Bella & Beau 2018: Osprey Nest Comparisons and Those Teenagers

(Osprey nest location:  Cambridge, Maryland, USA)

July 7, 2018

That nest….or lack thereof!  Bella & Beau have proven they are a young, inexperienced couple with their nest building capabilities.   Here’s a photo of the Bella & Beau’s nest platform today alongside their nest four weeks ago.  Today there is not much at all inside, except almost full-grown chicks with the antics of teenagers.

June 6, 2018                                     July 7, 2018
Look at how the chicks have grown in four weeks too!


Bella still occasionally brings grass or sticks, but it breaks up quickly with the family tramping on it, the chicks playing with it, as well as the weather’s elements.  It is comforting to witness the constant care Bella gives on keeping the chicks within the nest platform rails surrounding them, scooting them away from any edge.

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Bella brought this grass to the nest yesterday.  It is already ‘gone’!


Our Chesapeake Bay region hosts approximately one-quarter of all Ospreys in the United States.  The Osprey’s goal is to have their nest over water so that they can see 360 degrees for predators.  One of the most favorite places to have a nest is on one of the many large channel markers throughout the Bay.

These are photos of just a few of some of the other Osprey nests on our local Choptank River taken about two weeks ago.

Osprey nests on Choptank River channel markers.


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Osprey nest on Choptank River channel marker.


The Osprey population on the Chesapeake Bay is so large, there is competition for those prime spots.  You know how quickly real estate waterfront property goes!

Osprey are creative and will find a place to nest.


Osprey nests in dead trees at the river’s edge.


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Even the river’s overhead powerlines were attempted for a nest.  🙁


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Osprey nest on a hunter’s winter blind.


Just as Bella & Beau’s, thankfully many human platforms have and are still being created and placed over water throughout the Bay area to help Osprey with additional safer locations to nest.

Osprey nests on manmade platforms.


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Osprey nest on manmade platform, with three chicks.


Although we see what Bella & Beau are dealing with for a nest, these next photos will show much more challenging nests to have a family within.  Building on these type of channel markers are quite dangerous on being successful.  Yet these have chicks on them too.


Same Osprey nest on challenging channel marker at different angles.


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Osprey nest on another challenging channel marker.


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Osprey nest on another challenging channel marker.


Osprey nest on challenging channel marker.  This Osprey pair knows what they are doing!


This next nest will make a lot of boaters cringe.

Osprey nest on a boat.  YIKES!

I’ve seen nests created in the most surreal places and still succeed with a family.  So our hope is Bella & Beau can keep their teenagers in check with rules and safety.

The teenage chicks continue to fill out with beautiful feathers and long wings.  The oldest is now seven weeks, while the youngest is 6 to 6½ weeks.

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Bella  watching over her teenagers.


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My, how they have grown!

There is a darkening on the chest occurring on both chicks, possibly indicating we have two females.


As with the rest of the United States, the heat and humidity here the past week was terrible, with heat indexes in the low 100’s.

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Bella is shading both chicks (one is hiding) while Beau is on lookout for predators.


Bella has been very good at providing shade to her chicks…..

“Mombrella” Bella


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“Mombrella” Bella


Including flapping and dripping on them after a quick dip.

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Bella hanging around the chicks while wet, while she’s eyeing something above.


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“Drip on me, Mom, it feels good!”


Even in all the heat, the teens have kept up with their flapping exercises.

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Feelin’ the breeze!


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Even in a windy rain shower, the teens kept practicing, the oldest one is here.


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Not to be outdone, the youngest practices shortly after the oldest finishes.

The rain shower had to feel good too!


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Teenagers sure know how to take up their space when lounging around.


All in all, things have progessed well with the challenges Bella & Beau and those growing teens have faced and succeeded with to date.

I’ll end another week’s post in the life of Bella & Beau and their family with last night’s sunset.


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Sunset over Bella & Beau on Cambridge Creek – July 6, 2018


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Sunset over Cambridge Creek – July 6, 2018

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



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