Bella & Beau 2018: Bella Is Gone, Leaving Beau With His Talons Full

(Osprey nest location:  Cambridge, Maryland, USA)

September 3, 2018

As is customary in mid to late August with the female adult Osprey breeders in our area, Bella has left for her tropical winter vacation in South America!  Bon voyage, Bella!

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Bella in flight.

 

My last sightings and photos of Bella were those shared in my previous post.  Unfortunately, I had to be gone most of the next day.  As soon as I returned, I kept an eye on all of her favorite perches and have not seen her since.

As a tribute to beautiful Bella and her determination, strong-will, love, and devotion to her mate, Beau, and two healthy chicks, I do have a series of photos from the past weeks I didn’t get to previously share.

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Bella enroute to the nest platform with a fish.

 

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Bella’s beautiful wings.

 

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Bella enroute to the nest platform with another fish.

 

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Bella departs with a fish because she is worried about an overhead intruder Osprey.

 

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Another Bella with a fish!

 

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Bella was a great fish provider!

 

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Bella giving me a stare down while those talons twitch.  Yikes!

 

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Bella enjoying her home alone after the chicks had fledged.

 

It was always a joy to see Bella dive and take a bath.

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Bella diving for the bath.

 

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Splash!

 

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Splish, splash, Bella takes a bath!

 

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Bella bathing.

 

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Bella bathing.

 

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Bella bathing.

 

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After the bath is done, Bella pulls herself up out of the water.

 

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A refreshed, clean Bella!

 

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Bella protecting her chicks.

 

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Bella and her two chicks.

 

Dad Beau is still here for possibly another 2-3 weeks, remaining until the last of the two OspreyTeens leaves for migration.  He’s left with keeping an eye on the OspreyTeens and supplying them fish until they’ve mastered the skill of catching their own fish.  I’m still repeating that as those OspreyTeens are still great at begging.  They best get to the task of learning to catch for themselves!

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Beau in flight.

 

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Beau delivering a fish at sunrise.

 

The OspreyTeens aggressively trying to grab the fish from Beau.

 

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Beau saying, “Argh, Teenagers!”

 

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Sunrise begging (and Donna’s alarm clock).

 

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One OspreyTeen still begging while the other OspreyTeen enjoys its meal.

 

Sunset begging.

 

OspreyTeen protecting his meal while keeping watch on an overhead intruder.

 

Poor Beau, I see him perched on the crane or tower alone for hours.  I wonder if Beau feels a loss with Bella’s departure.  Do they communicate a goodbye before the split?  Beau will not see Bella again until March 2019.  Osprey mate for life, but they do not migrate or winter together.

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Beau perched on the crane, looking off into the distance.

 

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Beau perched on the tower.

 

Did you know that the Osprey species underwent a massive decline years ago and could have been wiped out of existence?  The United States Osprey populations are still slowly recovering since the 1960-70’s, when widespread use of the pesticide DDT caused the species to decline.

“Like many birds of prey, the Osprey suffered during the 60s and 70s due to the rampant use of DDT and other dangerous pesticides. Research done at Maryland’s Patuxent Research Refuge was used in Rachel Carson’s classic “Silent Spring,” and alerted citizens, scientists, and politicians to the fact that DDT was harming bird populations. Patuxent’s scientists discovered that DDT was working its way up the food chain and thinning the eggshells of raptors. Fortunately, DDT was banned in the U.S. in 1972, and thanks to the hard work of many dedicated people, birds of prey are beginning to rebound.”  Courtesy of Friends of Blackwater NWR website

Today the Chesapeake Bay region provides nesting to approximately 25% of all the Osprey in the United States.  Bella, Beau and the OspreyTeens are part of that percent!

I’m hoping the next week brings photos of the OspreyTeens arriving at the nest platform, with wet feathers and a fish in their talons.

Have a great week and wish Bella a safe journey to South America!

 

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“I’ll see you again in March!” (Bella)

 

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

 

 

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