Bella & Beau 2019: The Wait Is Almost Over

Osprey nest location:  Cambridge, Maryland, Chesapeake Bay Region, USA

May 23, 2019

It’s been a quiet past couple weeks for the most part for Bella and Beau.  Incubating and protecting their precious egg(s) is top priority 24/7.

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Expecting Parents Bella & Beau


The long wait is exhausting.  Naps continue to be taken when possible.

Nap Time


Beau still needs to be urged at times by Bella to give up his incubating/nap time.  When he won’t get up, Bella gets louder and louder until he does.

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Bella telling Beau his nap time is up.
In this instance, it took Bella 12 minutes of hollering to get Beau up.


So off Beau will go, to do what Bella asked, either go fishing or gather more nesting materials or even just off to perch on a nearby sailboat to watch over Bella and their nest.

I think we all know by now Bella rules the roost.


Beau in flight, on missions for Bella


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Sunset Dinner for Bella


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Beau arriving with a fish for Bella


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Bella is quick to ‘grab & go’


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In mid-flight, Bella maneuvers the fish from her beak to her talons for a secure hold.
(Look at those sharp talons!)


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Bella’s favorite place to dine across the creek


Most times, the male Osprey will eat the head of a caught fish before delivering it to the female, a refueling snack for him while he does his chores.

I imagine Bella wasn’t too pleased with the size of her meal Beau delivered in the next photos.  Beau must have been so hungry, he forgot to stop at the head, delivering just the end of the fish’s tail to Bella.

Bella enroute to her perch with her fish-tail meal where she devoured it in just a few bites


With Bella doing most of the incubating, the rainy days can make a mess of her and the nest.  Hygiene is important, so baths are necessary.  After eating and a flight, sometimes Bella will take a splish-splash creek bath!  (click on the first image to go through the series)

Bella’s splish-splash creek bath


Doesn’t it look like she’s enjoying it?  Here she goes again, this time a quick one.

Bella taking a bath


Bella’s baths sure look refreshing!


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Bella in flight


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Bella returning to the nest


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Bella’s beautiful wingspan


The Double-breasted Cormorants continue to visit daily to fish on Cambridge Creek.  Bella & Beau’s scare attacks do not deter the Cormorants from returning.  It’s almost like a game of ‘cat and mouse’.

Double-breasted Cormorant and Beau playing ‘cat & mouse’


It is easy to tell when there’s an intruder passing over in the sky.  Bella & Beau’s alarms are distinct and loud, giving out the threat that says you’re not welcomed here.


(Osprey audio courtesy of


Yesterday, Bella was alone on the nest and got incredibly loud, so I went out to investigate.

Sure enough an Osprey intruder was circling overhead.  And Beau wasn’t anywhere to be seen.  Bella was on her own.

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Osprey Intruder


After another circling, the Osprey intruder started dropping down towards Bella.  Bella screams hysterically.


(Osprey audio courtesy of


The Osprey intruder did not appear to be attacking in as much as just wanting to land on the nest.  Bella was not having it.

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Bella in full-alarm mode as the Osprey intruder prepares to land


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Bella prevents the landing.


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Osprey intruder aborts and keeps going.


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Bella keeps her stance as the Osprey intruder flies off.  Out of nowhere, Beau swooped in, with a fish in his talons, and chased the intruder off for good.


Except for those few exceptions, Bella and Beau seem to be very tolerant of all else, including humans and the daily boats that pass by, even those big ones.  Bella & Beau always have front row seats to the entertainment.

Just a sampling of the big boats that passed by Bella & Beau this past two weeks


I find it amusing that the people on the ‘touring’ boats who are pointing at and taking photos of Bella & Beau have no idea of Bella & Beau’s ‘fame’ on the internet.   😊

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Bella & Beau’s Happy Home


Bella & Beau are now in the final stretch of their wait.  Their precious egg(s) are due to hatch around May 25th to June 1st.

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Bella taking a break on a recent very warm Spring day (we passed her by on our boat)


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Beautiful Momma Bella


Fingers crossed with high hopes for successful hatchlings, Bella & Beau!

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Bella settled in for the evening



67 thoughts on “Bella & Beau 2019: The Wait Is Almost Over

  1. Beautiful photos as always, Donna! It’s nice to see Bella and Beau back and thriving this season. Nice to see you back here too!

  2. Donna, your photos and words describe so well what Bella and Beau go through in and around their nest! Next to being there, it’s the best experience for your readers and followers.

  3. The time is getting near, for the couple’s new babies. I wonder how many? Of course you will tell us. Great photo series, Donna. 🙂

  4. As I have said before, I really enjoy seeing Bella and Beau in their surroundings as it is so unusual for us to see ospreys in public as it were. Ours are so rare that it is illegal to approach an osprey nest without a licence.

    • Thank you so much, Tom, it pleasing to know that I’m sharing our tolerate and in abundance Osprey to others around the world where Osprey are still struggling to increase in numbers. 😊

  5. Wonderful pictures and story. Still waiting for that book!! I love reading your story and ‘transferring’ it to the saga of Betty and Barney in our cove nest. Thanks, as always, for sharing!

  6. Great shots, Donna. You make the Big Event so exciting! They seem to be good parents, a great team. Not so sure about using a plastic bag as nesting material though! 😉

    • Thank you, Eliza…..I hope so! 😲

      I am glad you commented on the plastic bag. I was upset when I saw the bag on the nest for the first time. Osprey will use crazy stuff as nesting material. I’m planning a post on Osprey in general on nesting materials, I’ve captured some scary scenes with nesting materials, including another plastic bag. I’m glad B&B stuffed it in well, we don’t want the pending chicks to be pecking at it and digest a piece. 😲

  7. Fabulous tale! Pictures are super as usual, although several frames were blank. Perhaps it was because I hadn’t signed in. Will try to download them again.

  8. Bella and Beau certainly have a bird’s eye view from their nest. It’s really interesting to read about their interactions with each other. I have to laugh at Bella’s attempts to get Beau up from his nap :D. Exciting times ahead, can’t wait for the next instalment!

  9. Beautiful crisp photos as always Donna! Yes it looks like a typical family with wife in control Ha Ha! It is good that they share incubation, as there are so many birds where it gets left to one partner to do. eg. for the Satin Bowerbird its the female and the Aust. Brush Turkey its the male. Love the photo of Bella telling Beau his nap time is up, he looks quite asleep. Looks like a beautiful part of the world where you are. I do hope everything has turned out well for you recently as we prayed. Have a wonderful refreshing weekend my friend!

    • Thank you, Ashley! I think you got the control order right! hee hee Poor Beau, but he’s a champ, he’s working hard to assist in success. Interesting that only the male Brush Turkey incubates with their species! The area we live in is beautiful, and the creek definitely provides quite a bit of ‘entertainment’ for the boat enthusiast (my husband!). Did you notice the photo of the sailboat that hailed from Australia? I thought of you and Sue immediately when I saw where it was from. It was an impressive, ocean-going sailboat and a long ways from port. How cool is that?!! Thank you for your prayers, Ashley, still working through stuff. Have a wonderful weekend, as well, my friend!

  10. Another wonderful post Donna.what is the white in the nest, it looks like plastic bags? A much better nest this year I’m pleased to see, these chicks are going to be much warmer and more secure than last years chicks. My fingers are crossed for 27 May for the hatch – my birthday.

    • Thank you, Chris! Great spotting! Unfortunately, yes, that is a plastic bag. 😦 Osprey are notorious for using ‘trash’ as nesting materials. I’m planning a post on Osprey in general and the perils associated, I’ve photographed some scary scenes.

      Fingers crossed here too then for May 27! Happy Birthday, Chris!

  11. I like those sunset dinners, but shame on you , Beau for being so cheap with the fish. I guess he’s hungry.I don’t know if I lost the comment but I thought it was nice that she takes a bath for hygiene as well as a “pick-me-up before returning to nest duty.

    • LOL I wonder if Bella gave Beau a talkin’-to when she returned! 😉 I love watching Bella bathe, it makes me feel happy for her, and she looks beautiful afterwards flying around to shake and dry off. The Osprey nest can become really nasty, especially once fish are actually being eaten at the nest after the chicks arrive, then insects arrive too. I’m sure it’s a real YUK!

  12. Even though Beau bit off more of the fish than he ought to, that shot of him flying head on is spectacular! And that last sunset shot is beyond delicious. What a great view you all have!

    • Thank you, Gunta! That view, now you know why Bella & Beau fought so hard to retain their platform this year! 😉 No matter the season, our creek has been pretty darn entertaining, whether birds or boats, it’s had it all. 🙂

  13. Hello Donna, What a wonderful series on the continuing adventures of our favorite Osprey couple. I smiled at the interactions between Bella and Beau. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

    • Thank you, Takami! I giggle and laugh at B&B every day, they are quite comical in their interactions at times. Poor Beau always looks bewildered when Bella is giving him a talkin’ to. He’s a champ for sure! 🙂

  14. Great to see a ‘happy home!’ …… by all accounts our Scottish Osprey that seemed to return early this year have benefited from what has been a good kind spring and I hear there are a good number of chicks needing food 🙂

    • Thank you, David! Great news on your Osprey, that is so awesome! ❤ I follow the U.K. Kielder Osprey Project blog and have enjoyed seeing their wonderful success to date.

        • Thank you, David! I used to tract this site a few years ago, “Lady” of Loch of Lowes was amazing, I was truly sad when she passed, as was the world, the video streaming was almost unbearable to watch. To live 24 years old and breed year after year was pretty special to witness. Thank you for reminding me again of this site, I’m on it!

  15. Loved your captures of their daily life – both peace and quiet and drama…I hope they’ll have healthy hatchlings soon! Only one of the two survived here at “my nest” and is soon ready to fly. Unfortunately I’ve not had the time this spring to follow them as I used to.

    • Thank you, Helen! No hatchling yet, but any day. I am watching a little more often now. 😉 So sorry to hear one of ‘yours’ didn’t make it, Bella & Beau lost one of three last year. Looking forward to seeing your new chick taking flight real soon, that is always exciting!

  16. Pingback: Project Osprey – In Pics and Words

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