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.)



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