Bella & Beau 2018: No Firm News Yet

(Osprey nest location:  Cambridge, Maryland, USA)

May 20, 2018

Since their last post, Bella & Beau have been trying to keep to their nesting duties while Mother Nature has brought them showers, rain, thunderstorms, hail, and winds with gusts up to 60 mph, with heavy rains the last couple days.

This weather has been disheartening.  Heavy rains for long periods during the hatching time period can be challenging for successful, healthy hatchlings.

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Several days were like this, just wet and yucky.


Poor Bella…..

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Bella enduring the rain.


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Bella enduring the rain.


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Bella spread low and tightly protecting her egg clutch while rain pours.


By calculations, an egg could have hatched.  I have been watching Bella & Beau with 20×80 binoculars and looking for behavioral changes.  Here’s what I noted.

When changing over incubating duties, both parents are now peering down in the nest and staring, before settling back on the nest cup and egg(s).

Many times, I’ve also seen Bella make a sudden movement, then get up, and resettle.  Or she keeps her head down low for a brief moment, head moving gently.

With all this, it does seem like something is going on, but it is too early to confirm if there has been a successful hatching.

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Bella inspecting her nesting cup.


Two to three days before a hatching, an Osprey egg “stars” (first cracks).  Then about 12 hours before hatching, the chick’s beak creates a pip hole and begins the long hours of trying to exit the egg.  A chick may chirp faintly, especially if distressed.


Bella inspecting the nesting cup.


We wonder what Bella is seeing and thinking.


A newly hatched Osprey chick is very weak in movement but can briefly beg, so the female parent will try to feed it very small bits of fish starting the first day.  I’ve been watching for a chick feeding by Bella, but the foul weather has really made it difficult to see what she is doing when she is doing something down low.

To see an Osprey egg hatch, water this 2015 Video from the Audubon’s Osprey cam.  The other two chicks in the video would be approximately 3-4 days and 6-8 days old.  You will enjoy it.

In the meantime, Beau has been busy with his parental chores:

Beau has been bringing Bella food….

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Here Bella is already screaming for the fish as Beau brings it in.


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Bella is quite loud as she demands the fish.


Beau frantically releases the fish and Bella snatches it.


Bella immediately takes flight with her meal.


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Bella flies over to the other side of the creek and….


Up to one of her favorite perches to enjoy her meal, all while in perfect view of her nest.


Beau has been bringing nesting materials….

Beau delivering nesting materials to the nest, yes, even in the rain


Lots of soft nesting cup materials too.  The left nest is dated 5/17/18, the right is 5/19/18.


And Beau has been protecting the nest.  If you are another Osprey, Bald Eagle, Canada Goose, Cormorant, or Great Blue Heron, it would be best if you do not try to fly over or swim in the vicinity of Bella & Beau’s nest.  A possible attack will occur!

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Beau giving a warning in the rain to a passerby.


By late afternoon, the clouds were breaking apart and the sun started shining.  The upcoming week’s forecast promised better weather, with little rain.  It’s been a tough several days for Bella & Beau, but all seemed good when the sun was setting over Bella.

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Sun setting over Cambridge Creek and Bella & Beau’s osprey nest – 5/19/18


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Bella at sunset.


Much of above was already written yesterday, but I wasn’t able to finish last night.  I had a few hours this morning before my day out, so I took a few more photos to share some more interesting action.

Bella is looking and seems to be interested with something.


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Bella and Beau taking a look, probably wondering, now what?


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

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Bella standing while Beau is incubating.


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Bella incubating while Beau is perched.


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Beau incubating.


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Bella is incubating while Beau is perched.


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Bella & Beau


One more thing, I had a request to make a Page Tab at the top of my blog to make it easier to find all the posts on Bella & Beau, and so created a Page Tab “2018 Osprey Bella & Beau” under the photo header.  All posts on Bella & Beau are accumulating here for easier access to a previous post if this helps anyone else.

As for Bella & Beau, fingers crossed for a great week for them.


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



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