After wintering in sunny South or Central America, Audrey and Tom osprey have traveled thousands of miles to return to the shores of the Chesapeake.
Since their live video debuted last year on the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Osprey Cam, Audrey and Tom are becoming household names. Viewers from all 50 states and 110 countries watched last summer as the pair built their nest, laid eggs, raised and fledged chicks. Then viewers waved goodbye as the pair and their chicks headed south for the winter.
Living a wonder of nature, Audrey and Tom have returned to the same Eastern Shore nest for the sixth year in a row. Tom diligently collects sticks as Audrey rearranges the nest for optimum strength and comfort, taking breaks to enjoy the Bay’s bounty for lunch.
Osprey nesting on this spot have been watched for decades by the Crazy Osprey Family, as the landowners who have the osprey cam on their property choose to be called. They watched the original Tom and Audrey for 10 years, installing their first nest cam in 2002, and have watched the current pair since 2009. To accompany the cam, Crazy Osprey Man, Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man and Osprey Girl — as they are known to viewers — maintain a blog that offers behind-the-scenes insights and photos.
“They have been part of our family since 1995,” says Mrs. Crazy Osprey Man. “We’re so delighted to share our osprey family with your families.”
The Osprey Cam shows real-time, high-definition footage, complete with sound. Visit www.ospreycamera.org to tune into the show.
Last year, Audrey and Tom successfully raised three chicks, named Chester, Essie and Ozzie by the loyal cam viewers.
“The osprey represent the magic of the Chesapeake,” says Joel Dunn, executive director of the Chesapeake Conservancy. “Our intent with the camera is to connect the public with these animals and to inspire people to fight for their protection. These birds require healthy lands, clean water and plenty of protected habitat.”
As Maryland and the U.S. Congress have dramatically reduced land conservation funding in fiscal year 2014, Dunn says, “public support for conservation is essential for their survival.”
Join the Chesapeake Conservancy on Thursday, April 17, to celebrate the return of the osprey family. This Welcome Back Osprey happy hour is free and open to all from 4-6pm at Metropolitan Kitchen and Lounge in Annapolis.