scraggly stick tree photo for this blog.  I have a feeling I caught Tom either pre or post poop…….


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Tom either feels better or is about to feel better.



It’s a good bet that on a daily basis, either Tom or Audrey will usually make it to our neighbor’s dock swim ladder, two houses to the south of us.


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A very high tide surrounds our neighbor’s dock. This is a very frequent roosting location for Tom and Audrey, sometimes even together at the same time as seen in the last blog.


This is another photo taken around dusk.  I looked out, and there was Tom on the swim ladder with a good size fish.  Although the lighting is bad, I heavily cropped the photo and tried to lighten it so you could get a look at the blood on Tom’s legs.


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Good night for Tom, bad night for the fish, ignore the tilt.



No trip around Tom and Audrey’s neighborhood would be complete without their frequent visits to our dock.  There are lots of good places to relax, and since COM’s boat and Osprey Girl’s boat will be back in their lifts this week, there are soon to be more.

Here is our dock without any power boats or ospreys.  Roger will be in residence sometime this week.  For those of you who are new to the secret location, Roger is our resident scarecrow who functions as the protector and defender of our nest.  More about him next blog!



Very high tide at the secret location.  The grass is starting to get green, yippee!


Here is Tom on COM’s boat lift, sans boat.


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Look, Ma, one leg!


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I thought I was being stealthy, but apparently Tom has discovered my presence


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Oh, my, look what the wind and water have done to my feathers!


The buff on the back of Tom’s head is more easily seen when his feathers are ruffled.


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It’s very subtle, but you can definitely see the buff coloring on the back of Tom’s head.


Audrey likes the grip on Osprey Girl’s boat lift.


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Audrey is giving Mrs. COM the stink eye while holding on to the paltry piece of fish that Tom brought to her. I think she needs to be mad at him, not me.



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A good view of the feathering under Audrey’s eyes, a good way to tell her apart from Tom.


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A little bit closer look at the white space under Audrey’s eye. Tom has more black under his eyes, but still only a subtle difference.



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Tom on the boat lift. Just another day in osprey paradise!


Tom’s day in paradise was disrupted by Mrs. COM and her camera coming closer.


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Come on, Mrs. COM, can’t you just give it a rest? Tom in flight, escaping you know who.


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Tom in downstroke, headed to a more private haunt.  Check out the reflection, you know I love my reflections!


I will leave you with a couple of sunrise photographs, both taken the morning of April 24, 2018.  The light changes very rapidly as the sun rises, producing some incredible vistas.  I couldn’t decide between these two, so you are stuck with both of them.



Sunrise to the southeast at the secret location-April 24, 2018



Sunrise due east at the secret location-April 24, 2018


Stay tuned for the next blog when I will talk about eggs hatching, our friend Roger and if you are lucky and I am in the mood, how it all started twenty three years ago at the secret location.


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 today.  Thanks very much!





















60 thoughts on “Deja Vu All Over Again

  1. What a treat to start my day with! Thank you, Mrs. COM, for another excellent and informative blog. The images are stunning, giving a wonderful impression of Audrey and Tom’s whereabout when off the nest.

  2. Been watching T and A for 3 years now and so appreciate COM and Mrs COM and your watchful eyes! Have been wondering about the missing egg so VERY happy to have this early morning information. And the waterbottle mystery. Still wondering how T got it in the nest. thanks for recycling!!. They have arranged and rearranged the nest so many times I’m beginning to think they are related to the Gaines from Fixer Upper. Happy day to all readers. Carol Freeland

    • Good morning, Carol! Thanks so much for being one of our faithful camera watchers and blog readers. Here’s hoping for our a positive outcome for our two remaining eggs! Mrs. COM

  3. Thanks so much, Luray! Glad you are enjoying our blog and camera. We are keeping our fingers crossed for a good season, we are certainly due for one! Mrs. COM

  4. Hi Mrs. COM:

    Thanks for sending the wonderful pictures!


    *Jane Chambers* American Association of Physics Teachers Sr. Publications Editor 1 Physics Ellipse College Park, MD 20740

    301-209-3342 301-209-0845 (fax)

    On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 11:54 PM, Osprey Camera Blog wrote:

    > ospreycam posted: “Good evening from the fantastic Eastern Shore of > Maryland! It is finally starting to feel a little like Spring here at the > secret location, with the promise of even warmer weather later in the > week. There is no doubt the humans and birds in the area are” >

    • Hi, Kathy! You are very welcome! I get pleasure out of knowing people are reading and enjoying the blogs and camera. Thanks for the comment. Mrs. COM

  5. What a great way to start the day and the new month, Happy May COF!!!
    Wonderful photos and great information, I can only imagine how it sounds at the secret location, Audrey has quite the vocals. When I have the cam on here sometimes I find myself saying, “Okay Audrey, I’m sure Tom knows you are hungry!”
    Mrs. COM, thank you for that information about the hatching dates of the eggs and past years, it’s very interesting. I was wondering…about the size of Osprey eggs, are they the size of Quail eggs, (I see they have them in the grocery store egg section) or a chicken egg?
    Thank you again, and have a wonderful day. 🙂

    • Hi, Lillie-bug. The eggs that I have seen close up and personal are a little bigger than chicken eggs, but much more beautiful with their mottled browns and chestnuts! Thanks for the shout-out, glad you are enjoying the blogs and camera. Mrs. COM

  6. Oh so thankful for your most informative and interesting blogs. I justice your photos too. You are very talented . I can tell you love those two, Audrey and Tim. Thank you for your dedication to them and us. (((Hugs)))

  7. Thank you for your dedication to this wonderful osprey family.. I keep the cam on daily and always look forward to the most recent blog.

  8. Thank you Mrs COM and Happy May Day!! What a great way to start May with your beautiful photos and always informative blog. Looking forward to a successful season for Tom and Audrey!!

    • Hi, Susan! Always glad to hear from you. Here we are again at the start of another season full of hope! Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a better season, we are certainly due for one. Happy you are still with us. Mrs. COM

  9. Hi Mrs. COM – I love reading your blogs and looking at the fantastic photos. I love the ones of Tom or Audrey in flight. I don’t know how you are able to capture these. They are perfect!

    • Hi, Nancy! For every photo I post in the blog, I have probably taken 20-25. So my trick is quantity, then pick the best ones. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t! But at this point, I have a pretty good feel for what works. Glad you like to read the blogs and watch the camera. Here’s hoping for two chicks in a few weeks! Mrs. COM

  10. Thank you for another beautiful blog and all hopeful for bountiful baby birds. FYI another distinction between Audrey & Tom is that her eyes are lighter/whiter than his (more yellow).

    • Hi, Suzie! Thanks for the heads up on the eyes, I will take a closer look. Very glad you are enjoying our blogs and watching our camera. Here’s to a successful season and two chicks by the end of May! Mrs. COM

  11. Yeah!! I found you or my friend did and sent me your blog
    have been gone for a yr and a half so glad to see Tom and Audrey
    back {{:>}

    • Hi, Joan! Glad to have you back with us. This is our sixth season in partnership with the Chesapeake Conservancy, and our second with Tom and Audrey are experienced parents by now, so we are hoping for a good outcome this season. Thanks for watching the camera and reading our blogs! Mrs. COM

  12. Hello Mrs COM!
    I knew that I had seen three eggs ~ thank you for updating us. I enjoyed ~ as always ~ your blog and the most wonderful pictures. Hello to my birdie friends – Lillie bug – KATHY!!! – J Luray – Moe – barbarafromlongisland – and all those I missed. Warm weather due in for the next few days here in Maryland. Its 7:40pm and a rather quiet Audrey is fussing with the moss all around her. Peace out and comet says “woof”
    For the love of the osprey 😎

    • Hi, Geri! Thanks so much for commenting, it’s so good to hear from you! Glad to hear you are still with us. We are hoping for a better season than the last two. Here’s hoping for two chicks by the end of May! Mrs. COM

  13. Love your blog posts and your photos! This will be my 4th (I think) year watching Tom and Audrey. I really appreciate how dedicated you and your entire family are in allowing super Dad Tom and big mouth (but super Mom) Audrey to be such a special part of your lives and how you share the experience with so many. Oh, and I LOVE your photos. Thanks for including the gorgeous ones on the sunrise.

    • Wow, thanks for the wonderful comment! Makes me feel good to hear what you have to say. The sunrises here can be spectacular, and unfortunately, I am usually up to see them or have already left for work! We are keeping our fingers crossed for a good outcome this season, Tom and Audrey are certainly due for one! Thanks again, Mrs. COM

  14. Mrs COM, Thanks as always for the beautiful picts, great blog and history , but there was a picture missing…., no osprey pooping picture! Hahha, been reading for a while, it’s usually in there!

  15. Ha, ha, Laurajay! I did get one that was either just before or just after, but not during! I guess that doesn’t count. And I did have two last time (now I am just pleading my case). You have given me a challenge for the next blog. You’re on! Thanks for giving me a chuckle! Mrs. COM

  16. I just checked the nest, and what a wonderful up close and personal view. You could almost reach out and touch her. I love the little homey touch of the yellow accent piece. It’s beautiful here in Maryland today. Wishing you all a great weekend.

  17. Good Morning to all of the Crazy Osprey Folks. Howdy Geri/Coreygirl and Woof to Comet.
    I was wondering if Audrey can hear the popping sounds and noises, because she looked up at the camera at the same time a big crackling noise started. She seemed to jump a bit too when the noise came out real loud. It could be a coincidence she does move around some.
    I definitly understand not wanting to go near the nest at this time, we have two beautiful eggs and we do not want any problems.

  18. 5:10pm eastern ~ hello all ! Audrey called out so I looked over and nothing for concern. She’s vocal but on the quiet side lately (I know ~ it is early yet!). She just got up and rolled the eggs ~ such beautiful eggs this year! An overcast day in central Maryland – much like at the secret nest location. Be well all
    For the Love of the Osprey 😎

  19. Tom brought in a small snack for Audrey who finished it off quickly. He had barely any time to incubate before Aud was done and commanding him to be on his way. She got her way ~ find our girl more sushi sir!!!!!
    For the love of the osprey 😎

  20. Thank you, Mrs. COM, for all time and efforts for making this happen for all……it’s a work of LOVE that keeps on giving. It’s a true blessing year after year!

  21. You are very welcome, Mary! So glad you are enjoying the blog and camera. Looking forward to a couple of healthy chicks by the end of the month! Mrs. COM

  22. Greetings from sunny Portugal. What a fantastic blog entry! You’ve outdone yourself, Mrs. COM. As I’ve said befor, the blog and very personal touches from Mrs. COM, plus the community that forms around the webcam and blog make this the absolutely best live webcam anywhere for watching living creature in the wild. I’m definitely an addict, and have introduced a few people here to watching our beloved Ospreys. (Now I’ll see if I can get them to contribute to the Conservancy as well.) Thank you so much, Crazy Osprey Family, for all that you do! As for the photos… Mrs. COM, you get better and better each year. The two-photo sequence showing Tom flying — wing tips up in his right side! — and then the downstroke in the following shot… spectacular! I watch every chance I get, but have to turn the sound way down when Audrey is bring especially vocal. I wish there’d been something like this when I was a child, I do hope there are teachers using this in classrooms to draw children into the wonder of observing the natural world. God bless you all. PS. How goes the naming contest? Is it still open? Any rules we should know about?

    • Hi, Fran! Not sure how I missed your comment, but I did. Thanks for reading the blog and watching the camera. Thanks also for the kind words, so happy you like my photos! I take a whole bunch to get down to the ones that get published! Time is getting closer for some chicks, fingers crossed! Mrs. COM

  23. Thank you. Love reading your blogs and seeing the lovely pictures. I noticed that Tom looks like he has more rust-colored spots on his breast than Audrey does. I would have thought he was a female if I didn’t know better.

  24. Nice blog. It would be better if you could provide short, more frequent updates on what’s happening, rather than long, once-in-while blog.

    • Hello John ~ you can get just that at the Explore website if that is what you are looking for. This is the grassroots ~ place where it all began and is a wonderful community to be part of. It’s just a little different.
      This is home…..
      For the love of the osprey and the COF 😎

    • Hi, John! Glad you like the blog. I do the best I can with getting blogs published, the fewer/longer model seems to work the best for me right now. But thanks for the suggestion, maybe down the road……………. Mrs. COM

  25. Hi Geri: I agree with you–this is where it all began, and I wish more of the “old timers” would check in. It used to be such a fun, active site. Mrs. COM thank you for keeping it going.

    • You are very welcome, Nancy! Just give me a little thumbs up once and a while, and it will keep me happy! Thanks for reading, watching and commenting! Mrs. COM

  26. My heart just fell into my stomach–Audrey left the nest with the eggs unattended. I saw her eating some of the “stuff” in the nest, and I had never seen her do that before. Maybe she’s hungry. She’s back now. Whew!

  27. Hi, Nancy! I have been seeing her leave for very short periods of time, never more than a couple of minutes. I think she is just stretching her wings as she has been sitting in that very wet nest for long periods of time. She is being an exemplary soon-to-be mom incubating the eggs this spring! We are in the home stretch, fingers crossed! Mrs. COM

  28. Hip Hip Hooray 4 Mr & Mrs COM who have diligently shown their love & devotion 4 Audrey & Tom (also their offspring & adopted) for many years which brings much pleasure to the worldwide osprey watchers.
    Incidentally, I’m picking May 22 & May 31 as hatch dates.

  29. Hello everyone! I am one of the “old-timers” from when the nest began its web-cam. Have not checked in for quite awhile but still watch when I can(or if my computer works–it is on its last legs and just turns off–it is an “old-timer” as well). I cannot believe how many years have gone by. I remember distinctly discussed that another way to tell the gender of the ospreys is the color of their eyes. Males are more golden/yellow and females have a lemon/yellow eye. Of course you need better light instead of this stupid grey rainy rainy rainy light. Will it ever stop? Will our Tomm ever dry out? Will Audrey ever get to have a dry nest again? Stay tuned to “Days of Our Nest”!

  30. Thank goodness for a dry and sunny day! If Audrey thinks this is tough duty she should try being an elephant. I’m picking May 23 as well. This is so fun to watch. My patience is increasing…..well, a little maybe. Little work gets done at the desk but it will be there….like dust. Thanks so much to the COMs for serving as OBGYNs, nursery attendants, janitorial staff and so much more.

    • Ha, ha, Carol! Yes, we wear many different hats here at the secret location, but love all of them! Thanks for watching the camera and reading my blogs! Mrs. COM

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