Welcome To Crazy Town

I would normally start my blog with some little pleasantry like “Good evening from the lovely Eastern Shore of Maryland”, or some other bit of fluff. All I can say this time is Welcome To Crazy Town. If you follow my blogs and watch the camera, which I am sure most of you do, you are probably as perplexed as I am. Attempting to summarize the events of the past few days is puzzling, to say the least. I will do my best, but will say once again, Welcome To Crazy Town.

I started my last blog with a tribute to our departed Audrey 2 and finished it with thoughts about the eggs to come. I had been thinking about a title for the next blog, hopefully with an egg theme. As I have been working many hours of late, I haven’t been around the neighborhood to personally witness many of the happenings in and around the nest. But I have been able to take a peek at the camera view every now and then during the day. Last Wednesday, 4/28/2021, I was at work. I took a quick look-see at the camera, and there was Audrey 3, all nestled down in the nest. I had not seen her like that before, and told my work partner that I thought she was getting ready to lay an egg. Not fifteen minutes later, she got up, and THERE IT WAS! AN EGG! I was ecstatic! I hadn’t wanted to worry any of you, so I didn’t mention the fact that it is not unusual for new females not to lay eggs their first season. If they do lay eggs, it is not unusual for the eggs to be nonviable. So the first hurdle had been crossed, a gorgeous osprey egg in all its glory. I couldn’t wait to get home from work and take a look in person.

Before I arrived home, I took another look at the camera on my phone, and much to my dismay, there wasn’t any birdie on the nest, and no egg to be seen. Telling myself not to worry, I hurried home. As soon as I walked in, I received a text from our beloved Poppy, telling me that something was bothering Audrey 3, and she kept leaving the nest. I looked around outside, with no ospreys to be seen. One of our neighbors has been learning to kite board, and had been flying the kite (which is very large) in the yard and in the water not too far from our pole. I thought that might be what was scaring Audrey 3 off the nest. But there was no one in the yard or out in the water. All of a sudden, I noticed an intense aerial battle going on in and around the nest between two ospreys, then they flew off. A couple of minutes later, an osprey landed on the camera pole perch, which had become Audrey 3’s favorite spot. Almost immediately, that osprey was attacked by another one, and another frantic aerial battle ensued. I witnessed a few other ferocious battles in and around the nest, and was just scratching my head on what was going on. It was impossible to identify the ospreys during their encounters. The battles were too fast and furious to capture on film. Poppy and I exchanged a couple of emails, and I kept a close eye outside to see what might happen next. There was still no sight of the egg, and the nest remained empty.

Early in the evening, I noticed an osprey back on the nest, and Tom came swooping down and had his way with her. Oh good, I thought, Audrey 3 is back and taking care of business for a second egg. I took a quick look at the camera, and did a double take. The osprey on the receiving end of Tom’s tender caresses was not Audrey 3. I sent Poppy another communication, and asked her if she could take a look. About that time, I decided to look at the comments and camera captures that our astute camera watchers had been posting in the Explore comments section. There was a beautiful close-up posted of the visiting osprey, and she looked very, very much like Audrey 2. This osprey remained in the nest, which was not Audrey 3’s habit. Audrey 3 was almost always on the camera pole perch, and spent very little time in the nest. As night fell, the new osprey starting roosting on the same nest support where Audrey 2 had always spent the night. That simple action sealed the deal for me. Between spending her time in the nest and fiercely defending it, attacks on Audrey 3, the close up of her markings and iris speckles, and her nighttime habits, I knew Audrey 2 had come home. Welcome to Crazy Town, Audrey 2!

The next day, I had a few more communications with Poppy. There was some talk of an osprey who had just been released from rehab and looked very much like Audrey 2. That scenario would certainly have explained why Audrey 2 was so late in returning. Further investigation revealed that although there was some resemblance, the rehabbed osprey was definitely not Audrey 2. So the mystery of where Audrey 2 has been all this time remains just that, a mystery.

Much to my chagrin, we have not seen Audrey 3 since that day and are unaware of her fate. Although thrilled at the return of Audrey 2, I am saddened by the departure of Audrey 3, as she was a beautiful, spunky osprey who would have been a great new mate for Tom. It’s certainly not apropos for a tribute to Audrey 3, but here are the last photos I have of her.

Audrey 3 sitting in her favorite spot, on top of the camera pole perch. Tom was always quite perplexed about how he lost his favorite spot, but was quite the gentleman and allowed her to stay

When Audrey 3 took over the camera pole perch, our neighbor’s swim ladder two houses to the south and our boat lift became Tom’s go-to perches

Tom (on the right) and Audrey 3 on a different neighbor’s dock a couple of houses to the north of us

Mrs. COM manages to chase Tom from the dock. Poor guy just can’t catch a break.
Tom arriving back at the nest, headed for his favorite perch
Ah, mine, all mine, thinks Tom
Tom’s hope of a peaceful interlude at his favorite spot is interrupted when he notices something in the sky
Damn, here she comes, thinks Tom
Audrey 3 wants to displace Tom, but he will have none of it this time
Decisions, decisions. Should I stay, or should I let Tom have a few precious moments on his beloved perch, thinks Audrey 3
Tom enjoying some peace and serenity (with apologies to Kenny Chesney)

Life seemed pretty normal when the above and below photos were taken. No one could have imagined what was going to take place in a couple of weeks.

This is an unusual location for Tom to hang out. We had a few cold, windy days, and this piling was protected from some of the elements. A dastardly crow is checking to see if there will be any sloppy seconds
Just another day in paradise. Warm sun, a full belly and a beautiful woman. All’s right with the osprey world

Over the years, I have posted some really gross, disgusting photos of the messes our ospreys have left on COM’s boat cover. To avoid this unpleasantness, our neighbor two doors to the south has placed an owl decoy to keep the ospreys and other roosting birds off of his boat.

What’s wrong with this picture?
If an osprey had thumbs, Tom would be thumbing his at this owl decoy. This photo makes me giggle. Take that, you fake owl!

Tom and Audrey 3 (well, mostly Tom for sure) have certainly built a beautiful nest, don’t you think? Every season, we have camera watchers that are quite unhappy that we remove the nest from the pole every year. And every year, our ospreys have always built a new, strong, clean, comfy nest for their new arrivals. Their efforts are enhanced by a steady supply of prefab sticks that we leave out in the backyard for their building pleasure. As you may have noticed, sometimes a stick will appear in the nest that is looking festive. We usually only put out one or two marked sticks, but I couldn’t decide on a color, so put out a couple extras.

A green, blue and yellow marked stick awaiting transport to the nest

One evening as the sun was setting, I noticed Tom on the crosspiece that stabilizes the two poles. He probably would have preferred his perch on the camera pole, but it was not available.

This is sort of like sloppy seconds for Tom, but in the roosting department

Tom and Audrey 3 enjoyed hanging out together. I thought they made a cute osprey couple. They really seemed to like each other in their osprey way. Some of the funniest moments I observed between them were when Audrey 3 was on the camera pole perch, and Tom would partake in fly-by copulations. We don’t need no stinking nest, thought Tom.

Tom (on the right) and Audrey 3 on our boat lift, sans boat (for now)
Audrey 3 never became comfortable with the crazy woman and her camera. I managed to chase her off the boat lift, and she headed right to her favorite perch
Audrey 3 on the perch, while Tom stayed on the boat lift

The following two photos were taken on April 27, 2021. Although I didn’t know it at the time, these are the last photos I took of Audrey 3.

A good view of the pole set up. Audrey 3 is on the perch, and Tom is in the nest

Last photo of Audrey 3 (on perch) and Tom

I am still in a little bit of shock thinking about what happened on April 28, which I already discussed earlier in the blog. But life goes on, as it will here at the secret location. The fate of Audrey 3’s egg is unknown, but it has not been incubated or cared for enough for it to be viable. As you may have noticed, Tom sits on the egg more than Audrey 2, and that is not saying much. For those of you who are new to our nest, you will notice that Tom loves, loves, loves to incubate his eggs. He will push Audrey off whenever he can to get a chance to snuggle down on those glorious orbs. Tom has been performing his operational duties with gusto to produce a clutch of eggs from Audrey 2. We should know in the next week or so if he will get his chance to continue to be the master incubator.

Tom sitting on the dock close to the purple martin house critter guard. This is a great view of his face markings
Another view of Tom on the same post from a different angle and another great look at his head markings. I do believe that he is snoozing!

Tom and Audrey together in the nest, with Audrey in her usual squawking mode. Tom is looking at her like a little old henpecked (or ospreypecked) man wondering where he left his earplugs. This photo makes me grin

Audrey didn’t lose any time getting right back to her usual habits. She sleeps at the nest at night, usually on her favorite nest support. The new NEMA box works just as well as the old one for Audrey’s favorite eating location. She is working hard to break it in with a plethora of fish guts and blood.

The shiny new NEMA box won’t be shiny very long. Audrey is enjoying a snack, and doesn’t seem to mind the new box.
Audrey is chowing down. I do believe I see the beginnings of a gross mess on the new NEMA box.
Audrey back at home in her nest, which she defended fiercely

One more observation before I wrap up for the night. There has been another osprey, who is neither Tom or Audrey 2, sitting at the top of Joe’s tree quite regularly. I will try to get a good look at it, and see if it might be Audrey 3. There is another osprey nest which is occupied very close to that tree, so it may be an osprey from that nest.

We are still trying to fix the sound issue, with no luck so far. The folks at Explore are looking at various options to get the sound back permanently, so hopefully they will be successful. COM has done everything he can at our end, so we will keep our fingers crossed for a solution in the near future.

I will leave you not with sunrise photos, but with two photos from the Full Pink Super Moon last week. The first one is just after the moon rose in the east, but the sun had not set at the time. The second is a photo taken a few hours later after it became quite dark, with the reflection of the moon in the water. It was a spectacular sight which was not done justice by the photo.

No words, just a glorious untouched photo
The moon was so bright it was casting shadows in the backyard. It was crystal clear to the eye, but fuzzy in the photo

That’s it for now. Welcome to Crazy Town!

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!

41 thoughts on “Welcome To Crazy Town

  1. We use a product called Gull Sweep to keep the osprey off our boats t-top, works great! But it doesn’t work for the starlings who keep trying to make a nest inside our boat.

    • Good morning, Donna! Thanks for the tip. I will let our neighbor know about the Gull Sweep since the owl is not fooling anyone! Thanks for reading my blog and watching the camera. Mrs. COM

  2. Keep us posted Mrs.COM, I so enjoy your writing Sherry Clark

    On Tue, May 4, 2021 at 1:36 AM Osprey Camera Blog wrote:

    > ospreycam posted: ” I would normally start my blog with some little > pleasantry like “Good evening from the lovely Eastern Shore of Maryland”, > or some other bit of fluff. All I can say this time is Welcome To Crazy > Town. If you follow my blogs and watch the camera, which I” >

    • Hi, Sherry! Thanks for the lovely compliment! It’s always so nice to know that people like you are enjoying my blogs! Here’s to a successful osprey season! Mrs. COM

  3. Thanks for unraveling the Audrey 2 & 3 drama. Appreciate all facts & photos. Such a great blog. I look forward to the smiles and accurate nest information each issue.💕🙂

    • Hi, Marguerite! I hope I did unravel the Audrey 2 & 3 drama. I wasn’t so sure myself sometimes! It’s been a crazy season so far, with no signs of letting up! Fingers crossed for another round of eggs next week! Mrs. COM

  4. Enjoyed the blog and always appreciate the off camera goings-on. I’m thrilled that Audrey2 is back, and although we only knew Audrey3 for a month, we will miss her, she was a beautiful bird. It’s sad about her egg, but hopefully it’s not too late for eggs from Audrey 2. Of course, nature doesn’t ask us how we feel about how things work out, we’re just along for the ride! Thanks for the Super Pink Moon picture, I really like those reflection on the water shots. Evelyn from Macon

    • Hi, Evelyn! I have my fingers crossed for a second round of eggs, this time for Audrey 2. We will never know where she was. I like the moon photos also. I wish I could capture the night time ones better, the photos just don’t capture how incredible that sight really is. Thanks for being such a loyal camera watcher and blog reader! Mrs. COM

  5. Thank you Mrs. com for blog. Appreciate your writing. April 28th was indeed a crazy time and one of concern; yet reading your blog, there was a smile on my face.
    The pre season work from Com, conservatory and extra “hands” is a gift to all of us.
    I am old lady and have physical limitations; cannot explain the joy this nest and your blog has brought to me. (Also I have convinced myself I am SO knowledgeable in re the beautiful Osprey) haha
    God bless you and yours and thank God for the beauty of His creation.

    • Hi, Ruth! What a lovely comment! I am so happy to hear how much you enjoy our osprey, camera and blog. It’s wonderful to be able to bring joy to so many folks and to make you smile! Keep watching, and keep your fingers crossed for a nice, boring season with some new little friends to entertain us! Mrs. COM

  6. Another beautiful and thoughtful blog with so many gorgeous photographs from start to finish! My favorite was of Audrey 3 and Tom almost touching each other in flight to get on pole! And as you say we shall see what the plan is to be over the next week and beyond. 2021 is definitely a year to sit tight and buckle up on the roller coaster ride of watching Audrey and Tom! Thanks again for all you and Mr. COM do! Adios Moe from Cape Cod !! Adrenaline rush must really be a part of your lives like mine!

    • Hi, Moe! I can always count on you for a wonderful comment. You know I love my comments, keeps me going! We are all waiting with bated breath to see what happens in the next week or so. Here’s hoping for some eggs! Thanks for being such a loyal camera watcher and blog reader. Mrs. COM

  7. It’s strange (or is it?) that Tom just sort of dropped A3 and went back to A2 pretty easily. It’s also fascinating that A2 was able to successfully kick A3 out of the picture. Age and treachery vs. Youth and skill?? If only they could talk – what tales we could hear!

    • Hi, Regina! I love it, age and treachery vs youth and skill! The old bird won out this time! We will see how things turn out, shouldn’t have to wait too much longer. Here’s hoping for an egg really soon. Mrs. COM

  8. This situation reminds me of an episode of the Golden Girls where Sophia has the other girls hold a mock funeral for her so she could see what kind words people would say about her. Then, she appears and announces she is not dead at all. Just as we all were talking about our sweet Audrey 2 and saying sweet things about her, she shows back up and says (in osprey language) “Surprise, I am not really gone!”. Thank you Mrs. Com for another great blog. And, welcome everyone to another crazy season of “How the Osprey Turns).

    • Hi, Mary! Pretty crazy, huh? I always spend a fair amount of time trying to pick out the perfect title for each blog. I didn’t have to think very long for this one for sure! Thanks for the Golden Girls analogy. I did write a pretty good eulogy for Audrey 2, glad it was in vain! I appreciate you taking the time to post a comment. Hopefully there will be some eggs around the bend! Mrs. COM

  9. Hello Mrs. COM, The photo of Audrey 2 in squawking mode toward Tom is adorable, and it looks like Tom is listening carefully. It is amazing that Audrey 2 won back her home from what is most likely a younger and stronger bird, it seems like a story for National Geographic’s Animal Kingdom. I know Audrey 3 will be successful in finding a new home, she seems like a lovely bird, the photos you posted show that she’s a beautiful bird. It’s amazing how in just a decade or so that the Osprey population is seeing record numbers. Thank you for sharing the nest drama with us, I made a donation to the Chesapeake Conservancy to show my appreciation.

    • Hi, Lily! Always so good to hear from my old friends! There are ospreys all over around the secret location, and no shortage of places to nest. I hope Audrey 3 finds a nice home with a young osprey, and they spend a long and productive live together. Thanks so much for making a donation to the Chesapeake Conservancy. They do some amazing work to preserve our Chesapeake. Fingers crossed for some eggs very soon! Mrs. COM

  10. Good Evening Mrs.Com.Wonderful blog like ever.I think we all were in two minds.Audrey3 is a very beautiful osprey female.But now is Audrey back and alive.This is also wonderful.I watch this nest since 2015.Wonderful years & sadly years.How ever,its Audreys nest and home since long years and she fight it back.I love Tom and Audrey so much.How crazy the situation looks like,i`m happy, that she is back.Thank you to you and your Family wich make it all years possible to follow the live cam and thank you for all what you do for our birds.

    • Hi, Uta! Thanks for being one of my go-to osprey experts for all of these years. I have depended on you so much in challenging situations and I appreciate every bit of your help and input. Yes, mixed emotions here also. I liked Audrey 3 very much, but was also so happy to have Audrey 2 back. Our birds like to keep things interesting, for sure! Thanks for continuing to be a loyal camera watcher and blog reader. Here’s hoping for some good news very soon! Mrs. COM

  11. Wonderful blog Mrs.Com!! Many thanks for all that you do for the beautiful Ospreys and all of your followers for many, many years. Just amazing that we have the opportunity to enjoy the efforts of many dedicated folks! Thank you to each of the Com Family members!

    • Hi, jluray! It’s so good to hear from new followers, and really good to hear from my long-time followers. You have been with us since the beginning, and I am so glad you are still here. Here’s hoping for a successful season. It has certainly started out crazy, and I am so ready for a nice, boring few months with our osprey family. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Mrs. COM

  12. I really enjoyed your commentary about this crazy town week, especially abortIon needing his ear plugs.The photo with the moon shinning on the water is awesome., And photos of Tom and Audrey 2 & 3 in different perch locations, are so great. I truly like reading your blogs. This is one of my very favorite sites.

    • Hi, JoAyn! I am very happy to know that you have enjoyed my crazy town and other blogs. A perfect title for a blog about a crazy week, for sure. I wish you could see the moon shining on the water in person, the photo doesn’t come close to capturing the magnificent sight. It’s great to know we are one of your very favorite sites! I also love the photo with Tom and Audrey, such a funny capture! Thanks so much for reading my blogs and watching the camera. Mrs. COM

  13. Hello Mrs. COM. A chatter has asked how to get this email. I cannot remember how I did it. Do they just email the comment-reply…….to request? Thank you Mary Froehlich


    • Good morning, Mary! I am not exactly sure of your question, but here is the information I think you need. If someone wants to leave a reply/comment on the blog, there is a place at the end of each blog to post one. I check the comments regularly, and will respond via the blog chat. I also receive an email on my personal account letting me know there is a comment on the blog, so I know to take a look. If that doesn’t answer your question, please let me know. Thanks for reading the blog and watching our camera! Mrs. COM

  14. Dear Mrs. COM – you and your most dedicated camera observers are adept at spotting the minute details among the different osprey that allow you to determine who is Tom vs. Audrey2 vs. Audrey3 vs. some other random bird. Sadly, to me, they all look alike. Or – the differences are too fleeting or small to readily discern (or remember, suffering from CRS (can’t remember stuff) as I do). I read things like “So-and-So has a broken eye ring, and the other one doesn’t” – but I don’t always see what that means. I would LOVE to make a humble request for you in an upcoming post – to, with some creative cropping of your awesome-est bird pix – point out and highlight the discernable differences among the birds that allow you to say “That is Audrey2” Or “That is Tom.” Sort of a compare-and-contrast for us more casual observers. Many thanks in advance, and many many thanks for this blog and your wonderful photos (and your ongoing commitment to the webcam!).

  15. Hi, Regina! I will include a little tutorial in my next blog on how to tell Tom and the Audreys apart. There are a few charts floating around in the Explore chat that you could use if you don’t want to wait for the next blog. I have also posted some comparisons in a couple of the archived blogs, but don’t know exactly where without going through them. I will tell you that our very first Tom and Audrey, T1 and A1, looked completely differently from each other. You could tell them apart in a split second. T3 and A2 are not as easy to identify, but there are a couple of differences you can use. Thanks for the suggestion. Mrs. COM

  16. Hello Mrs. COM and thank you for such a quick update to your blog. While Audrey 3 started to grow on me and I didn’t like the way she was ‘escorted’ from the nest, I can’t tell you how excited I was to see that Audrey 2 had returned. I really cherish her and hope things work out this season. I’m writing this after a fierce battle took place on the nest and Audrey was having to defend all day. I wonder who the attacker was? Now it is the next day and Audrey is back to full ‘yapping’ mode. The rescue my wife works at once had an Osprey. I can tell you the yapping was much louder in person than I expected. I’m certain you must hear Audrey when you are out in the yard. I often wonder if sometimes you might even here her when inside.

    • Hi, sscheidt! Funny you should ask! There is a delay in the live action at the nest and what shows up on Explore. So when we have the windows open, we hear that yapping Audrey in stereo times two! We actually turn off the sound on the computer or we would be driven mad! I wasn’t around most of yesterday to witness most of the action (darn work keeps getting in the way), but did catch a little of it late in the afternoon/early evening. There was another osprey hanging around today, but hopefully it has given up and is looking for a softer target. As I write this, Audrey is on the nest and Tom is on the pole, but it is a really dreary, wet evening. I am sad about Audrey 3, but really surprised and happy to have Audrey 2 back. I’m hoping for some good news in the next few days, as we all are. Thanks for reaching out. Mrs. COM

      • Hi, me again. If you get a chance, I would recommend you read “Who’s Your Daddy”, posted in April 2015. Some good stuff in there from two osprey experts about spring osprey arrivals, and who does or does not get to claim the nest. I am going to suggest that my readers take a look at that one in my next blog. Quite apropos for what has been going on at our nest the past month.

  17. Hi, Mrs. COM, never a dull moment at your place! There has been so much speculation, I just thought I’d ask, is it still true that you haven’t seen Audrey3 since she got kicked off the nest? While I’m ecstatic that Audrey2 has reclaimed her nest (I don’t think any of us were ready to give her up), I can’t help but feel bad about Audrey3 getting pushed out after she thought she’d found her home and her guy, and having to leave her first egg behind! These nest defense battles are exhausting and kind of sad, but they’re so fast, it’s hard to get an idea who is on the attack, and from your proximity to them, I wondered if you’ve been able to tell. I’m hoping Audrey3 has been able to move on, and that this is some stranger female that we’re not so invested in (I mean we had 30 days to get to know her and it’s not like we don’t care!)

    • Hi, Lyntuck! We have not been able to verify seeing Audrey 3 since the day of the attacks. You are right, they happen so quickly and move so fast it is impossible to get a good eye on the participants with binoculars. I am also sad about Audrey 3, but at the same time very happy that Audrey 2 is back with us, alive and well. Fingers crossed that we will have some eggs this week! Thanks for reaching out. I am happy to answer questions any time. Mrs. COM

  18. Congratulations to the power couple Audrey 2 and Tom with the arrival I saw of EGG number one today!! I see that Tom is switching around his fish delivery by the tail being delivered !! He is the BOSS!

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