Bella & Beau: 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!
When finished, the male Osprey takes a flight as Beau did.
Hey, even on the perch!
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.
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.
He quickly perches and stands guard for a while. Bella seems to be giving him ‘a look’….
Then Bella settles back over her clutch of egg(s).
Another time, both parents checking out the clutch.
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!