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Monday, November 14, 2016

SU Professor's New Book Looks Inside an Osprey Nest

Inside an Osprey's NestSALISBURY, MD---An Eastern Shore osprey pair — who became adoptive parents as followers of the Chesapeake Conservancy’s popular Osprey Nest Cam watched — is featured in a new book by Dr. Teena Ruark Gorrow, a Salisbury University teacher education professor. 

Gorrow has once again teamed up with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist Craig A. Koppie for the second in their series of raptor stories — Inside an Osprey’s Nest: A Photographic Journey through Nesting Season. Their first collaboration, Inside a Bald Eagle’s Nest, is a 2014 Green Earth Book Award winner.

For this new title just released by Schiffer Publishing, Gorrow and Koppie worked with the conservancy and nest site homeowners (known as “the Crazy Osprey Family”). They captured hundreds of photos — and used images from the camera at the nest — to tell the story of Tom and Audrey, newly mated ospreys that prepare a nest together but their eggs do not hatch. Surprisingly, the birds become foster parents when their unviable eggs are swapped by biologists with hatchlings from an ill-fated nest.   

“Working with the Chesapeake Conservancy and the Crazy Osprey Family to document Tom and Audrey’s 2015 nesting season was a delightful experience,” Gorrow said. “I felt inspired by the pair’s commitment to raising a family, and cheered as the tiny raptors eventually grew as large as their parents before taking first flight. Seeing the empty nest at the end of the season was bittersweet, but saying goodbye to the young meant that they had successfully graduated into the wild.”

Besides raising the two foster chicks, the dedicated osprey parents cared for a fledgling that took up residence at the nest. Gorrow and Koppie meticulously documented the events at this busy osprey homestead. 

“Like the bald eagle, osprey were once nearly eradicated due to the chemical DDT, but thanks to the hard work and dedication of conservationists, they have made a comeback,” said Joel Dunn, Chesapeake Conservancy president and CEO.

Gorrow and Koppie hope their books promote environmental stewardship and inspire in others an appreciation for wildlife. Resources in this book include information about the osprey’s plight, tips for helping injured birds and a glossary of terms. 

“We hope Tom and Audrey’s adventure is enjoyed by raptor enthusiasts, webcam viewers, nature and wildlife lovers, conservationists, teachers, children, photographers and others who are simply interested in reading a good news story,” Gorrow said. 

A native of the Eastern Shore, Gorrow is an educator with more than 30 years of experience in Maryland schools. Koppie, of Annapolis, is a raptor spokesperson with more than three decades of work with the USFWS Chesapeake Bay Field Office.  Their raptor books are available at the SU Bookstore and other local/online booksellers, and directly through the publisher at www.schifferbooks.com. When purchased through the Chesapeake Conservancy’s online store, $10 goes toward supporting conservation initiatives along the Chesapeake Bay.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website at www.salisbury.edu.


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