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!

 

 

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