Bella & Beau 2019: Welcome Little One

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

June 3, 2019

The past 1½ weeks seemed to have crawled along, waiting and watching for any signs of a hatchling.   The storms in the U.S. mid-West kept rolling through our region with heavy rains, winds, and high temperatures exceeding normal.

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Bella Incubating Her Egg(s)


Each passing day was a repeat of the previous day’s routine.  Bella incubating for long stretches, then going flights to exercise or go perch to dine on a fish delivered by Beau, then maybe a bath or make a quick run to bring back more nesting material.

Bella in flight


Bella taking flight with a fish delivery from Beau


Bella bringing nesting materials


Bella working on the nest while Beau incubates and rests


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Bella telling Beau his time is up


Bella returning from a break


Beau has kept his duties up with fish deliveries for Bella, maintaining watch over her and the nest from either the platform or a near-by perch, as well as relieving Bella to incubate the eggs (and possibly get a little nap) while she’s on break.

Beau in flight


Beau protecting Bella and their nest


When not on the nest, Beau is nearby on watch over Bella and the nest


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Beau skimming the water, cleaning his talons


Before I continue, I must share a photo of Bella & Beau that was to be in my last post but got misfiled.  I kept looking for it because, not only was it an endearing shot, it was also the first time I photographed this behavior.  Bella was incubating when Beau arrived to the nest.  Beau climbed down next to Bella and cozied up along side her, and they incubated and rested together.  I loved it!

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Bella and Beau’s cozy, bonding moment


The day finally arrived.  Early morning June 1st, I checked on the nest and saw Bella incubating, then up, then down.  Two hours later, I spotted an eggshell off to the side of the nest cup.

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Broken shell in front of Bella


Now things were different.  Bella was moving a lot, up and down, peering into the nesting cup.  Time to get busy.

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Bella attending deep into the nest


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“Beau!  I need a fish”


Beau delivering fish in just minutes


Bella ate a few good chunks of the fish and then moved with it more into the cup and began to feed.  Beau is quite curious.

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Beau checks out the hatchling


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Beau can’t take his eyes off of the hatchling


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Curious Beau gets out of the way and watches the feeding


I started watching the nest with binoculars while Bella fed, trying to catch movement between the nest branches, and saw a passing head-bob.  Later, I set up my camera and waited for the next feeding.

The little one appeared.

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Bella and the new little one waiting as Beau lands with a meal


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Little one waiting next to Mama for a feeding


I tried another photo session late today when I got a chance, got a couple more photos.

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Baby Osprey looking up at Bella, waiting for another fish morsel


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Same photo, showing chick in circle
Beau continues to be amazed


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Hello World!


Bella & Beau have a hatchling.  Will there be more?

While watching and photographing the feeding late today, I got this next best shot of a series, showing Bella giving attention to another ‘spot’ in the nesting cup, alongside Chick #1.

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Bella attending to possibly Chick #2


After a very quick feeding, Bella settled back on the chick(s) and any remaining eggs.

Osprey usually lay 2-4 eggs; Bella herself produced at least 3 eggs last year.  Hatching now of any remaining eggs will occur 1-3 days apart from the previous hatched one.

Once the hatching is complete, the growth of the chick(s) will be amazingly fast.  So don’t be surprised with the chick photos in a couple weeks along with an official head count!



47 thoughts on “Bella & Beau 2019: Welcome Little One

  1. How wonderful Donna, the expressions on the parents are so precious, that wonder and loving care is so much the heart of our Father! You have caught it and showcased it marvelously my friend from your amazing vantage point.

    • Thank you, Ashley, I love trying to capture their expressions and behavior with each other, any tender moments hopefully. Now Beau cannot keep his eyes off the nesting cup, sometimes he looks bewildered or shocked. 🙂

    • Thank you, Jane! Me too!! I took a series of that shot of Bella & Beau canoodling; and it took me several times looking for them in my photos files. I learned about this behavior this year from an Osprey blog in the U.K., where they do this as well. How sweet!

  2. Another fascinating article on the life of Beau and Bella. I especially loved the ‘cosying up’ photo. Fantastic photos, as always.

  3. Congratulations! I’m very happy too! The perception of the emotional moment for the parents is vividly there! These are birds, showing love for the new hatchling. Can you feel it?
    I hope the hatch more eggs! Great work my dear friend. 🙂

  4. Great post with all these amazing photographs. Thank you dear Donna, you did great job. Love, nia

  5. Wow! Great pictures, and lucky you to be up high enough to get a glimpse of a chick. As it happens June 1st was also the day of the first hatchling in Barney and Betty’s nest in our cove. The change in activity and behavior made it obvious and I also got lots of pictures. Isn’t it fun to have such adventures to watch without leaving home!

    • Thank you, Susan! Hey, Barney & Betty got busier sooner this year, huh? 😉 It was all about the behavior change-up.

      This morning with my binoculars, I saw two chicks being fed by Bella. ❤

    • Thank you, Tom! Beau does look proud, doesn’t he?! Yes, humans could learn quite a lot by watching how most wildlife cares for it young in a protective, endearing way. 🙂

  6. I’m glad that you found that image of the two of them on the nest together, quite endearing!

    Great news about the hatching(s), I’m looking forward to watching the little ones grow and learn to fly.

  7. This is so sweet. I can almost see how much more experienced the doting parent are with this batch. Thanks for recording and sharing this special sequence.

  8. I wanted to take a little extra time to read your detailed description, and to look at your wonderful photos, Donna. Your observations and documentations are amazing to read. Thank you for sharing your special insights. I hope the osprey family is doing well.

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