Bella & Beau 2018: Hello World!

(Osprey nest location:  Cambridge, Maryland, USA)

May 31, 2018

In Bella & Beau’s last couple posts, I had noted I was seeing changes in behavior at their nest for the last two weeks.  Were they indications of one or more hatchlings?  Or bad news?

The behavior changes:
1.  Bella & Beau both staring down into their nest with inquisitive looks.
2.  Bella not leaving the nest to eat as normal, instead staying put while doing head movements mimicking gentle feedings within the nest.
3.  Bella actually not leaving the nest much at all, a quick fly around and back to the nest to incubate/brood.
4.  Beau stopped incubating altogether.  He just stared into the nest and was on guard while Bella did some quick flights overhead.
5.  Nest protection became more fierce.

 

I can now officially say and show Bella & Beau have had not one, but two successful hatchings!

 

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Hello World!
Bella & Beau’s two chicks, looking at Mama Bella for another bite.

 

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(Without that ugly white circle!)

 

Unfortunately our weather has been mostly cloudy with more rain this past week, so my photos aren’t the greatest, and cropping doesn’t help.

I am also watching the nest with my binoculars, and I’ve been able to see the two chicks sit up quite steady, looking strong and healthy.  First-born Chick #1 is a little bigger than #2 but hasn’t yet quite gotten into dominating the feedings as the first-born normally starts doing.  So Chick #2 is getting fed quite well also which is awesome.

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Mama Bella feeding Chick #1.

 

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Mama Bella then proceeds to give Chick #2 his bite.

 

The looks that Bella & Beau give while staring at each other and into the nest are priceless.  With the inexperience they both have shown this season, these chicks may be their first brood.

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Bella had just returned from a swim.  Both chicks are side by side, staring at her behind a stick.

 

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Beau taking a curious look as Bella feeds the chicks.

 

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A tired Bella & Beau look like they’re wondering what they got themselves into.

 

And now the work really begins for Bella & Beau.   Bella’s demands are constant.  She wants both nesting materials and fish meals.

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Bella telling Beau she wants something.

 

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Beau took off to get Bella’s demand, but I didn’t get to see him return to find out what it was.

 

Bella, in the meantime, is starting to get some reprieve with longer flights and perching away from the nest as the approximately two-week old chicks are now brooded or shaded intermittently from the sun and rain.

You’re going to be amazed on watching these chicks as they begin their fast growth.  In two more weeks, they will have reached about 70-75% of their adult weight.  They will be fledging in about six weeks.

With such bad weather and the past intruding Osprey pair attack, it is nice to give some good news on Bella & Beau this time.  Hopefully the sun will come out this week at one point for better images of the chicks as well as other updates on the family.

As I end and publish this post, a thunderstorm is descending upon the area.  Protect those babies, Bella!

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

 

 

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