As you know, we launched a redesigned Bay Journal (and a new Bay Journeys) website earlier this year to make it easier to navigate and visually appealing to a wider audience. We hope you’ve taken advantage of the site as a way to find stories by topic or to read what’s going on between issues on the Chesapeake Notebook blog.
This summer, we took more steps to make Bay Journal content available to more people through online tools. The Bay Journal is growing its presence on social media sites to reel in new audiences that may not know about our in-depth coverage of the Bay and its watershed. These tools are also a way for you, our print readers, to interact with us on a daily basis. You can tell us your stories about exploring the watershed on Facebook or give us your feedback about the latest news through Twitter.
To do this — and to help us spread the word — you can like our updated Chesapeake Bay Journal Facebook page and follow us on
Twitter @ChesBayJournal and @ChesBayJourneys.
In addition, we’ve revitalized the blog on our webpage to provide more current information between issues.
Between Facebook, Twitter and our blog, people could keep up with the stir over bull sharks turning up on the Potomac, new research about farmed fish being fed a vegetarian diet or other Bay issues in the news, as well as being alerted to a couple of articles we posted on our own site during the summer.
Ozzie’s close call
Ozzie, the little osprey chick that captured the hearts of those who follow the Chesapeake Conservancy’s ospreycam (www.chesapeakeconservancy.org/Osprey-Cam) has beat the odds and fledged, but not without drama.
The survival rate goes down for each successive chick born in an osprey nest and for awhile it appeared that Ozzie, the third to hatch, was not getting enough food. The Facebook blog for the cam even warned viewers to be prepared for the cruelties of nature.
But the spunky little chick quickly learned to muscle its way into the front of the chow line. Soon it was time to follow its siblings’ lead and fledge. Then, on the evening of July 28, Ozzie’s legs became entangled in a snarl of monofilament fishing line that was brought to the nest. Increasing darkness, high tides and winds conspired against an immediate rescue (The nest is about 14 feet above the water off Kent Island).
That evening and early the next morning, cam followers fretted and prayed that the line would not cut off circulation in Ozzie’s legs. Worse yet was the fear that the osprey would panic, try to fly out of the nest with the line still attached and meet with mishap.
Fortunately, the homeowner near the nest (affectionately known as Crazy Osprey Man) with help from the Conservancy, was able to free Ozzie that day. The Conservancy’s website and blog features a video clip and photos of the rescue.
The danger that cast-off fishing lines pose to ospreys has been mentioned several times in the Bay Journal, in the Bay Naturalist column, and most recently in June’s Chesapeake Challenge.
As heart-stopping as it is to think what could have happened to Ozzie, it is even more heart-breaking to think of how many times this event might be taking place in nests without the benefit of the osprey cam’s 24/7 surveillance.
Be careful when discarding monofilament lines, or, if you see some lying about, discard it yourself.
A chick’s life may be depending on it. Ask Ozzie.