Osprey Photo Documentary Named Green Earth Book Award Honor Winner

Annapolis, Md. – The Nature Generation recently named Inside an Osprey’s Nest: A Photographic Journey through Nesting Season, a book written by Teena Ruark Gorrow and Craig A. Koppie, as an honor winner for the nonprofit’s 2017 Green Earth Book Award in the Young Adult Nonfiction category. This documentary was published by Schiffer Publishing and features photos from the nest of Tom and Audrey—an osprey couple that lives on a nest platform on Kent Island and also stars in the Chesapeake Conservancy and Crazy Osprey Family’s popular Osprey Cam—during the spring and summer nesting season in 2015.

Koppie, a raptor biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Gorrow, a professor of teacher education at Salisbury University, utilized a small blind, photographing the daily lives of the osprey from mid summer until they left the region on their fall migration in September.

They also observed the ospreys’ daily activities through the Chesapeake Conservancy and Crazy Osprey Family nest cam. The two then collaborated to document the story of the 2015 season, including a successful adoption of two chicks, which were named Maine and Montana by webcam fans.

“We extend our sincere appreciation to The Nature Generation for their recognition of Inside an Osprey’s Nest,” Gorrow said. “To be included in The Nature Generation’s prestigious 2017 list of books that best convey a message of environmental stewardship to youth is a tremendous honor.”

This is the second book by the authors, the first being a similar photo documentary called Inside a Bald Eagle’s Nest, which won the Green Earth Book Award in 2014.

Gorrow added that there was collective effort in completing this book project.

“The Crazy Osprey Family, private property owners where the osprey nest is located, provided video files of the birds’ activities, documented the history of the nest with photos in a featured appendix, and shared their Osprey Camera blog,” Gorrow said. “The Chesapeake Conservancy connected us to The Crazy Osprey Family, authored special features including the book’s foreword and an appendix, and endorsed the book. And, the team at Schiffer Publishing turned our vision of Audrey and Tom’s story into a book that families can cherish.”

“We are thrilled for Craig and Teena. Their exceptional photography and storytelling in Inside an Osprey’s Nest deserves the praise it has duly received from The Nature Generation,” Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO, Joel Dunn said. “With thanks to the Crazy Osprey Family, this osprey cam is a fantastic tool for connecting people to wildlife in the Chesapeake and showing the importance of conserving vital habitats that sustain wildlife and plants, as well as people in the region. Craig and Teena are dedicated conservationists whose work helps to ensure that future generations will know these majestic birds, many of which can be seen while visiting the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.”

Found on every continent except Antarctica, osprey (Pandion haliaetus) migrate thousands of miles each year to and from Central and South America, mate for life, and return to the same spot year after year, despite spending the winter apart from each other.

After an almost 90% decline in population from 1950-1970, osprey populations have rebounded due in large part to conservation efforts and the banning of DDT. Osprey can be a valuable indicator species for monitoring the long-term health of the Chesapeake Bay because their diet consists almost entirely of fish and they are sensitive to many environmental contaminants.

The Chesapeake Conservancy is selling the book through the “store” tab on the organization’s website, www.chesapeakeconservancy.org. Ten dollars from every purchase on the Conservancy’s website will go toward the Conservancy’s conservation programs.