Bella & Beau 2018: All That New Flying Works Up An Appetite

(Osprey nest location:  Cambridge, Maryland, USA)

August 5, 2018

Bella & Beau have gotten more reprieve from the past constant 24-7 care of their two OspreyTeens that are now eleven and ten+ weeks old.  No longer does either parent have to stay perched on the nest.

Both OspreyTeens are now constantly flying about the area, mastering maneuvers, practicing landings, and even challenging intruders at a low-level (chasing gulls and swooping a Mallard).

OspreyTeens in flight.


_DSC0044-1 8118

OspreyTeen in flight.


When a rest is needed, the OspreyTeens will land and perch close-by or on the nest platform.  Bella and/or Beau are usually perched nearby to still keep an eye on them.

A lightpost a favorite perch.


OspreyTeens each on a piling.                                    No longer the need for rooftops!


All that new flying works up an appetite!  The OspreyTeens have not yet mastered how to hunt for fish; and boy, are they hungry.  When an OspreyTeen thinks it’s past feeding time, it will perch on the nest platform and beg loudly to whoever will listen….

_DSC0058-1 8218

OspreyTeen begging for food.


Or even go where Mom or Dad are perched and beg to them from there.

_DSC0225-1 73118

Dad Beau (left) ignoring one of the OspreyTeens begging.


_DSC0350-1 8218

OspreyTeen (on the crane top) begging Mom Bella who is on the cell tower.


_DSC0006-1 8318

A hungry OspreyTeen begging one of the parents.


It’s usually not long before Bella or Beau will show up with a fish.  Yes, even Bella is now helping to supply meals.

Bella incoming with fish.


When Bella comes in with a fish and a chick is present (if one isn’t, it comes flying quickly from a perch), the OspreyTeens are still very obedient and passive.  Mom Bella will most times still feed them.

Bella delivers a fish to an OspreyTeen who calmly and patiently waited to be fed.


_DSC0133-1 73018

Mom Bella feeding the OspreyTeens.



Mom Bella delivering a fish and is spotted by the second OspreyTeen who decides to not miss out.


When Beau comes in with a fish and Bella is present, Bella again is in charge of the meal and will feed the calm chick(s).

Beau arriving to an aggressive Bella while the OspreyTeens stay calm.


But if Bella is not there, Beau has to deal with an aggressive, hungry chick at delivery.  In this series, Beau (who was perched on a piling)  catches a fish close to the nest before the delivery.

Beau snagging a fish alongside the nest platform.


Beau always tries to do a quick fish drop and get back in flight and away from the aggressive OspreyTeen(s).


Beau’s thinking twice.  “Where’s Bella when I need her?”


The OspreyTeens learning curve is watching and imitating their parents.  If you recall in past posts, the OspreyTeens are imitating what Mom Bella always did and still does when Beau arrives with a meal.  Another teaching moment is that last series of Beau catching a fish alongside the nest while being watched by the begging OspreyTeen on the nest platform.

After the last eleven weeks of having practically no sibling rivalry, the OspreyTeens are now being…..well, teenagers!  Whoever gets the fish from Dad Beau no longer wants to share.  In fact, there’s been some aggression.


When the left OspreyTeen tries to get a bite, the right OspreyTeen becomes aggressive.  Mom Bella is watching in the background.


Some pushing and shoving ensues between the OspreyTeens.


Mom Bella made some loud noises and the scuffle stopped.

_DSC0219-1 8118

“Okay, truce? I’ll share.”


And just like that, the right OspreyTeen begins to shift the fish around to share with the other OspreyTeen.

OspreyTeen begins to share fish with its sibling.


_DSC0239-1 8118

Both OspreyTeens now sharing the fish.
(Darn it, a cloud took my lighting away!)


Another display that Mom Bella rules the roost!

It won’t be long before the OspreyTeens begin fishing for themselves.  Instinctively, Bella & Beau will slow down fish deliveries to force the OspreyTeens to go catch their own meals.

In addition, the last three days the OspreyTeens have been practicing “water dive and lift-outs” as well as skimming the water with their talons.  Yes, they are almost ready!

_DSC0397-1 8218

A wet OspreyTeen after a practice dive and lift-out of the water.


OspreyTeen skimming the water.


_DSC0052-1 8218

The beautiful OspreyTeens!


My, my, my, how those little babies have grown and progressed into fine-looking Osprey!


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



42 thoughts on “Bella & Beau 2018: All That New Flying Works Up An Appetite

  1. Wonderful photos of Osprey life, especially the young ones as they grow up. There’s a lot that human teenagers can learn from them.

    Of the two young ones, can you tell which one is a female, or male? I am guessing the female would be larger than the male, but they seem to be of equal size.

    • Thank you Hien! They say it is almost impossible to truly tell if a juvenile is a male or female because either could have the speckled necklace while still growing and developing into an adult. Sometimes I’ve looked at them and can clearly see one is larger than the other. Then another time, they look about the same size. So I don’t know if that’s maybe to do with how their feathers are arranged/puffed up some like they do. One chick does have a speckled necklace which is the one I think is the larger of the two. If that chick is larger and speckled, with the other not speckled, the experts say you can possibly guess the larger/speckled is a female. How’s that for a long answer, ha! So with all that being said, I did not name (was going to ask for suggestions in a post) the chicks, just in case. I should have done neutral names! 🙂

  2. Wonderful post and great shots, Donna. I got many smiles watching these teens through your lens 🙂 It’s funny how mom always gets the teens ‘in line’!

    • You would be amazed to see that many of the Osprey on the Chesapeake Bay are within close walking distance for viewing or on many channel markers where boats pass close by frequently. They are quite resilient to all challenges, including humans.

  3. Another series of superb images that detail the lives of the young osprey and their parents! I’m sure that Bella and Beau will be relieved when the youngster finally begin catching their own meals, but I will be sad when the family leaves for the winter.

    • Thank you Jerry! I’ve enjoyed the challenge of trying to get eye light(s) and positions that look nice, but for some reason, they all don’t seem to care if I do, ha! I have not liked cloudy days, I can’t tell a story with no photos if I depended on sunny days only. 🙂

  4. We’ve learned to love these birds by the wonderful blog reporting from you Donna. Your photos are proof of the great parenting of Beau & Bella. I enjoy their growing up very much! Thank you Donna. 🙂

  5. This is priceless! The Osprey Teens are absolutely gorgeous. I confess I’ll have to go backward and see how they got to this point, but I’m looking forward to it!

  6. Incredible photos Donna! I love watching the activity in your photos so I can anticipate what will be happening in ‘my’ osprey platform in the days to come. I was away over the weekend and last night I went down to check on them. The two chicks were in the nest, so I don’t know if either has fledged yet, although I saw and photographed some serious wingersizing on July 29th, and kept hoping that I was about to witness the first fledging. Didn’t happen, however.

    • Thank you Susan! Check them mid-day, when they should be out flying more and perched elsewhere. I’m finding our chicks are spending the evenings and night on the nest still, yet it is staying more empty than occupied during the day, the chicks are out and about all the time now! 🙂

    • Thank you Deborah! These last two weeks they are definitely advancing quickly with their skills. I can’t wait to see one bring his/her own fish to the nest platform. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: