Bella & Beau 2018: Love Birds & Soon-to-be Parents

(Osprey nest location:  Cambridge, Maryland, USA)

April 21, 2018

For the past two weeks, Bella and Beau have been haphazardly working on the nest, not much big interest or drive like I’ve seen with an experienced pair that have been together for several years.

However, the one thing they have figured out is how to mate.  Seems like it has been non-stop since the day we arrived.  It’s quick so you really have to kind of be there at the right time before it suddenly and quickly happens to be able to get any photos.  I’ve caught a few series, here’s a couple shots from one burst of 24 images that all occurred in less than a minute.  I said quick!

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When finished, the male Osprey takes a flight as Beau did.

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Hey, even on the perch!

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And now we already have great news!  Bella has been incubating an egg since April 17th.  The first two days of incubation, I wasn’t quite sure.  She was staying low in the nest, sometimes Beau joined her low.  We had clouds, rain, and a lot of strong winds those two days so I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on.

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Then it became clear on the third day.  I saw the ‘changing of the guards’, Beau brought Bella a headless fish, she took it and flew off, while Beau settles over the eggs with his turn.  Bella usually returns rather quickly and takes back over while Beau relaxes.  He always seems happy and anxious that Bella returns.

This next series, Beau is already off the eggs as Bella arrives.

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He quickly perches and stands guard for a while.  Bella seems to be giving him ‘a look’….

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Then Bella settles back over her clutch of egg(s).

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Another time, both parents checking out the clutch.

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The female Osprey usually lays a clutch 2 to 4 eggs, about 3 days apart.  Each egg is about the size of a large chicken egg.  The eggs will hatch in the same sequence as they were laid, in about 4 to 5 weeks time.

That would put hatching of the first egg to be around May 15-22.  And hopefully today/tomorrow, Bella lays another egg.  We shall see!


(For all the posts on Bella & Beau’s 2018 season, you can click HERE.)



36 thoughts on “Bella & Beau 2018: Love Birds & Soon-to-be Parents

  1. Fabulous!! For the first time since I’ve lived here, we have a pair of osprey building a nest by the river. I’m sure it’s not the first time locally, but the first time in a place where I can actually watch them.

    • Thanks Helen, it sure does. I’ve not seen Beau bringing nesting materials, but I can see it’s getting a little more dense and wider so he’s picking up the pace. And Bella keeps moving things around, lol. 🙂

      • I’ve had so many smiles looking at our couple’s nest building projects over the years. Sandy can explain what she needs/wants and when Stanley brings something else she lets him know…and then goes and gets it herself 🙂

  2. I’m so glad that you were able to capture this wonderful series of photos to share with the rest of us who never get to see osprey’s behavior! I’m looking forward to your being able to continue the photo diary of the chicks being raised.

  3. Lucky you having this on your doorstep. Spent a week last summer watching ospreys but distant so no photo’s like these. Keep them coming.

  4. Oh these are utterly amazing! What a joy it must be to watch this pair as they start the new family! We are so very lucky to have you share this. Can’t thank you enough.

  5. A wonderful series of photos Donna. How awesome to be able to see these parents raise their family. I hope all goes well with them and that we get to see the chicks in a few weeks time. 🙂

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