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.
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
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
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!
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.
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.
Bella attending deep into the nest
“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.
Beau checks out the hatchling
Beau can’t take his eyes off of the hatchling
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.
Bella and the new little one waiting as Beau lands with a meal
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.
Baby Osprey looking up at Bella, waiting for another fish morsel
Same photo, showing chick in circle
Beau continues to be amazed
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.
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!