...was named in part for the location (Crab Alley Bay) where we trapped her, but also for her very feisty nature.

She was trapped, on April 21st, at a nest on Kent Island in the upper Chesapeake Bay as part of my collaboration with Microwave Telemetry, Inc., manufacturers of all my transmitters, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Together, we have tagged six Ospreys (four last year and two this spring) on Chesapeake Bay.

We were trying to catch the adult male at a nest on Cox Neck. When we arrived we discovered a bit of drama at the nest. The female was sitting on eggs with her mate in attendance, but there was an extra bird present.

We caught the resident female in about 4 minutes and then held her while we waited for the male to get caught. The male was close by and would appear when the invading bird came near the nest, but he did not land on the nest trap. After a rather long time with no action, I declared that it didn't look good for catching a bird at this nest. Less than a minute later (really) a bird just dropped down on the nest and was caught.

This turned out to be a young female looking for love in all the wrong places. It often takes a few years for young birds to work their way into the breeding population.

We were short on time and had a transmitter in hand, so we decided to change our plan and tag the "extra" female. It turned out to be an interesting choice.

21 Apr-12 May 2014

Crabby did not return to the nest where we trapped her. She continued to explore Kent Island, but also made five trips over to Tuckahoe Creek, about 24 miles (38 km) east of Cox Neck. During the three week period, she made 5 trips to Tuckahoe Creek. Jim Uphoff, a fisheries biologist with Maryland's Dept. of Natural Resources, reports that Alewife, Blueback Herring, Hickory Shad, Gizzard Shad, as well as Yellow and White Perch run up Tuckahoe Creek. All of those are favorite Osprey chow.


(The point north of Kent Island in the middle of the Bay is just a bad GPS location.)

19-20 May 2014

Crabby went on a two-day road trip. She left Kent Island around noon on the 19th, flew southeast for about 35 miles to Rhodesdale, MD, just west of Marshhope Creek, and then, abruptly backtracked and headed northeast. Her trip down to Rhodesville was strange. She was never over any water that looked "fishable"

She flew another 40 miles or so, spent some time fishing at a little pond exactly on the Maryland-Delaware border.

On the 20th, she spent 3 hours fishing along Tuckahoe Creek and then headed back to Kent Island, arriving there around 2PM.

21 Apr - 27 May 2014

For the first five weeks we followed her, most of Crabby's movements were east of Kent Island, including her runs over to Tuckahoe Creek.

28 May-12 June 2014

In the past three weeks, Crabby has been concentrating her fishing efforts west of Kent Island in Chesapeake Bay. This begs the question, did some fish just move up the Bay and become available, or did she just start fishing over there by chance. I'll have to check in with our fisheries biologists to get their take on the situation.