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Osprey Couple Tom and Audrey Are Back In Town

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) -- As a couple, Tom and Audrey let it all hang out on camera. And thanks to a web site, anyone can watch.

Alex DeMetrick reports, Tom and Audrey are worth a look.

Tom and Audrey return to the Chesapeake each spring after wintering apart in South America.

"In completely different countries and come back here around St. Patrick's day and meet back up. These bird are amazing," said Joel Dunn Chesapeake Conservancy.

The two ospreys are also hits on the Chesapeake Conservancy's web site. Last year, half a million people watched as the birds went from a couple to a family. A camera provides around the clock streaming video, from a man-made platform off Kent Island.

The nest building is up to osprey--naming them Tom and Audrey and showcasing their lives is the work of "The Crazy Osprey Family," who first built the osprey pole in 1995 and started hosting a webcam for family and friends in 2002.

People around the world keep up to date with Tom and Audrey through "The Crazy Osprey Family" blog. 

"The whole goal of the project is to share the magic and the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay," Dunn said.

DDT spraying crashed the osprey population in the Chesapeake in the 1950s and '60s. Banning the insecticide brought their numbers back. Ospreys are now thriving.

The challenge facing ospreys today is finding enough open space around the bay to build nests and raise their young.

"Land conservation is an essential component for the survival of this species, but the programs that have been used to protect these lands are under threat," said Dunn.

In Maryland, Program Open Space has purchased land with tax dollars to save habitat, but the program's future is cloudy.

Budget cuts are in the air. And while it's a lot to place on an osprey's wings, the Chesapeake Conservancy is hoping fans of Tom and Audrey will help make a difference in Annapolis.

If you'd like to tune into Tom and Audrey CLICK HERE TO WATCH.

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