On Friday, May 27, 2016, Tom & Audrey welcomed their first chick of the 2016 season, followed two days later by the second chick. Sadly, one of the chicks has been taken by a predator bird and the third egg was destroyed by Audrey.
It's official! Tom and Audrey's chick is named Chessie (short for Chesapeake). Thanks to everyone who voted!
In 2015 a new Tom nicknamed "Calico Tom" became Audrey's new mate. The osprey couple had three eggs which they faithfully incubated well past their hatch dates. Government agencies were contacted to let them know that Tom and Audrey might be suitable foster parents should some be needed in the Chesapeake Bay region. Meanwhile, on nearby Poplar Island, two foster chicks were in need of a new home. They were delivered by Craig Koppie, raptor biologist, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Chesapeake Bay Field Office, on June 17, 2015, and accepted into the nest. In July, cam followers voted on their names. "Montana & Maine" were chosen in honor of two unsuccessful nests in those states. It was a great season to watch the Osprey Camera and follow these beautiful birds as they they raised their new family, which grew to include a permanent guest named "E.T."
Please be sure to check out the peregrine falcon cam as well! For more information about the foster chicks, click here.
Special thanks to Skyline Technology Solutions, who is providing the technical expertise and managing the video stream, Investigative Options Inc., for installing and maintaining the camera and platform, and the Shared Earth Foundation.
Found on every continent except Antarctica, osprey (Pandion haliaetus) are one of the Chesapeake's most amazing birds for a number of reasons. They migrate thousands of miles each year to and from Central and South America, mate for life, and return to the same spot year after year, despite spending the winter apart from each other.
After an almost 90% decline in population from 1950-1970, osprey populations have rebounded due in large part to conservation efforts and the banning of DDT. Osprey can be a valuable indicator species for monitoring the long-term health of the Chesapeake Bay because their diet consists almost entirely of fish and they are sensitive to many environmental contaminants. To make sure these magnificent Bay residents continue to thrive, we are working to ensure that river corridors remain protected and that the Chesapeake Bay can support abundant fish populations.
Wondering about the ribbons on some of the sticks in Audrey's nest? The Crazy Osprey Family puts a few sticks with ribbons tied on them in their yard each season. It's fun to track where they wind up!
To learn more about osprey and the Bay's other amazing creatures use our National Wildlife Refuge App, or visit one of our regions many National and State parks and refuges to see them in the wild!
If you enjoy our Osprey Cam, please consider donating to the Chesapeake Conservancy to help maintain this feed and help us establish other web cams highlighting the daily lives of other Chesapeake species.
Learn more about osprey with our frequently asked questions and fun facts here.
President & CEO Joel Dunn and the Osprey Camera were featured on Maryland Public Television's "Direct Connection." Watch the segment below:
Reminiscing back to good ol' 2013? Check out the videos below to remember some of the Osprey Cam's best moments.
- Tom, Audrey, and their first chick (Chester)
- Tom and Audrey feeding their first two chicks (Chester and Essie)
- Tom and Audrey feeding their three chicks (Chester, Essie, and Ozzie)
- The chicks' test flights
- Chester's first flight
- Ozzie's first flight
- Winter cleaning
- And, of course, Ozzie's rescue from her entanglement in mono-filament fishing line below and from shore.
To learn more about these projects, click one of the links below:
More than 100,000 streams, creeks and rivers thread through the Chesapeake Bay watershed; yet citizens still struggle to find places where they can access these waterways. Significant stretches of shoreline have little or no access, making it difficult to plan trips along water trails and preventing people from accessing waterways in their own backyards. The Conservancy is working hard to create new public access sites to connect people to the Bay and its rivers.
Want to learn more about the Chesapeake Bay's wildlife? Visit our wildlife library to watch short videos created by the Susquehannock
Wildlife Society highlighting some of the Bay's most interesting species and read articles written by columnist Mike Burk for the Chesapeake Bay Journal detailing the watershed's many bird species. We are continually adding content so check back often!
The Chesapeake’s great rivers and the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail provide the Conservancy with an education and conservation planning framework, highlighting the importance of history and culture, as well as wildlife and habitat, to protect vital resources in the Chesapeake.
The Conservancy is engaged in river-centered projects throughout the Chesapeake watershed. These projects take different forms, but each seeks to create a vision for the future of the river through public engagement that will guide conservation, education, and public access work throughout the corridor.