Table For One, Please

Good morning from the sunny, hot and humid Eastern Shore of Maryland! It has been an exciting whirlwind here at the secret location between Osprey Girl’s college graduation, our remarkable celebratory adventure in Europe and of course, the arrival of our one and only osprey chick!  A really big shout out is also in order for COM, who once again was instrumental in working with the explore technicians and one of our local camera guys to get the osprey camera up and running after several days of highlights.  Thanks, COM, for all of your hard work and efforts to keep everything on track at the secret location.  There wouldn’t be an ospreycam here without his dedication to our birds!

On May 24, our first chick hatched to much fanfare and happiness !  We waited with great anticipation and bated breath for the next two hatches, but it was not to be this year.  There is no way of knowing why the other two eggs failed, but we are all so thrilled to have a table for one!  The up side of an only “child” is that all the attention and food have been channeled into the care of the one and only.  Our baby has grown up big and strong, and ready to take the next step (well, not really a step, but you know what I mean).  Fledging could happen at any time, and with all the flapping and hopping going on, it will be soon. I must mention that here at the Crazy Osprey Family home, we have been referring to the chick as Archie since he hatched.  I know the masses have selected a different name for the young one, but Archie will always be Archie to us!

Tom has been living up to his moniker, The Fishing Fool.  I was able to capture a wonderful series of photos following one of his catches.  One afternoon, I noticed Tom and Roger enjoying a messy meal on the electrical box at the end of the dock:

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Tom on the electrical box making quite a mess with his striped bass (rockfish here in the Chesapeake Bay)

 

Tom was enjoying his meal, when he noticed the crazy lady with the camera:

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Ugh, not you AGAIN!!

 

Tom decides he is not going to put up with Mrs. COM’s meddling:

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My fish and I are leaving now. Too bad for you, Mrs. COM

 

Tom figures if he can’t eat his fish in peace, he might as well go feed his family:

 

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Banking to the south in the direction of the nest pole

 

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A headless bass being carried aerodynamically back to the nest

 

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Arriving back at the nest. Audrey does not seem to be paying much attention to Tom, but she is eyeing that fish! Archie/Lil Bit is hunkered down waiting for feeding time

 

The dastardly crows did not waste much time going after the sloppy seconds:

 

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Are you going to eat that?

 

As you all know by now, Tom does the vast majority of the fishing while Audrey attends to the home front.  It is thrilling to watch him on the hunt, flying over his surroundings, hovering over the water and then diving to capture dinner.  Sometimes he will struggle in the water for a few seconds before taking flight with his next meal.  I can’t help but catch my breath every time, waiting for him to leave the water.  The next photo is heavily cropped, as Tom was way out fishing, but I was able to capture him trying to take flight from the water:

 

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Have you ever seen an osprey swim?

 

Of course, once you have been swimming, you need to dry off:

 

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Tom drying his wings while Audrey tends to her motherly duties

 

Since my last blog, we have celebrated some national holidays.  Here at the secret location, we fly the special holiday flag (read-really big flag) on these occasions:

 

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The really, really big holiday flag. Sometimes it is hard to get it to fly!

 

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The scraggly stick tree next door and the really big tree two houses to the north of us framing Old Glory

 

It has been interesting to note this season that our ospreys are not spending any time in the really big tree shown in the above photo.  There is another osprey pole in the water very close to the big trees (there are two of them).  This season, that osprey pair has two chicks so I think our ospreys are not welcome in their territory.  We will see what happens when Archie/Lil Bit fledges.

Audrey, as always, continues to be a very good osprey mom.  Here is a photo of her incubating and enjoying her favorite past time, making lots of noise:

 

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Audrey patiently incubating her eggs. It appears her mouth is open and she is squawking, what a surprise!

 

Maybe some of her consternation can be explained by this:

 

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Tom surveying his kingdom. I guess Audrey thinks he should be doing a little less surveying and a little more fishing!

 

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Tom seems nonplussed by Audrey’s fussing. He can probably tune her out like most human men…..

 

Here is a sight that our neighbor is not happy to see.  He has now put out a big fake owl, hoping to preserve the cleanliness of his boat:

 

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What a lovely spot to contemplate, eat and poop, thinks Tom (much to my neighbor’s chagrin, I am quite sure)

 

The downstairs neighbors have been quite vocal this season, don’t you think?  That is precisely why we keep the sound turned way down, or even off, in the house.  This isn’t a great photo, but a great shot of the noisy tenants:

 

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Our downstairs neighbors under the nest to the left, mom and dad. Can you see Archie/Lil Bit?

 

Our chick has grown up so fast!  Here is what he/she looks like from our vantage point:

 

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Audrey and a hunkered down, red-eyed baby a couple of weeks ago.  I do believe Audrey’s mouth is open!

 

Here is our entire family:

 

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Family Photo

 

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Sometimes you just need to stretch your wings!

 

Where’s Waldo?  Can you spot the downstairs neighbor?  No hints this time…

 

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Someone is getting big!

 

Did you find Waldo?

Now, here is a sight you don’t see too often.  A couple of days ago, I noticed Tom acting strangely and dive bombing the rip rap (the stone revetment protecting our waterfront), but I couldn’t see anything amiss from the house.  A little while later, I looked out:

 

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Just a heron drying out in our back yard! Tom was not happy, let me tell you!

 

For some perspective, here is a longer view of the heron’s location in the backyard.  Cool!!

 

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Now here is something you don’t see every day, even at the secret location!

 

Unfortunately, I have some bad news to share.  Our dear friend and raptor biologist, Craig Koppie, is having some health issues and will not be able to band our chick this year.  We wish Craig the best, and hope for a speedy recovery.  Thanks, Craig, for all of the help you have provided to us over the years.  We know you will be back for next year’s banding(s), better than ever!

As our little one should be fledging any day, keep your eyes peeled to the camera for lift-off.  I will try to take lots of photos of our chick’s first foray into the big world.  Today is the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, wouldn’t this make a perfect launch day for Archie aka Lil Bit?  It is also the Full Buck Moon and our monthly Full Moon Dock Party, where we will be howling extra loudly to commemorate Apollo 11’s historic mission.

I am going to leave you with another one of our incredible sunrises:

 

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Another lovely morning at the secret location

 

That’s it for now!

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 thoughts on “Table For One, Please

  1. A special thank you to the COM family for the wonderful photos and writing….should publish a book featuring Mrs. Com’s fantastic commentary with her photos. The Conservancy is to be congratulated for starting the Osprey cam and finding the perfect people to give it a home!

    • Hi, Emilie! Thanks for reading my blog and watching the camera! For historical purposes, COM actually started the ospreycam, and the Conservancy joined us, which caused the camera to become popular. But it was COM’s idea and implementation that got everything started. I need to write a blog just about the history of our camera! Thanks for the kind words! Mrs. COM

  2. Once again, magnificent photos!!! Archie is his name! I love it! How did you ever capture the shot of Tom in mid air carrying the headless fish? Fantastic! So many thanks to you and COM for all you do to keep us up to date.

    • Hi, Nancy! Archie is my name for the chick after we had Meghan and Harry (Harriett) last year, it just seems right to me. I was very disappointed that it wasn’t the name selected. I don’t care much for the voted name, so I will just use my own!! Thanks for being such a loyal osprey fan, reading my blogs and watching our camera! Mrs. COM

  3. I always look forward to your blogs. I have been a regular since the ET year. What a year that was! I am so sorry to hear about Craig Koppie, prayers for him. Thank you so much for your dedication, information and photos.

    • Hi, Mary! Thanks for always throwing a little atta boy my way, I love being praised! And thanks for being such a loyal camera watcher and blog reader. We will definitely miss Craig this year! Take car, Mrs. COM

  4. Thanks for the update, along with the beautiful pictures and wonderful commentary, Mrs. COM! I’ll be watching for Archie’s liftoff, and agree that today would be the perfect day for it. Get well soon, Mr. Koppie!

    • Hi, Pa Gal! Thanks for the shout-out! I really enjoy getting kudos, keeps me going. Archie will be leaving the nest very soon, but will still be around for quite a while. Thanks for being a faithful camera watcher and blog reader. Mrs. COM

  5. Hi,
    Thanks for all the amazing pictures, live video feed and the blog. I had a couple of questions. Since the chick has not been banded how is it identified as male? Also when ospreys migrate to south america for winter since the female leaves first does the chick leave with the male or does this on their own. It would be fascinating to know if they go as a flock like some of the other migratory birds do. Many Thanks for all the information. Reading the blog, watching the live feed has been an eye opener particularly with the negativity going on in the world.

    Regards,
    Hari

    • Hi, Hari! Great questions! I am not sure if Archie is male or female, so pick a pronoun and go with it! Our two chicks last year started out as Meghan and Harry, and after banding became Meghan and Harriett!! I have been referring to this chick as Archie since it hatched, since we had royalty in our midst last year, I am keeping the streak alive! The chick will migrate alone. Audrey usually leaves fairly early, mid August or thereabouts. Tom will stay and keep an eye on Archie for a while before he leaves. As far as I know, they do not travel together. Quite a trip for a young bird, but then the young ones will remain in place down South for the following year and return the second season after they hatch. Thanks for reading my blogs and watching the camera! Mrs. COM

      • Mrs. Com,
        Thanks for taking the time to reply. This is absolutely invaluable.

        Regards,
        Hari

  6. Mrs. Com – Your photos are awesome and I love your blog. I feel so much more connected to our osprey family when I’m reading it. It is the highlight of my day when you post something!

    • Hi, Chris! I thought I had already replied to your comment, but can’t find my reply. Thanks so much for watching our camera and reading my blogs. Positive feedback like yours goes a long way to make us feel appreciated, so thanks again for taking the time to give us a shout-out! Mrs. COM

  7. Mrs. Com, Thank you for another wonderful blog and photos. Your photos are alway amazing and your commentary so much fun to read. I’m now anxious to watch for Archie to practice and then “lift off.”
    Susan

    • Hi, Susan! Thanks for checking in, always good to hear from you. I love the positive feedback! You are very welcome for the blog and photos. Archie is so close to freedom, could be any time. I hope I am around when it happens, but with my work schedule, who knows? I will deputize Osprey Girl (who starts her full time real job on Friday!) and COM to take over photo duties in my absence! Thanks, Mrs. COM

  8. Wowzer photography appreciated by me on Cape Cod 🤗🤗I love the title of this new blog and your humor is priceless with the comments posted on the pictures! These recent pictures really allow the viewers to see the position of the nest and the camera pole. We are so fortunate that COM and you and Osprey Girl and the Chesapeake Conservancy take the time to help us better understand the life of dedicated Audrey and Tom and this years new bundle of joy Archie😊😊One can tell he is Tom’s offspring by the beautiful brown buff!! Positive healing energy for Craig also🙏🏻Please wave to the nest and give a shout out to Roger👍👍adios Moe from Cape Cod😉😉

    • Hi, Moe! Thanks for being one of our longest and most ardent camera watchers and blog readers! It’s osprey fans like you that keep us going here at the secret location! So glad you are enjoying our ospreys and my blogs. We all appreciate your kudos, helps to keep us going here at the secret location! Keep on watching… Mrs. COM

  9. Woohoo!! So happy you captured the moment of fledging. Even though this is my first year to watch (and I’m up to 6 nests so far), Archie looked so close to flying the coop yesterday that I watched much longer than usual. I was so glad that a camera had found him on his perch when I tuned in this morning. Is there someone that can pan around with a camera and find him where he has landed? I am watching from NW Alabama and it has been a real treat. Thank you for all you do, and my regards to the rest of your family.
    Anne

    • Hi, Anne Ray! I am very happy to hear how much you are enjoying the camera and blogs. Archie did look like he wanted to go yesterday, which would have been fun since it was the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 mission to the moon! But he was close. The camera does have a pan/tilt/zoom function, and the camera operators do a good job of looking around for the action. Thank you for choosing our camera to watch! We look forward to having you back every osprey season. Mrs. COM

  10. I love watching this camera, everything always seems so harmonious and the chick this year is absolutely gorgeous. I’m also happy that after the fledge, Archie (Lil Bit) is still returning to and spending time on the nest together with the family. I always look forward to and truly enjoy your blog and the warmth you put into it, and as another person said, it makes me feel closer to the live experience and our osprey family. Looking forward to more!

    • Good morning! Thank you so very much for the positive post! I agree about the chick this year, Archie is gorgeous! It makes me very happy to know that followers like you are enjoying my blog and the camera, helps to keep us going here at the secret location after all these years. Have a wonderful weekend, and stay cool! I always feel so badly for our feathered friends in heat like this, and wish there was something we could do to keep them more comfortable. Mrs. COM

  11. Hello Mrs. COM, So sorry I’m late in saying how wonderful the new blog is and the photos are amazing as always.
    So sorry to hear that Craig Koppie isn’t well. Please send him our kindest regards that he gets better real soon.
    Seems like Archie was smart to start flying just in time, I hope our little Osprey Family has a shady place during this awful heat wave. Best wishes to Osprey Girl as she enters the work force for her new career.
    😊

  12. Hi, Lillie-bug! Thanks so much for checking in! I am happy that you enjoyed the newest blog, love the positive comments! Hopefully, Craig is on the mind and he will be able to band next year’s chicks! Archie seems to be enjoying his new found freedom, but so far doesn’t seem to wander too terribly far away. It has been stinkin’ hot out there. Unless he figures out to go in the trees, he’s just going to have to guts it out. Supposed to cool down tomorrow, and be nice this week. Fingers crossed! Thanks again for checking in. Mrs. COM

  13. Hi Linda, I just bought a tablet and was waiting to figured out how to use it to read and view pictures of your post!Great…Looking forward to seeing you and learning more…HugsSent from Samsung tablet.

  14. My goodness, Archie seems to have inherited vocalizations from Audrey. S/he is sitting on the nest right now, squawking up a storm in hopes that the fish will be shared. And yes, finally, Archie is having a munch! It’s nice to see Archie’s visits although it won’t be long until s/he’s off on an adventure. Thanks to the COM family for the opportunity to view the nest. Good weekend!

  15. Hi, Pa Gal! So good to hear from you! Yes, Archie sure has a well-functioning pair of lungs, I would say. He/she may even win the squawking award this year. Certainly giving Audrey a run for her money! Archie’s favorite hang-out has been the top of the camera pole. I am not sure how Tom feels about that one! Thanks so much for reaching out, and for being such a loyal camera watcher and blog reader. I hope you had a wonderful, fun weekend! Mrs. COM

  16. Oh my! I was chatting with some folks on another blog and just found out about the July blog. Really appreciate all that you do, Mrs. COM…. You are so very dedicated!! I certainly have enjoyed being part of this group over the years. What a wonderful opportunity for us to experience nature at its finest. Up close and personal, to say the least. With all the chattering going on with the latest intruder, I wondered if you are close enough to hear and it is bothersome for you & family. Many thanks again! All my best! J. Luray Schaffner 😍

  17. Hi, Luray! Yes, it is quite noisy here tonight, had to mute the camera! Audrey had a huge aerial battle with the new fledgling, but everyone eventually returned to the nest and seem to be tolerating each other at the moment. I hope the newbie stays, will be fun to watch! Thanks so much for being a loyal camera watcher and blog reader! Mrs. COM

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