Bella & Beau 2018: Dad Beau Is Still Assisting

(Osprey nest location:  Cambridge, Maryland, USA)

September 10, 2018

For the past week, I’ve continued to sight Dad Beau perched on one of the two towers overlooking the creek and nest platform.   But it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of the OspreyTeens.  My last sightings and photos of the two OspreyTeens together on the nest platform were on September 3rd.

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OspreyTeens – September 3, 2018


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OspreyTeens – September 3, 2018


For the next two days, both early in the morning and late afternoon, only one OspreyTeen was visiting the nest platform, begging towards Beau’s direction who remained perched on the towers most of the day, ignoring the cries.

An OspreyTeen letting Dad Beau on the tower know he is hungry.  (9/4/18)


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Dad Beau remains perched & ignores the begging OspreyTeen that evening. (9/4/18)


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Either Dad Beau brought the early morning fish or the OspreyTeen did so itself. (9/5/18)


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OspreyTeen devouring that fish! (9/5/18)


Beau’s morning and evening perches. (9/5/18)


Since September 6, I’ve not seen anyone visit the nest platform. It appears to have finished serving its purpose and is now no longer needed as a home port for this season.  Maybe, too, Dad Beau has refused to deliver any fish to it to further enforce the OspreyTeens to feed themselves.

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Bella & Beau nest platform – 9/10/18
It looks the same as it did the day they arrived in March, no nesting materials!
That’s one for the records!


It’s now increasingly difficult to determine if both OspreyTeens are still here since I’m sighting only one at a time.  It seems an OspreyTeen is going to Beau now if it’s desperate to be fed.  Which does appear to be infrequent, which is good!

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OspreyTeen below, begging to Beau on top of tower, September 8th late afternoon.


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September 9th during the morning’s pouring rain, an OspreyTeen is waiting for Beau to appear, hopefully with a fish.


Today Beau spent from early morning until almost noon perched on the tower.  There were no sightings of the OspreyTeens.  Beau did reappear on the tower during the afternoon.

My last photo of Beau on the tower, September 10th at 5:10 pm


Can I positively ID these Osprey on the towers as Beau and one of the OspreyTeens?  No.  But I am basing my guesses from Bella & Beau’s past behavior on flying to & from and using these towers every day as their perch for the last few weeks.

What a Dad!  Although Beau really wasn’t into nest building this year, I am proud of his commitment to Bella in staying behind, to finish teaching and to ensure their offspring have a chance at survival during their tough first migration.

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Beau in flight.


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Beau in flight with a headless fish.


A series of Beau I didn’t previously share were these images of him skimming in the creek after delivering a fish to the nest platform.

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Beau preparing to skim the water.


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Beau makes contact with the water, dragging his feet, cleaning those talons.


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Look at that determination and drive!


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Beau shaking the water from his head while preparing to lift out of the water.


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Lift-out!  And feeling good!


Another series not previously shared of Beau defending his perch from an intruding Osprey on top of the crane several months’ back.

Beau defending his perch against an intruding Osprey.


As I mentioned in the recent “Osprey Migration” post, one of the major challenges Ospreys face during migration is weather, specifically hurricanes. This is true for so many wildlife species presently doing their migrations.   We now have a dangerous Category 4 hurricane barreling towards the East Coast, to make landfall possibly Thursday.  Please pray for both human life and wildlife.  There is going to be devastation for all.

In the Bella & Beau series, I’ll post again to let you know if I’ve seen Beau and any OspreyTeens since today.  Hopefully, he and all other remaining area Osprey have an instinct feeling to stay put for a while longer while the hurricane makes landfall, blows through, and diminishes.  I think it’d be safer here than several hundred miles further south. 

I also plan on doing a final Bella & Beau photo rewind post of their successful six-month season, showcasing some of the memorable and best captures of them and their beautiful offspring that I think you will enjoy.

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Bella, Beau and their offspring.


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The offspring that developed into healthy, beautiful OspreyTeens.


Stay tuned for the final posts in the Bella & Beau series!


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





52 thoughts on “Bella & Beau 2018: Dad Beau Is Still Assisting

  1. Feel a little sad reading this post, as the season comes to an end.It seems even birds have similar struggles as humans in raising the young, teaching them skills and knowing when to let go so that they can fend for themselves and grow up. I laughed at the first photo in the series because I noticed one or both teens holding the fish and one stick left in the nest. I love the photo, third from the end, of Beau defending his perch, like the karate kid taking on the crane pose. The header shows great light and colour as do many of the images. What a great chance to hone your skills over the summer and learn about the behaviours and a treat for me to witness this second-hand. Look forward to the review. As for me, I better get outside SOON or the leaves will have dropped, things are changing very quickly since last week;we might be getting snow this week.

    • Thank you so much, Jane! I was worried the Bella & Beau series might get to the point of being boring to many, seeming like it was getting repetitive. I am so happy you and others have enjoyed watching what I know many thought was going to turn into a disaster. I have to say Bella & Beau did a wonderful job with all their challenges, including learning to live with each other and work as a team. They also provided me with lots of practice as you said!! 🙂

      Oh no, snow already?!! Yes, get out and enjoy the crispness of fall before your snow arrives!

  2. We’ve heard about the cyclone heading towards the coast of America, but reading that you, Beau and the teens are in it’s path gives that news item a reality that it lacked prior to reading your post. Keep safe, all of you.

    • Thank you, Chris, we’ll stay safe. We are a few hundred miles north of the eye’s predicted landfall, we will have massive flooding for sure. Let’s hope our area’s remaining Osprey stay put here and don’t leave and fly south into the storm.

  3. Go, Dad! I felt this a lovely tribute not just to Beau but to all the great fathers out there 🙂
    I hope the birds will arrive at their destination safe and sound. It has been/still is a very challenging season with all the natural disasters occurring…
    Best wishes always,

    • Thank you, Takami! Poor Beau had such a tough time there for a while being such a young, unexperienced Dad (he was no nest builder, that’s for sure, ha), but he came around and is doing his duties to the end. 🙂

  4. Amazing and stunning photos Donna! You certainly have a knack for catching action. A wonderful close to this breeding season. Have a wonderful week Donna!

  5. I feel the same sadness as others have expressed over your beautiful, beautiful pictures and captions. Bella and Beau have worked so hard to raise their chicks, and now they all face a life-threatening journey through or around a hurricane. I feel the same concern for our migrating hummingbirds. The thought of a hummingbird having to cope with hurricane force winds is mind blowing. You are right — there will be some carnage. So sad.

    • Thank you, Susan, it is a bittersweet time with so many migrations occurring but then to have this massive hurricane isn’t good at all. It is mind-blowing to think what they are going to try to sustain through for hours and days. We are all at Mother Nature’s mercy.

  6. I too feel a bit sad realizing that summer is winding down. However, I loved the update on the progress that the young osprey are making, and how devoted Beau was to his young. I hope that the approaching storm weakens before it hits land, and that you’re not affected by its landfall.

    • Thank you, Jerry, it is a bittersweet time at migration after having watched this family week after week since April, I think many of us got attached to knowing these birds. It looks like the hurricane is going to be devastating to many along the East Coast. We are about 500 miles north of Charleston, the Chesapeake Bay is forecasted for massive flooding, heavy rains, and 40-70 mph winds. It’s going to be a doozy.

  7. Your pictures are worth many thousand words Donna. You’ve been witness of the ospreys’ lives and now, they grew up to an age old enough to face the world on their own. It’s sad to see them go. All we can do is, to wish them good fortune out there! 🙂

  8. Such power and glory! Your photos are wonderful, Donna. Let’s hope all the critters great and small come through the storm relatively unscathed. Stay safe.

    • Thank you, Jane, I think we’re going to see mostly rain and extensive flooding. BTW, I saw Beau last night. I am glad he is here and not heading south into the destructive part of the storm. 🙂

  9. It’s been an exciting series to view and read Donna! I hope they are headed south, and are safe. I hope the East Coast doesn’t get hit too badly with this hurricane coming in. Stay safe!

  10. I too feel a bit melancholy that this is end of your Bella and Beau series for this year. I feel like I’ve learned so much about ospreys through your wonderful posts. Am hoping they and all East Coasters will be safe during the storm.

    • Thank you, BT, I’m so glad you enjoyed their season of success! I saw Beau and one OspreyTeen this afternoon, which makes me feel good that they didn’t take off day or two ago and fly right into the hurricane. 🙂

  11. Still plowing through missed posts while we were gone (or preparing for the trip). So very sad to see your osprey family moving on, but hopefully they’ll be back. Makes one wish for a tracking device? May they make it through any storms.

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