Bella & Beau 2019: Welcome Home, Bonding, and an Eagle
Osprey nest location: Cambridge, Maryland, Chesapeake Bay Region, USA
(The majority of my photos for this series are shot from my balcony about 200+ feet away where I’ve got just enough advantage height to reach into the top of the platform. My equipment: Nikon D200 and D750, with a Nikon AF-S VR-Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 lens combined with a Nikon Teleconverter (1.7x magnification), zooming all the way in. At photo processing, it is then necessary to crop at least 50% to share close-ups with you. The Bella & Beau series is not so much about high-quality photos (although I seriously strive to get the best, detailed shots for the storyline), as it is about the antics and adventures of an Osprey pair’s daily life. It is also my hope you will learn a little bit about the amazing Osprey and enjoy following along!)
As of March 23, 2019
If you followed along last year’s season, this is the return of my journal of the activities that I see and photograph of an Osprey pair’s life and season on an erected Osprey nest platform in a private, gated community on Cambridge Creek.
Osprey Nest Platform 2018
After welcoming a male Osprey on the nest platform March 15th, we were quickly surprised with a female alongside him on March 17th.
Welcome home, Bella & Beau!
Beau (left) and Bella (right)
As they’ve tried to settle in, we’ve had several days of rain and wind.
“Beau, why’d we leave our tropical winter vacation grounds for this?”
However, when it hasn’t been raining, the couple have been quick to rekindle their bond with aerial courtship flying and playing.
Bella & Beau
Attempts at mating have been non-stop. This series is just one attempt at mating. It certainly doesn’t look easy!
Bella and Beau mating
Apparently Bella had something to say afterwards.
Bella’s got something to say after mating.
Impressively, Beau has gotten started bringing sticks, and works hard at arranging them and pleasing Bella.
Beau has even brought gifts of fish to Bella.
Beau delivering a gift
There was once instance where Beau had a fish and flew past Bella, flying over to the crane to perch with it.
Bella watching Beau with a fish, landing on the crane across the creek
Maybe Beau wasn’t finished eating the head before passing it on to Bella. Or maybe he was teasing her. Either way, Bella must have been hungry; she departed the platform and flew over to Beau.
Bella chasing Beau for the fish he has in his talons
Beau was quick to depart and Bella took off to chase Beau. Suddenly, out of nowhere, appeared a Bald Eagle.
The Eagle decided he wanted Beau’s fish, too, and began his chase. Just as quickly, Bella began her chase after the Eagle. No one chases her guy! Or was it, “No you’re not, that’s my fish!”
(click on the first photo and a slideshow will begin to see the action unfold)
Yikes, Bella! Beau gets into the action, with the fish still clasped in his talons.
Beau chasing the Eagle further away
Beau was quick to return and reunite with Bella. He chased her to and behind the water tower; where I hope they perched, and he finally gave Bella that fish!
Beau chasing Bella with the fish that she truly deserved!
Unfortunately for Bella and Beau, their favorite near-by perch, atop the crane….
A favorite perch across the creek
was lowered today, I’m sure to avoid Osprey perching and any ideas of another pair building a nest on it.
Crane lowered to avoid Osprey perching and nesting
Some flight shots of this beautiful Osprey pair.
Bella (right) and Beau (left)
Beau showing his ‘heart’ marking on his crown
(I’ve not seen it since in a photo)
It looks to be a promising season!