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 Audubon.org)

 

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 Audubon.org)

 

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

 

 

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