Chesapeake Bay's Independent Newspaper ~ Since 1993
1629 Forest Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403 ~ 410-626-9888

Volume xviii, Issue 17 ~ Apri 29 to May 5, 2010

Home \\ Correspondence \\ from the Editor \\ Submit a Letter \\ Classifieds \\ Contact Us
Best of the Bay \\ Dining Guide \\ Home & Garden Guide \\ Archives \\ Distribution \\ Advertising

The Osprey Saga

The fates of reproduction

Week Six

The week began cold, windy and rainy. Of all the times to lay her first egg, Olivia picked that Monday morning.

I knew that she had laid her egg because she was sitting deep down in the middle of her nest with only her head showing. That meant she had started incubating.

This photo of Olivia and Oliver was taken with a super long lens by a friend Sam Wood. The building in the background is actually about 400 feet beyond the nest on the other side of the creek.

On Tuesday, the osprey had to do some repairs to their wind-damaged nest. Olivia was off her egg for quite a while, and she never went back to incubating. What effect this will have on it I don’t know. Since then she has just been sitting, huddled, on the edge of the nest. I’m sure that first egg has either been dropped overboard or covered over with sticks and seaweed.

Last year, she had three fledglings when heavy winds in a thunderstorm toppled the entire nest platform into the water. The nails supporting it had rusted over the years. The young birds were lost. Olivia grieved for over a week, crying for her babies. She never laid another clutch of eggs. It was too late in the season.

Oliver took off for the south immediately. Olivia stayed around for a couple of weeks.

I rebuilt the platform in the fall. Reproduction isn’t an easy task for any living thing. I hope she starts laying eggs again.

For some reason, this year has not gone well since the beginning. Life is like that, sometimes.

Week Seven

The week started and has continued mystifying. Oliver would sit on a nearby piling for long periods of time, then join Olivia on the nest for a while, and they would sit side by side. The few times I saw him try to do his thing, Olivia would tolerate him on her back but would not move her tail aside to allow him success. He would then dismount and fly to the high branch of a nearby tree and sulk. The rest of the time Olivia sat on the edge of the nest, facing into the wind.

There’s an osprey pair on a nest on the other side of the creek. I can see it from my window. That female has been sitting on eggs for two weeks. Olivia was thrown off her schedule by the storm, and she can’t seem to get her life back in sync. We’ll just have to wait and trust that it will turn out all right in the end. But time’s a wastin’.

Thus continues Michael Koblos’ 26-week saga of the doings of his nearest osprey family. A 78-year-old retired naval officer, Koblos lives in a small cottage on the water, Home Port, in a place called Cobb Island, located in the wide Potomac River about 50 miles south of Washington, D.C.

© COPYRIGHT 2010 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.