Down East 2013 ©
Welcome to Osprey Abbey, the international hit reality show broadcast live from Hog Island, home of the Audubon Camp in Maine and Todd Wildlife Sanctuary. We’re midway through the second season, and osprey couple Rachel and Steve have already weathered infidelity, childbirth, and loss. Catch up on the drama with our episode recaps, then tune in at explore.org .
Episode 1: You Can Go Home Again
Five months after fleeing to South America to recover from empty nest syndrome, Rachel and Steve return to their home on Hog Island in Muscongus Bay, scene of last season’s bittersweet fledging of their three chicks.
Episode 2: Some Enchanted Evening
Rachel tidies the nest. Later, she and Steve share a dinner of fresh, local and sustainably caught seafood. Romance ensues.
Episode 3: Who’s That Lady?
A pretty female with a dark complexion and spiky hairdo has been hanging around the nest. Soon she is spotted in the company of a male suitor — and he looks a lot like Steve. Where is Rachel?
Episode 4: The Siren’s Song
Steve surrenders to the charms of Trudy, the intruder. In a shocking public display of affection (not to mention insensitivity toward Rachel), the pair mates. The coupling lasts all of thirty seconds.
Episode 5: Rachel Puts Her Talons Down
Rachel chases Trudy from the love nest. Caught in flagrante delicto, Steve begins rearranging the furniture (twigs) as if nothing ever happened. Rachel glares.
Episode 6: In the Family Way
Rachel opts for a natural home birth, laying an egg by the light of a full moon. Over the next two days, she delivers two more eggs. Steve’s infidelity seems a distant memory.
Episode 7: It’s a . . . To Be Determined!
To the music of loons calling mournfully in the night, a chick struggles to escape its egg. Fifteen hours later, it emerges fluffy, floppy, and looking like a tiny dinosaur. Its sex will not be known for several weeks.
Episode 8: All in the Family
While Rachel serves sushi to her firstborn, its sibling works its way out of the shell. The babes slumber, wrapped sweetly around the remaining egg.
Episode 9: Designing Steve
Steve proves to be a good provider, regularly delivering fresh fish to mother and babies, but when he brings home a large roll of birch bark, Rachel is displeased. Will his attempts at interior design threaten the family harmony?
Episode 10: Life Goes On
The unhatched third egg begins to fall apart. Rachel and Steve waste no time mourning and instead focus their attention on their now-strapping youngsters.
To be continued . . . — V.M.W.