Bella & Beau 2018: Are They Ready To Be Parents?

(Osprey nest location:  Cambridge, Maryland, USA)

May 14, 2018

Bella & Beau have been stepping up the pace on strengthening the nest in preparation of hatchings.

Bella delivering a stick at sunset.


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Bella working on the nesting cup materials surrounding the eggs.


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Unfortunately, many more sticks are gathering on the dock below the nest, being knocked off the nest by accident.


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Bella & Beau’s nest size on May 14, 2018.


The nest is still in need of major strengthening.  At the writing of this post, I didn’t see many deliveries of sticks today.  It seems, though, there’s been an increase for fish requests by Bella.  She’s always asking.  Young Beau is trying to do that job too.

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Bella snatched the headless fish from Beau who had just arrived with it, she must have been very hungry.  Beau immediately went to egg-duty.


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Bella, in the meantime, takes off with her meal.


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Yes, Bella was hungry, she begins eating while heading to a perch.



This past week I began noticing that while Beau was perched on the nearby sailboat masts, he began intently watching the water below him.  Since then, Beau has tried his skill at fishing here in the creek also.

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Beau’s thinking, “Is that a fish I see?”


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Beau dives and comes back up with empty talons… luck that time.


Beau dives again…..and again has no luck.


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Beau is diving for the strike.  (terrible photo!)


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Beau comes up after submersion.


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Beau lifts and pulls himself up and out of the water.  Did he succeed this time?


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Beau scores a fish!  He then took off with it to a perch to eat it.  I never knew if he came back to share it with Bella.


The creek obviously isn’t the only place Beau is fishing, thank goodness, his scores are pretty small.  I’m still seeing him coming from the river with fish.

Beau arrives with a headless fish, Bella grabs it, and begins eating while taking flight.


One more series of Beau bringing a fish to Bella.  I will say, Bella isn’t very nice when she snatches the fish from Beau.  Poor Beau, he’s trying.

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Beau dropping in with another headless fish for Bella.


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Bella snatches the fish from Beau.


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Bella proceeds to leave and take flight to eat her meal elsewhere, leaving Beau to incubate the egg(s).


A funny series here, Beau had come back empty-handed on fishing the creek and flew up to the nest.  He was saturated with water.

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Beau returns to perch and dry off, after several attempts fishing in the creek.  Bella throws several looks at Beau and I could hear her chirping a little under her breath.


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Suddenly, Beau takes flight, I figured begrudgingly to go fish some more or go get a stick.


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Wrong!  Beau flew over and landed on a sailboat mast where he continued to air-dry himself.  He ignored Bella’s louder chirping.  Bella back at the nest didn’t seem to pleased.


And now we are entering the period of time for hatchings.  The female Osprey usually lays a clutch of 2 to 4 eggs, about 3 days apart.  The eggs will hatch in the same sequence as they were laid, in about 4 to 5 weeks time.

I calculated Bella’s first egg was laid on April 17.  That would put hatching of her first egg to be around May 15-22.

I will be watching the nest for any changes in behavior by Bella & Beau to clue me an egg did indeed hatch.  Hopefully, I will be able to photograph behavior changes and post in several days with updates on Bella & Beau.

Here’s a few final photos of some profile favorites and flight shots I’ve not yet shared I think you will enjoy.

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Beautiful Osprey wings!


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Beau in black & white.


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I thought this was an unusual profile.  It was a very chilly day.  When Beau returned to the nest, he proceeded to sit on the nest as well.  Was he trying to help keep the eggs warm?


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Beau doing a fly-by on me.


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A shot at sunset.


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Beau warning a passing Osprey while Bella watches.


Oh, to let you know Canada Goose “Gus” is still around.  He’s not sure what to do.  One day he can swim all around the nest, another day Bella or Beau are swooping down at him.  Neither Osprey has tried to really attack Gus, I have not seen any talons stretched out.  I think they are just trying to scare him away.  Not sure if he’s going to listen.  He thinks he belongs in the creek too.

You should see a new post in several days with updates on Bella & Beau.  Let’s hope they are ready to be parents!


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



46 thoughts on “Bella & Beau 2018: Are They Ready To Be Parents?

  1. Poor beau 😓 he’s worked to the bone! Bella is a tough wife!!! I can only imagine how ragged he will be once babies arrive. Do you follow Tiny’s blog? Her pair seem much more harmonious. Fabulous pics!!! Kepp em coming. I can’t wait for the next installment!

    • I think Beau is having a rough time. I really think this is a first year for the pair and they are learning as they go along. 🙂

      Yes, I follow Tiny’s Sandy & Stanley blog, love it! They’ve got it all together, huh?!! They are an established pair for at least a couple years. Hopefully, Bella & Beau will have many more years together. Thanks Kelly!

  2. Such great captures Donna, have certainly documented well the nesting process. Love your flight shots. and yes it seems quite feasible that Beau is assisting in the warming process of incubation, as the birds have an awareness of the right temperature. Enjoy your week Donna😊

    • Thank you Ashley! Now how instinctive is that to help the mate incubate! It was quite chilly, I did worry about the temperatures. And then to see Beau scoot in and lay low. I thought, “Good Dad”! Have a great week too, Ashley! 🙂

  3. Absolutely fantastic photography, thanks so much for sharing this thrilling saga! I can’t stand the anticipation of hatching. That’s probably contributing to Bella’s behavior. Maybe a little post-partum depression…before all-hands-on-deck.

    • Thanks Lisa, I will admit I am sitting on pins and needles, hoping Bella & Beau will be successful with hatching(s). I’m home today so I have been watching the nest as I piddle around the house, but nothing just yet. Yes, all-hands-on-deck is coming up!!

  4. What a great step by step narration Donna! Your storyboard is very precise and in detail. I wish the best for Beau & Bella. I’m sure that your next post will bring great news. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    • Thanks, HJ, Beau & Bella deserve all the entertaining credit! 🙂 Things still quiet today on the nest, but I do hope I get to post happy news on their next post. Fingers crossed!

  5. I love the last shot in particular and the one where they are both on the nest, but all give us a look at a world I don’t often get to experience and are so informative. You have a great viewpoint from which to capture photos and I am happy that you can share them with us.

    • Thank you Jane! With the Osprey series, I cringe sometimes at posting a terrible photo, but I think it’s more important to show the action to give everyone still a chance to see it. I am very happy you and others are enjoying the entertainment that is happening right before me. 🙂

    • Thanks Tom! 🙂 That nest is worrying me too. Would you believe for the last three nights we have had strong t-storms, each hitting us with 60 mph gusts, one even had hail! As soon as I woke up these last mornings, I’d look out to the nest to see if it was still there. Tonight we’re in for more t-storms, I am scared again. 😦 I know tragedy does happen with nature. Just not with this nest please! 🙂

    • Thanks Susan! Now I’m on pins and needles, watching for behavior changes with Bella. She was up and down a lot yesterday and looking. Is she feeling an egg move or a chick did hatch? I can’t tell yet!!!! This morning Bella is real low in the nest cup. Hmmmmm…… Wish these darn t-storms would subside. The strongs winds and hail isn’t good.

  6. This ringside seat to the osprey nest is incredible. I can just imagine all the happy dances. Can’t wait to see the hatchlings, but hope that nest holds out! There’s a lot to be said for experience, eh? 🙂

    • Thanks Gunta! I feel like a mother hen, lol. 🙂 We have had three nights of strong t-storms and each morning I quickly look at rising to see if there still is a nest and an Osprey on it. This morning still good. Yes, experience is a must, even with nature.

  7. The series, and tale is fantastic! I’m so sad to see that they aren’t good at nest building. They must be really young, and didn’t learn this lesson very well from their parents. I hope the chicks make it!

    • Thank you, Deborah! I keep telling Beau to pick up the sticks on the dock, lol. Seriously, I am a little worried, the past 3 nights of t-storms with hail is not helping the nest or their experiences. And we have more days of that coming. Bella’s deep down inside the nesting cup. Fingers crossed for successful hatchings!

  8. Great update on these two Donna and glad to hear Gus is still around. Maybe they warn him off when they’re having a bad day. The nest is looking a bit fragile but they’ve done their best and will learn, so hope all goes well for the family.

    • Thank you, Sue! That Gus, lol, he was honking so loud yesterday morning at sunrise, he woke us up! Sometimes I think Beau has a little fun swooping down at Gus just to make him holler. 🙂 That poor nest, I’m worried, but you are right, they’ve done their best and will learn to prepare them for next year! As for this year, fingers crossed (and little prayers being said)!

  9. I think you should turn this into a book, Donna. Your descriptions and photos make for a very engaging read. Thank you for keeping an eye on Beau and Bella, and for sharing their lives.

    • Thank you, Tanja! I have another Osprey family season I documented on my blog years ago and then made a post that offered the storyline complete. I am going to mention it in one of my next posts, but if you’d like to see it now, look under Photo Galleries tab under my blog header for “Osprey Oliver & Olivia’s 2011 Photo Rewind”. Make sure you’re comfy and have a nice hot cup of coffee or tea, it’s a long one. I’ve had numerous people tell me to make a children’s book of it. Finally retired now with time on my hands, maybe I’ll consider it and Bella & Beau too if they have a successful season. 🙂

      • Thank you for the suggestion, Donna. I will be out of computer range for an entire week starting soon, but look forward to reading the story and enjoying a mug of tea once I return. 🙂
        Best wishes,

  10. I love the story of Bella and Beau and hope their nest is good enough for the hatchlings. Great fishing pictures and pictures of their daily life, Donna! Osprey’s are so close to my heart 🙂

    • Thanks Helen, we’ve had drenching rain for a few days and it’s been disheartening during the hatching time period, I just did a post on it. Hopefully, Bella will prevail with beautiful chicks. 🙂

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