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…..no 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.)

 

 

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