Bella & Beau 2018: Bella Is Still Here

(Osprey nest location:  Cambridge, Maryland, USA)

August 28, 2018

As mentioned in Bella & Beau’s last post on Osprey migration, the female adult Osprey is the first to leave for migration; and it usually occurs during the month of August, with female breeders leaving late in the month.

It was nice to see Bella is still around as of today.  Until she leaves for her tropical winter vacation to South America, she is continuing to provide and protect her OspreyTeens.

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Bella in flight


As in past weeks, it continued to be hot and humid.  The OspreyTeens are out and about much of the day, flying and learning to fish, maybe even perched somewhere in the shade.  Yet they still return to the nest platform to beg for food.  And so both Bella and Beau continue to deliver fish after fish.

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Beau delivers a fish to a hungry OspreyTeen.



Beau quickly left the nest while the OspreyTeen checks out its meal.


The next two photos with both OspreyTeens eating on the nest platform are getting more rare.



OspreyTeens briefly together, sharing the platform with a fish delivery each.


Just as quick as a second OspreyTeen gets a meal delivered, one of them will leave the platform and head over to a telephone pole across the creek to eat alone.  No fighting or sharing any more!


OspreyTeen leaving the nest platform with its meal.


Twice in the last few days I’ve seen Bella bringing a fish to the nest platform where an OspreyTeen already had one from Beau.

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Bella sees the OspreyTeen has a fish and does a fly-by and heads over to the other OspreyTeen on the telephone pole.


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Bella goes and finds the second OspreyTeen also has a fish.



Bella returns to the platform.  Hmmm….neither OspreyTeen needs a fish meal from her.



So Bella took the fish she had and went to the crane and ate it herself.


Here’s the other attempt with Bella trying to deliver a fish.  The OspreyTeen on the platform had one already, so Bella flies to the second OspreyTeen on the telephone pole, where she finds it has one too.


Another attempt by Bella trying to give one of her OspreyTeens a meal.  Neither is in need of a meal so Bella flies up past Beau on the crane and into the tree behind him where I’m sure she devoured the fish herself.


I took photos throughout today of parents, Bella & Beau, perched on the tower, keeping an eye on the empty, quiet nest platform.  They had to love the quietness!


Bella & Beau perched most of the day on tower, overlooking their nest platform.


It wasn’t until late afternoon when an OspreyTeen arrived at the nest.  Shortly thereafter, the second OspreyTeen arrived, and this one was wet.  No sooner than it landed, it began to beg quite loud.  I wondered if it had been out trying to catch a fish but was unsuccessful and gave up.  The first OspreyTeen joined in with chorus.


Hungry OspreyTeens


Bella & Beau stayed perched on the tower ignoring the cries, but not for long.  After only five minutes one of the parents took off, I’m guessing to go catch a fish.  I had to leave home and wasn’t able to wait for a fish delivery that I am sure came shortly thereafter.

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Either Bella or Beau in flight from the tower to go catch a fish for the OspreyTeens.


With Bella’s fish deliveries becoming less needed by the OspreyTeens (whether it’s because Beau is keeping pace and/or the OspreyTeens are starting to fish for themselves), it makes sense this might be one of the signs the female adult Osprey gets that it’s time for her to migrate.  Her care and duties are no longer needed.

Here’s my latest (and maybe final shot) of Bella with her precious babies taken this past week.  Doesn’t it look as if Bella is talking to her chicks?  Wonder what she’s saying?

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Bella having a talk with her chicks before she leaves for migration.


We’ll see what the next week brings with any sightings of Bella and the rest of her family…..


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



31 thoughts on “Bella & Beau 2018: Bella Is Still Here

  1. I love how you tell the story Donna! They are so beautiful and amazing. Even more that they fly probably 2000 miles like human snowbirds to escape the cold! ❤️

  2. It’s imminent… Bella’s departure, the message is in the genes. The moment is near, when she will have to leave her brood to migrate South. I’m almost convinced that the teens are ready to face reality and relay on their own instinct plus, of course, the thorough training taught by their vigilant parents. Any departure is sad, even more, when it is a loving relative. Great post Donna, I can read your words and already sense a tinge of sadness, I do understand perfectly! 🙂

    • Awwww…..thank you, HJ! It seems like only yesterday the chicks were born and Bella & Beau were trying to get a nest going. 🙂 I am glad you understand! I do feel a tug at the heart knowing Bella is going any day, if she hasn’t already. I had a planned visit out of state to my daughter’s through today. I’ll look for Bella late today when I get home, see if she’s still around. 😉

    • Thank you Hien! Yep, the female adults are booking south now. The male adults and chicks are still around for several weeks. The nests are pretty much empty everywhere around the Northeast, only used now if a chick can’t feed itself and goes there to beg to the parent who is always around, hiding and watching (mostly early morning and late evening I’m seeing). It is truly an amazing feat with the Osprey! 🙂

  3. I wonder if the tale is coming to an end for these ospreys. If so Bella and Beau have done a fine job. I do hope there’s a bit more to come though as I’ll miss following along. I’ve so enjoyed your photos and commentary!

    • Thank you very much, Belinda! Yes, my Bella & Beau series is winding down for this season. I expect Beau and the chicks to hang around another three weeks with a couple more posts and I thought a final quick photo rewind from the tiny babies to full-grown, and that sad sad nest progress that proved no challenge to this family’s success, YAY! 🙂

  4. A fascinating photo log of this osprey family, Donna. I bet you’ll miss them when they go!
    I saw an osprey pair on a platform in RI last Thursday; perhaps the warm summer has delayed their departure.

    • Thank you very much, Eliza! My heart is already feeling the tug….. 🙂

      If the Osprey pair you saw were both adults and the fish are plentiful around them, you may be right! Hard to leave good location and good food, right? lol If it was only one parent and a chick, they should still hang a few more weeks. Records have shown some Osprey and chicks in the New England states area have been known to leave late September or first week of October, but not sure why so late. The sooner the better with hurricane season coming!!!

  5. As always, great pictures and entertaining story line. I notice that our platform is pretty empty most of the day but they still return to it by the end of the day. Mostly they seem to be in nearby trees, or occasionally on our dock. I am amazed at how empty of nesting materials your platform is, and has been. I guess it didn’t keep Bella and Beau from successfully raising two chicks.

    • Thank you so much, Susan! I’m seeing, too, the early sunrise and late evening nest perches only too. Heck, they lived on that darn platform for so long, I don’t blame them wanting to perch elsewhere and see the world! 🙂

      I contacted my gal at Blackwater NWR about the literally empty nest and she was astonished with it and the family’s success, definitely one for the records.

  6. What fun to watch. I went up to a lake nearby and was able to watch two osprey fishing. I didn’t have my telephoto lens with me so I didn’t get any photos but it was fun to watch. I imagine they will be heading south very soon. It was freezing up there in the mountains in the morning.

    • Guessing you can tell, I enjoy watching the Osprey too. 🙂 It’s hard to believe the summer is ending already and migrations of all kinds are/will be occurring. What we lose, we gain in the winter birds!

  7. In some ways Donna it must feel a little sad that this nesting season has come to a close, You have documented it so well from your excellent photos. But the process will repeat again next year I guess. Love the last photo, yes it does look like last instructions before leaving. Have a wonderful weekend 😊

    • Thank you, Ashley, it is kind of bittersweet, to see them grow and then to see them go to the skies to migrate. Yes, March will come and so will the Osprey and so will another season. 🙂 It was a cute shot! Have a wonderful weekend too! 🙂

  8. It’s nice to see that the chicks here well fed, even if they aren’t catching all their own food yet. It’s been great seeing the osprey grow up this summer, and I will miss them once they have flown south.

    • Thank you, Jerry, it got a little scary for a while with the nest attacks and then the nest materials that became non-existence. Bella, Beau and family prevailed, let’s hope they all beat the odds and make it to South America safely. 🙂

  9. A bit sad to think this is nearing the end… sort of like sending the kids off to college or a new life. I loved the one shot (82518) with one of the teens flies off from the nest with a fish… you can see that he’s positioning that fish the way the adults do- head forward, only it’s missing the head! O_o

    I’ve said it before, but your images are astounding and fascinating! 😀

    • Thank you, Gunta! It is, kind of a bittersweet moment in time now. Bella & Beau did a fantastic job rearing & teaching those chicks all they need to know. Including positioning that fish! LOL I am glad the season was a success! There were a lot of doubts from others, but I kept the course on documenting and hoped for the best. 🙂

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