Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz. Oh, What A Relief It Is!

Good morning from the lovely Eastern Shore of Maryland! The situation here at the secret location is certainly different than it was when I posted my last blog. When last we met, the battle of the Audreys had just concluded, Tom and Audrey (2) were getting reacquainted after their winter hiatus and we were waiting anxiously for the arrival of lovely osprey eggs. Although a month late, osprey life picked up right where it should be.

With Crazy Town on the back burner for now, it was time for life around the neighborhood to get back to normal. Tom and Audrey continued to add to their comfy cozy nest, and they got down to business making baby ospreys. Tom regained his favorite perch on top of the camera pole, and didn’t have to resort to his second and third choices.

Tom was hanging out on the boat lift on a bucolic afternoon. After being so rudely interrupted by a crazy lady hugging a camera, he headed back to his favorite perch on top of the camera pole. A downstairs tenant is perched on a protruding stick. Do you see it?

Tom arrives at his happy place, with Audrey keeping careful watch on you-know-who

Tom is surveying his kingdom while Audrey relaxes on a lovely spring morning

Tom isn’t the only one who enjoys hanging out on the crosspiece.

The basement tenant is heading home

There is always chatter in the Explore comments between those who have figured out the Tom vs. Audrey code and the camera watchers who still haven’t broken it. Here is a quick tutorial to help you make your decision.

This is Tom, looking at the left side of his head. Notice there are no breaks in the black under his eye.

The view of the right side of Tom’s head. Again, there are no breaks in the black under his eye.

Now on to Audrey.

This is Audrey’s head from the right side. In the above photo, it is very obvious that Audrey has a break of white under her eye. Her iris is also heavily speckled.

The above photo shows Audrey’s head from the left view. The white break is visible, unlike the area under Tom’s eyes that are black and have no break of white.

Tom on the bottom of the photo and Audrey on the top

I took the above photo from the Explore comments. If the rightful author of the photo comes forward, I will definitely give you credit in the next blog! The differences between Tom and Audrey are pointed out

The features I use to tell Tom and Audrey apart are the differences in the amount of black/white under their eyes, and the buff patch on the back of Tom’s head. I will point out visible differences in any photos I post where the differences are apparent. This particular Tom and Audrey pair can be difficult to differentiate at times. Our first Tom and Audrey pair looked so different that just a cursory glance was all that was needed to make the ID. Our first Tom had such a dark face he stood out immediately. Audrey 1 had almost no black on her face, and the difference between them was marked. No such luck with these two, but we are all up to the Tom v. Audrey challenge.

May 14, 2021 was a happy day indeed at the secret location. Audrey presented us with her first egg, with her second egg following right on schedule three days later on May 17. And the biggest event of all was the appearance of the third egg, again three days later, on May 20. When I say appearance, I mean appearance. For those of you who witnessed the event as it happened, or were able to catch a glimpse on the reruns, I think you will agree with the title I have selected for the blog. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is (with apologizes to the old time 1976 Alka-Seltzer commercial)!! A huge sigh of relief for everyone, with the welcome sight of three beautiful eggs, and especially the plop, plop of the third one. Please enjoy this short clip from the CBS Sunday Morning show (with a short ad at the beginning, just ignore it), featuring the origin of our blog title for today. https://youtu.be/icwW6H-PJ-0

Sadly, one of the eggs became cracked and is no longer with us. It is believed to be the third egg that had been laid, which leaves us with eggs #1 and #2. The very first egg laid in the nest, which was by Audrey 3 on the very day that Audrey 2 returned, became buried shortly after it was laid, and would no longer be viable. There have been no confirmed sightings of Audrey 3 since the day she was politely asked to leave by Audrey 2 (sarcasm). We can only hope she has found a new mate, and is enjoying her life on the Chesapeake Bay.

In our nest, the typical time from an egg being laid to hatch is 39-41 days. If you do the math, we can expect the first egg to hatch sometime in the middle of next week, in the June 22-24 range. The eggs will hatch in the order they were laid, and with the same interval. So pip watch begins very soon. I would expect our viewer numbers will rise significantly in the near future. Hopefully the weather will hold out, and we won’t experience the marauding, nefarious, dastardly crows of last spring. Can you tell I don’t like the crows? The belated return of Audrey 2 may end up being a blessing in disguise, as the extra thirty days has certainly helped the conditions at the nest.

Our ospreys have been hanging out in their usual locations, with the exception of one. I have not seen Tom in Joe’s Big Tree two houses to the north of us. There is another osprey who hangs out there, but I do not think it is Tom. I have seen both Tom and Audrey on the boat lift and in the scraggly stick tree. Audrey continues to enjoy chowing down on fish from the top of the NEMA box, which is no longer the pristine piece of equipment it was when newly installed this past March. Both Tom and Audrey take turns in the nest incubating the eggs. Tom enjoys the perch on top of the camera pole, and the crosspiece that stabilizes the two poles.

Here is the current condition of the scraggly stick tree. Although quite diminished in size and leaning precariously over the water, it has leafed out quite nicely.

Audrey on the NEMA box with her gift from Tom
A piece of something is stuck in Audrey’s throat. I hate when that happens, she thinks
The NEMA box has officially been christened. What a mess! Are you planning to clean that up, Audrey?

Audrey in the scraggly stick tree with her half of a fish

Audrey in the scraggly stick tree from a different angle
Audrey tearing off a bite of fish. It sure tastes better when someone else catches it!

Tom is a happy camper incubating the eggs while Audrey snacks. You can see two marked sticks buried in the nest.

Tom is loving his incubation time. You can see how low down in the nest he is.

I managed to unintentionally chase Audrey off of the NEMA box.

Audrey has relocated to the dock next door to the south with her prize
Now that’s what I’m talking about! Yummy
Almost got that poop shot, a split second too late. Better luck next time, Mrs. COM

I chased Audrey off yet again. Sorry about that!

Audrey trying to escape the camera of Mrs. COM, which cannot be readily accomplished without flying out of range
Audrey in downstroke, still clutching her unfinished morsel. Damn you, Mrs. COM

Tom has reclaimed his rightful place on the camera pole perch.

Tom savoring his favorite place while Audrey performs her incubating duties

Although the lighting is not optimal, twilight has fallen with Tom on the crosspiece and Audrey in the nest.

A bucolic scene as the sun is setting and dusk falls upon our favorite osprey pair

Can you make out Audrey’s punk “hair”do?

Memorial Day weekend brought some nasty, cold, wet weather. We watched the nest carefully to ascertain if Audrey was receiving enough to eat so she wouldn’t leave the nest unattended, as visions of last spring’s melancholy events were still fresh in our heads. The crummy holiday weather only lasted two days, and we were able to fly the ginormous holiday flag before the weekend ended.

My artsy photo of the gigantic holiday flag with the pole complex in the background
Now that’s a flag! The poor flag pole didn’t know what hit it.

With spring come storms, and with storms we sometimes get a lovely rainbow.

Audrey on her perch looking for that pot of gold

I will leave you not with a sunrise, but another moonlit night.

Tom on the right side of the crosspiece, Audrey in the nest and all is right with the osprey world (for now anyway)

When next I write, we should be thinking about names for our two newly hatched chicks. Fingers crossed, everyone!

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!

27 thoughts on “Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz. Oh, What A Relief It Is!

  1. I love your blogs! Thank you.

    On Thu, Jun 17, 2021 at 3:05 AM Osprey Camera Blog wrote:

    > ospreycam posted: ” Good morning from the lovely Eastern Shore of > Maryland! The situation here at the secret location is certainly different > than it was when I posted my last blog. When last we met, the battle of the > Audreys had just concluded, Tom and Audrey (2) were get” >

    • Good morning, Pam! I take a whole bunch of time writing the blogs, so I am very happy to know that you are enjoying them! Thanks for reaching out. I am hoping to be able to write happy blogs the rest of the season. Thanks again, Mrs. COM

  2. Hi, sclarked1sec! Glad to know that you love my blog! Makes me happy to get positive comments. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Here’s hoping for two successful hatches! Mrs. COM

  3. Thanks once again for your lovely photos and my day definitely has started in my happy place after reading your blog! I also have my toes crossed. Adios moe with no blah blah today from Cape Cod!!

    • Hi, Moe! It’s always fun to place someone in their happy place! Thanks for being a loyal camera watcher and blog reader for all these years! Here’s to two new babies next week! Mrs. COM

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your photos and commentary are outstanding. I really appreciate all the time and effort you put into keeping us up to date on the happenings at the nest.

  5. Good morning, Nancy, always so good to hear from you! It’s comments like yours that keep me going sometimes. Thanks for continuing to watch the camera and read my blogs. Fingers crossed for two new babies very soon! Mrs. COM

    • Hi, psdiehm! I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the latest blog. Thanks for taking the time to comment. We will all be watching for the little ones next week. Here’s to two successful hatches! Mrs. COM

  6. Love concurs all …
    I’m glad Audrey and Tom have worked things out. It has been quite a soap opera.
    I will definitely put some thought into the kids’ names. I see it as my summer challenge. When should we know the sex of the chicks?
    My best to all the Crazy Osprey Family!

  7. Why, Becky Shaw, as I live and breathe! I am so honored to have a comment from the Belle of Louisville. There won’t be any gender revel party for the chicks any time soon. If we have a successful hatch, and the kids grow big and strong, we can try to have them banded just before they fledge, which takes 7-8 weeks. The biologist that does the banding may be able to make an educated guess as to the gender, but no guarantees. Thanks for reading my blogs and watching the camera. ZL, Mrs. COM

  8. Mrs. COM,
    Thank you for your blogs and beautiful pictures of Tom and Audrey! I look forward to seeing them every day and am keeping fingers crossed for 2 new healthy babies! All your hard work and documentation is VERY appreciated!
    Pam

    • Hi, Pam! Thanks so much for watching the camera and reading my blogs. It makes me very happy to know that folks like you appreciate our hard work. Glad you look forward to seeing Tom and Audrey every day. Here’s hoping for a successful hatching times 2!! Mrs. COM

  9. Hello Mrs. Com,
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos and the inside information about our favorite Osprey couple. As soon as I heard you had posted a new blog, I was so happy, it’s one of my favorite things.
    I was wondering if you’ve noticed more, about the same, or less birds of prey and other birds compared to 5 or 10 years ago. It seems to me increased competition for nest sites and mates, but you’re in a better place to judge, just your thoughts are fine, I’m not asking for factual numbers.

    • Hi, Lilly! It’s always great to hear from you and know you are still out there watching the camera and reading my blogs! It’s been a long time! In answer to your question, I would say we are seeing more eagles and the same amount of ospreys. There are many, many active nests just around our neighborhood. We see ospreys flying around all the time. There are a plethora of man-made structures where the ospreys build nests. That’s my take, not sure what the experts would say. Thanks for reaching out! Mrs. COM

  10. Hi, Mrs. COM, A wonderful blog again as usual! I so enjoy seeing the wonderful world of Tom and Audrey through your camera lens along with the additional witty commentary you provide. It adds so much depth to the season to be able to experience things we cannot see through the live broadcast. It’s one reason I like watching this nest more than others, it’s so much more personal. I will confess to being the creator of the Tom and Audrey identifying picture you graciously included in the blog (I’m LynTuck on the Camchat). I did it in 2017 (with the addition of the great tip from my good friend Uta Große, who I have gotten to know because of Tom and Audrey!) to try and help folks learn who’s who on the nest. I had to do some new ones when Audrey 3 showed up, but while she was a beautiful Osprey, I’m glad our Audrey finally returned, and oh how I wish she could tell her tale about what delayed her! In the next couple of days, we’ll be really back on track with little ones again, and things are looking up! Always look forward to your blogs and appreciate the time and effort you grace us with. Evelyn Tuck from Macon, GA

    • Hi, Evelyn! Thanks for letting me know you are the author of the identifying photo. I will definitely give you credit in my next blog. I agree, Audrey 3 was a beautiful bird. I hope she found another mate and is enjoying her life on the Chesapeake. We are in the home stretch for our hatch window, any day now! Fingers crossed for a successful outcome! Thanks for continuing to be a faithful camera watcher and blog reader! Mrs. COM

  11. I so enjoy reading your beautifully written updates. Thank you for taking the time to report the goings on at this nest. Your camera captures wonderful moments. My favorite from this blog is the last one, the nest in the moonlight. What a gorgeous view of nature you are blessed to live near and to share with us. Many thanks.

    • Hi, Diane! Thanks for letting me know that you enjoy reading my blogs. I spend a fair amount of time on them between taking the photos, deciding on which photos to use, thinking up a title, and the actual writing. I am not very technically astute, so it takes me longer than it probably should! I also love the moon photos. We are hosting a full moon dock party this Thursday night for the first time since the fall of 2019, and I hope to be able to capture some new moon photos for the next blog. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, really mean a lot to me. Mrs. COM

  12. Thank you so much, Mrs. COM for taking the time to give us another interesting blog. I always look forward to your educated take on the Tom and Audrey show. I am hoping for a successful osprey year.

    • Hi, Mary! And thank you for the taking to time to reach out and let me know that you are enjoying my blogs! We should have a little one very soon, so stay tuned! Thanks for reading my blogs and watching the camera. Mrs. COM

  13. Thank, you, Mrs. COM! I appreciate the tutorial on the differences between Tom and Audrey! Thanks for the work you put into it – for scouring pics and for educating us as well! I’m looking forward to some pips!

  14. Hi, Regina! I hope the tutorial was helpful. I didn’t forget you! Thanks for being a faithful camera watcher and blog reader. All eyes are glued to the nest, come on pip!! Mrs. COM

  15. Thanks so much for helping us to identify Tom & Audrey, you were so clear on the descriptions and comparison between them. I will try to keep the info on the right place on this brain of mine so as to not let get hidden in an old crevice. I truly love your humor and your photos. Can’t wait to see #1 make its presence known.

    • Good morning, Jo-Ayn! What a timely post! You don’t have to wait any longer to see a beautiful little osprey check, finally. I’m glad to know that my identification guide was helpful to you. This Tom and Audrey pair is not as easy to tell apart as our first pair, but with some subtle differences, it can be done! Thanks for being a loyal camera watcher and blog reader. Mrs. COM

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