Bella & Beau 2018: Both Chicks Have Fledged

(Osprey nest location:  Cambridge, Maryland, USA)

July 29, 2018

Two days after Bella & Beau’s last post, OspreyTeen#1 at ten weeks old caught a breeze during wingersizing and finally took its first flight on July 24.  And for the rest of the day, we followed it around, flying from perch to perch, trying to figure out how to land back on the nest platform.  With Mom Bella and OspreyTeen#2 still there, that surely didn’t leave much space to land!

We kept watch on the nest since the day before and the morning of, hoping to see the first flight.  My husband saw OspreyTeen#1 leave the nest just before 9:00 a.m.  As I hurried onto our balcony, I saw it land on a townhome rooftop.  As I tried to get my camera on it, OspreyTeen#1 was losing its footing and took off again.  Here’s my first flight shot of it leaving the roof.

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OspreyTeen#1 back into flight after leaving it’s first flight perch alongside the exhaust pipe.


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OspreyTeen#1 was then chased by a territorial Mockingbird.   A lot of ‘firsts’ already!


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Just imagine what OspreyTeen#1 must be experiencing/feeling now.
I think I see a smile….


After a couple of laps around the nest platform with a few attempted but failed landings on it, the wind caught OspreyTeen#1 and it went up over our roof.

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OspreyTeen#1 going up over me on my balcony.


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OspreyTeen#1 going up and over and out of sight.


Mom Bella circled our roof for a while, then perched up on the Cambridge water tower, giving the notion OspreyTeen#1 was perched on our rooftop or very nearby.  Dad Bella was close by as well, helping to keep an eye on the family.

Both Osprey parents keeping tabs on the OspreyTeens.
Bella on Cambridge water tower.                      Beau on the DNR barge piling across from the nest.


Taking that first flight was awesome, but now returning back to the nest platform is another feat to be mastered.

It wasn’t until almost Noon before we saw OspreyTeen#1 making laps around the nest platform, trying to land again; but it was crowded with Mom Bella and OspreyTeen#2.

OspreyTeen#1 gave up quickly and flew over and landed awkwardly on top of the crane.

OspreyTeen#1 landing on top of the MD DNR crane around noon.


Mom Bella swooped over and landed alongside OspreyTeen#1.


A conversation occurred, and then Mom Bella took flight.


OspreyTeen#1 practiced flapping in the wind but still refused to let go of its grip on the crane.


It was now 1:55 pm and OspreyTeen#2 had now been on that crane for two hours.  For some reason, Dad Beau decided it had been long enough.  He left his perch, circled and flew up to the top of the crane, then bumped OspreyTeen#1, forcing it into flight.

Dad Bella approaching the top of the crane to bump OspreyTeen#1 off and into flight.


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Dad Beau’s bump put OspreyTeen#1 back into flight again, and it tried to go to the nest platform.
Unfortunately, it got carried away again in the strong breezes, going out of sight.  Dad Beau followed.


Winds were picking up as a t-storm was headed towards our area.  I was now beginning to worry if OspreyTeen#1 was going to get back safely to the nest platform before it hit.  I think the Osprey parents were worrying about this too.

And I now had lost sight and sound of OspreyTeen#1 and Dad Beau.  Oh boy.

Fortunately, the t-storms just missed us but they could be heard.  Finally, at 4:45 pm Mom Bella started a loud chirping from the nest platform.  OspreyTeen#1 had reappeared and was trying to lap the nest platform; but it was so windy, it ended up landing on the condo building’s rooftop alongside the crane back across the creek.

OspreyTeen#1 landing on the condo building rooftop alongside the MD DNR crane.


Mom Bella got even louder, chattering at OspreyTeen#1, as if to say, “You can do this.”

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Mom Bella has her concerned eye on OspreyTeen#1 on the condo rooftop.


OspreyTeen#1 hears Mom Bella and took flight again at 4:56 p.m. but flew directly to the crane top next to the roof and lands.


Mom Bella was not happy and continued the loud chattering.  Dad Beau appeared and landed alongside OspreyTeen#1 on the crane.


After three minutes of discussion and support, OspreyTeen#1 took to the wind!

OspreyTeen#1 coerced by Dad Beau to take flight and go to the nest platform.


OspreyTeen#1 lapped the nest platform, and then attempted another landing.  Yes, back on the nest platform at 4:59 p.m!  Whew, that was eight long hours!

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After eight long hours, OspreyTeen#1 finally returned to the nest platform as Mom Bella & OspreyTeen#2 cheer it on.


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After eight long hours, OspreyTeen#1 finally returned to the nest platform as Mom Bella & OspreyTeen#2 cheer it on.


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OspreyTeen#1 trying to get a grip on the wood platform to stay put.


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Whew, OspreyTeen #1 (left) finally back home!  Both hungry and exhausted I’m sure!


What was OspreyTeen#2 doing during all this drama?  Watching and learning, of course!

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OspreyTeen#2 watching the action of OspreyTeen#1 in flight.


OspreyTeen#2 watching and learning.


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OspreyTeen#2 watching and learning.


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OspreyTeen#2 thinking, “This isn’t fair.  I want to fly too!”


With all that extra space on the nest platform, OspreyTeen#2 picked up on wingersizing!

OspreyTeen#2 practicing lots of wing flapping!


For the next two days, OspreyTeen#1 came and went from the nest platform, practicing flight control and landings, and doing a fabulous job.  Quite frankly, it looked as if OspreyTeen#1 was having a grand ole time.

OspreyTeen#1 in flight.


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OspreyTeen#1 in flight.


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OspreyTeen#1 in flight.


Surprise!  Just three days after OspreyTeen#1 took flight, OspreyTeen#2 took its first flight on July 27 at 4:10 p.m.  I don’t think it was quite prepared, it was wingersizing with OspreyTeen#1 on the nest and the wind caught it, forcing it off the platform.  OspreyTeen#2 had no choice but to flap and fly!

OspreyTeen#2 gets caught in the wind and takes its first flight.


As with #1, OspreyTeen#2 did laps around the nest platform.


OspreyTeen#2 lapping around the nest platform during its first flight, even tried to land on the sailboat canvas but failed.


While trying to keep flight control, the wind carried OspreyTeen#2 off!  Bella was on a sailboat mast and chased after OspreyTeen#2.  Even OspreyTeen#1 was excited and took flight from the nest platform but returned quickly, watching the action of Mom Bella and OspreyTeen#2.

It was not until just after 7:00 pm (three hours later) that OspreyTeen#2 reappeared, coming in for a landing on top of the crane.  Dad Beau came in right behind and landed on the crane as well.

OspreyTeen#2 reappears and lands on the crane.            Dad Beau also lands on the crane.


Dad Beau moves up higher on the crane and sits alongside OspreyTeen#2.

Dad Beau and OspreyTeen#2 sat there for over an hour.  It’s now after 8 pm, with darkness approaching.  Mom Bella had been out flying and was returning with a stick (yes, she still tries to add to the nest!).  She changed her plans on landing on the nest platform and flew up to the crane top to join Beau and OspreyTeen#2.

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Mom Bella arriving as well for additional support, with a stick (that she dropped).


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Bella & Beau trying to give support to OspreyTeen#2 to encourage its flight back to the nest platform.


After a few minutes Beau left and flew out of sight.  Bella left several  minutes later and returned to the nest platform to rejoin OspreyTeen#1.

Mom Bella sits with OspreyTeen#2 a little longer and then leaves it.


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Dad Beau returns again to the crane and sits alongside OspreyTeen#2, who tries to do a little flapping.


As darkness settles in, Dad Beau left the crane again.  OspreyTeen#2 remained perched on the crane.

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OspreyTeen#2 all alone on the crane.


I checked up until 11 pm, and OspreyTeen#2 was still alone on the crane.  I’m sure Dad Beau was close by.  Mom Bella and OspreyTeen#1 were on the nest platform.  I went to bed with an uneasy feeling.

At sunrise, I got up and the first thing I did was check the nest platform.  Both chicks were there!  Yay!

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OspreyTeens back home after both had fledged.


Since then, both OspreyTeens are coming and going from the nest platform often.  🙂

Not to be outdone by the first OspreyTeen taking flight, the second one leaves too!


The OspreyTeens will continue to return to the nest platform where they will be fed for a few more weeks by the parents while they master flight control and explore the vast new world they’ve now learned exists.  The parents will include taking the OspreyTeens out to master the hunt to fish so they can begin to hunt and feed themselves.


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A happy-looking OspreyTeen!


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Doing a fly-by!

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While watching both chicks fledge, it has been quite amazing to witness the care, teaching, and support the parents were giving them.  So sorry, it was a long post, I wanted to convey some of this with you.

Until the next Bella & Beau post, happy flying OspreyTeens!


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



53 thoughts on “Bella & Beau 2018: Both Chicks Have Fledged

  1. Awesome, awesome. I’m sure there will be more details of this amazing saga. I knew that we were up to some extended stories since you hardly commented on other bloggers posts. Keep on. You taught me a lot about these beautiful creatures.

    • Thank you, Alix! We have probably another 6-8 weeks before the last chick will have left for migration. 😊 Wow, I didn’t know how much content the post contained as I kept going on with it, and there was so much more! I hope it wasn’t overkill, lol. Kept me from doing any blog reading, glad to hear you missed me. 😉 Hey, if you learned something from Bella & Beau, then my posts were all worth it!

  2. Oh my gosh, Donna! This is another amazing page-turner of a post, and the photos are terrific. I read this with special interest as I believe one of our chicks has fledged. I’m not sure, but the other evening I spotted a young osprey on our neighbor’s yard, and then it flew up into a tree. I assumed it was from ‘our’ nest, but maybe not. And yesterday I was photographing the nest and one of the ospreys was wingersizing to such a degree that I thought I was about to witness his fledging, as he would get up into the air. I couldn’t outwait him, so didn’t witness a fledging, but until reading your blog post I hadn’t thought about how challenging it would be to return to the nest, especially if it is crowded. Thank you so much for sharing. You really should make this entire series on the ospreys into a picture book.

    • Thank you, Susan! Never a dull moment in the life of an Osprey, that’s for sure! 😉 Glad to hear you have possible fledglings too, I’m reading Osprey fledglings are occurring all over the Chesapeake Bay. There was so much more I witnessed that I didn’t post about (or the post alone would have been book length lol), but to mention to you, our first fledgling was also on the grass for a while before swooping up to land on the nest. It’s done this several times already, a maneuver they need to master to get onto a perch in windy conditions. Yours could have been practicing that maneuver as well…..or just got tired and ended up on the grass for a spell to rest before taking off. Either way, yay! 🙂

    • Thank you Hien! With them being open to us 24/7, there is so much to see during daylight hours with Osprey, it is easily entertaining. It’s liked getting hooked on a wildlife cam! But seriously, I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the endearment and care they give on a daily basis. Just wonderful!

    • Thank you Mike! It’s been fun with the challenge of trying to follow their life and portraying it through photos. I’m not a writer, though, so I’ve fretted with that part, lol. 😉

  3. It’s been so wonderful to follow the series of “Beau & Bella” from day one! Now, the product of this young couple of Ospreys, the two beautiful teens are already flying! And soon will progress to learning how to get their own meals. The saga continues! Thank you Donna! 🙂

    • Thank you HJ! I was expecting the first one’s fledging, the second teen was a surprise yet all day I kept watching and thinking it was its time now. The rest should be easy peasy! 🙂 I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the series, it’s been fun. 🙂

    • Thank you Jerry! It was fun to spend the day, watching the new flights, seeing how it all happens. I know they were having a great time, but boy there were times I was a little worried they’d fly into a sailboat mast or lines. Who was I too worry, ha!

  4. How wonderful Donna that both teenagers have fully fledged, you certainly have been quite the scientist tracking their every move. It is quite a rare treat to read such a comprehensive account of a fledgling event. Enjoy the rest of your week 😊

    • Thank you Ashley, its been quite an experience to see the daily stuff, and fun with the challenge to capture to share it best I could. Bella & Beau certainly proved they could take on all the challenges, yay! Have a great week also! 🙂

  5. Again, I am breathless, Donna. Thank you for keeping track of the goings-on on that platform. I will keep my fingers crossed, as, I am sure, will you and your husband!

  6. Fascinating documentary with splendid pictures. I could feel the suspense of the parents and the exhilaration of the young Ospreys feeling the air. Wonderful and amazing!

  7. I’ve enjoyed this entire series to the max. Your wonderful images made it a very special treat! Don’t know if you’d be interested, but I’m thinking you might just enjoy a really sweet little (young adult) book about Osprey returning to Scotland: ‘Wild wings’ by Gill Lewis. I stumbled across it at our library and found it to be heart warming. I agree with a previous commenter that you ought to think about getting this series into some sort of book form.

    • Thank you Gunta, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the B&B series. Thank you too for sharing the book! I’ve read a couple story books about Osprey but not that one! I just searched it on Amazon and added it to my shopping cart for the next shipment. Maybe it’ll inspire me to do a children’s or young adult book, how cool that would be! Although I’m not so sure I am a writer, lol. 😉

  8. Well done! Great photos and commentary. All I could think was that the first flight and a few of the ensuing ones, must be exhausting! I found it quite interesting to see the support given by both parents and how each fledgling made it back to the home plate. I saw a fledgling take off from a tower and circle back to the perch while another, perhaps one of the parents, carried a stick there. Makes me curious what that might be about. Fun to see them grow, will be sad to see them go. Thank you so much for keeping us posted.

    • Thank you Jane! It was very endearing to see the parents support the chicks, I loved it! It was worth staying home all day for several days just to witness this myself. Re seeing the parent with a stick, I imagine it’s the same thing that Bella did in this post, was headed to the nest (Osprey usually keep adding to the nest throughout the season) and found the chick perched and went to it to support it, give it a little chat. 🙂 Love that next to last sentence saying, I’m going to have to use that in one of my upcoming posts, courtesy of Jane!

  9. Phew! They made it. Thank you so much for sharing the wonderful story of Bella, Beau and their gorgeous family. It’s been a gripping read, very exciting!

    • Thank you Chris! I had a few moments of worry, especially with the second chick spending the night on the crane. Got to give the Osprey credit, they have shown how amazing they can be. And boy, for me they are much better to watch than boring TV! 😉

  10. Donna I have enjoyed your tale of the Osprey family. Your dialog along with the photos has been a absolutely excellent story, so well done 🙂

  11. I had to read this first! I had been thinking of these two teens and hoping they would fledge while I was away. What an adventure they both had on their first flights!😘 Landing back in the nest is more difficult than taking off. And I understand exactly how you felt waiting for them to return to the nest. 😎 Beautiful captures and storytelling, Donna!

  12. It was an absolute joy to read about their first flights and to see these beautiful photos! It was a relief to see OspreyTeen#2 back on the nest after a late night out and how wonderful that you have been able to watch this amazing scene this summer.

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