Bella & Beau 2019: Three Healthy Chicks and A Toy Story Delight

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

June 15, 2019

A week has passed and it appears that all three of Bella & Beau’s chicks are healthy and thriving.  Their growth has been amazing already!

June 6, 2019                                                      June 10, 2019


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Hello World – June 15, 2019



Their beige downy feathers are all but gone and little pin feathers have begun to grow.  The oldest two are beginning to sport the golden color at the back of their head already.

I did fret a bit with the heavy rains and strong, cool winds that overtook our area several times.  Bella did her best to cover all three chicks to keep them warm and as dry as possible.

Not good conditions for three newborn chicks trying to stay warm and dry


And with their flourishing growth, Bella has done an excellent job to date!

Before I get on with the past week’s photos, I’ve got a toy story to share first.

Toy story?

I wish, I wish, I WISH I had seen this new nesting material addition being delivered!  It was not present April 11th, and I was out of town all of the 12th til late night.  Early morning April 13th I saw something odd on the nest alongside Bella.

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My first notice of an odd object in the nest
(Bella had just returned from a bath)


I couldn’t make it out.  I could see something fluttering and thought, geez no, not another plastic bag.

Early the next morning checking out the nest with my binoculars, Bella was renovating, and I noticed the odd thing had been moved.

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What is that thing?


Forty minutes later, I checked on the nest; and the object had been moved again.

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And then literally, after retrieving a cup of coffee, it was moved again!  I couldn’t believe I was missing Bella moving it around.

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A child’s toy stuffed animal!  Oh my goodness!!  Here’s a grainy cropped shot.

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Kitty Cat or Teddy Bear, maybe?


And that is where the toy stuffed animal is resting now.  No more movements, thank goodness.  Here’s more shots from yesterday and today.

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Bella from ground level


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Hello World from way up here!


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Beautiful Bella


I first thought it was a “Hello Kitty” brand toy, but it’s not.  I do think it’s either a kitty cat or a teddy bear.  Any other ideas or does anyone recognize (or are missing!) this toy stuffed animal?

I was quite excited to share this, although it’ll now be a worry that the chicks will peck at it later.  We’ll wait until we come to that bridge.  It’s possible it may not stay in the nest for long and fall out.

Okay, now let’s continue with Bella & Beau’s week.  You’re privy now on why you’re seeing an odd nest object in the last few days’ photos.  J

Fish is on the menu!  Three hungry chicks plus Bella means one busy, busy Beau.

Bella crying for Beau’s attention – “We need fish!”


Beau is doing his best I guess, but I do feel for Bella crying, sometimes for an hour or more.  Keep at it, Beau, you can do this!


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Beau enroute to the nest with a fish right over me!


Fish means eating time.  Line up everyone!

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Bella’s thinking, “What have Beau & I done?!!”


With Beau having the busy chore of constant fishing, Bella has ramped up helping to retrieve nesting materials and renovating.  The only concern, she is sometimes leaving the nest for 1-5 minutes when Beau is not there, which leaves the exposed chicks to aerial predators.


I am constantly witnessing an Osprey intruder trying to land on the nest, at times when just Bella is there, other times when both Bella & Beau are present.  It does not look like an attack, just a visit so-to-speak.  Of course, Bella & Beau will not allow a landing.

Bella vs. Osprey Intruder


I wish I had photos, but I actually witnessed Bella attacking a Great Blue Heron who was just flying down the creek and got a little too close to the nest while in flight.  Bella was off the nest in a flash, hit the Great Blue Heron with her talons, and they both went into the water.  Both recovered quickly and took flight, Bella back to the nest, and the Great Blue Heron flying away, squawking his unpleasantries!

Then, of course, the Double-breasted Cormorants still drive Bella & Beau batty.

Bella vs. Cormorant


Back to the chicks!  All three have already learned a bit about Osprey life.  They know they are required to poop over the top edge of the nest.  That’s still a work in progress at times.

Poop Mishap


Sibling rivalry has already begun too.

Kid fight!


The three chicks are very curious about their world outside those sticks now.  They walk around, using their wings to help navigate their huge feet around the nesting cup, peering up and over Mom Bella’s border wall that she continues to try to raise to keep them within.

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“Hmmmm….Wonder what that is up there?”


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“Whoa, it’s a long ways down there!”


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Bella asks, “Okay, who messed on me?”
“Not me!” all three chicks said innocently.


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One chick is already flapping and stretching its little wings


Finally, a couple flight shots of Bella & Beau….

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Beau in flight


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Beau in flight


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Bella in flight


And two sunsets from this past week that calmed down some of the weather and Osprey excitement…..

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All is quiet at sunset – June 11, 2019


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All is quiet at sunset – June 15, 2019


What an amazing week!!   😊



61 thoughts on “Bella & Beau 2019: Three Healthy Chicks and A Toy Story Delight

  1. What amazing and beautiful captures of new family Donna, and how blessed you are to be able to capture all this from your balcony! These nestlings are so cute, and their devoted parents inspiring to say the least. Another wonderful post showcasing the lives of this new clutch. Have a wonderful week my friend!

    • Thank you, Ashley! I am blessed and thankful. I see so much more that I don’t post, goodness, I’d never be able to stop posting, lol. I do try to pull the neat stuff out and the best photos to show the activities going on. A lot of fun! Have a wonderful week too, my friend!

  2. Oh my gosh!!! This reminds me so much of Easter day at the beach when a seagull swooped down and snatched my son’s stuffed Easter duckie from his hands. Matt was three. He was shocked but instantly recovered, stating, “Don’t worry. He’ll bring it back.
    I tried to convince him this wouldn’t happen, to no avail.
    Hours later we were packing up to leave, when lo and behold, the seagull swoops down, and drops the duckie on the ground.
    Matt looks completely certain as he says to me, “I told you he would bring it back.”
    To this day, this still dumbfounds me.
    My son will verify, as will his sister, and father.
    The stuffing was pecked out from the duckie, but it was still intact and pleased my son.
    It seemed the seagull and my son understood each other in a way I did not.
    Birds seem to want to understand our stuffed animals and have some sense of what they mean to us.
    Birds are just amazing.

    • Oh Cindy, I just LOVE your story! How absolutely amazing!! Thank you very much for sharing, I’ll always remember your story now in relation to Bella’s nest toy! ❤❤❤

  3. Hey. Yeah, very strong winds and rain hit my area too. It’s very nice to see their nest can withstand the bad weather. And your capture of the child toy is priceless. Absolutely lovely and comprehensive set of photos, Donna!

  4. Amazing week, amazing report, even more amazing photos, Donna. Thank you for putting in all this time to observe, capture, and share your impressions. I hope the family will continue to do well. It will be interesting to see if the chicks show any interest in playing with their toy! 🙂

    • Thank you very much, Tanja, and you’re quite welcomed. I guess you could say I am hooked. One of the bloggers said once before I’ve earned ‘Osprey Granny’ status. 😉

      Today at one point, one of the chicks was laying up against the toy, so I took a few photos, hoping I’d have a tender-moment shot. My card is still in the camera so I haven’t viewed them yet. Wouldn’t that be cute?! 😊

  5. Once again we have an excellent report and wonderful photos by Donna. I loved to see the trio of chicks, so perky and alert. Later on, they will be a handful for their parents, something that we have to see! Good work! 🙂

  6. So fun to see these chicks growing. B&B are impressive parents.
    Had a good laugh over the stuffed toy, which looks to me like one of those cheap carnival prizes. It may have been a dog toy snatched out of someone’s yard. Makes one wonder how much human trash ends up in nests. I often see plastic woven into songbird nests. Creative, yet kind of sad, too.

  7. It looks like a stuffed kitty. How cute. All children should have a stuffed toy for companionship.

    Your commentary is hilarious.

    I love the paint stroke clouds in the second sunset shot. WOW.

  8. Wow!! other extraordinary work of the Bella and family. The report is truly wonderfult, thank you so much for sharing, Donna.

  9. Great captures of the new family and how exciting to have triplets. It will be interesting to see if the parents can keep up with the food for three. I hope the toy falls out before one of them gets tangled with it, and gets picked up by a human out of the water.

    • Thank you, Ellen! It’s already getting tough on food upkeep. 😦 I am worried about that toy being pecked/eaten by the chicks, I hope if it does go in the water, I can get it with the marina pole. 🙂

    • Thank you, they are growing so fast, just a few days is making a difference. Yes, toys much more delightful to see than plastic trash bags. Of course, not any better to digest. 😦 They’ve had two bags to date this season on the nest that eventually fell off, much to my relief.

  10. Hello Donna ❤
    Apologies for being late to comment, but I have been re-reading and viewing this amazing series during the week. Bella and Beau are doing a wonderful job (I don't know how they manage to always 'get it together') and the toy story is charming as well. Hope you are having a lovely week 🙂

    • Thank you, Takami, you’re comments are always loved. 🙂 Bella & Beau do really make it easy, making certain chirps and sounds, that I can hear inside through a slightly ajarred door. It’s me trying to be calm and get the shots, lol. 🙂 I am, lovely week to you too!

    • Thank you, Deborah, isn’t it amazing! I’ve wondered if it’d be harmful to the chicks, but to lay on would definitely be nice! I’ve posted photos on Facebook at MD Birding and was showcased at Friends of Blackwater Refuge page, where between both have over 458 likes and 134 shares to date, my site has seen an increase in traffic too. B&B went a bit viral, cool! 🙂

  11. It would be something indeed if the previous owner of the toy saw where it ended up. Now THAT would be a great local news story that no station would miss!!

    • I so agree!! I still search for the toy in the creek along the bulkheads with my binoculars and when walking around, in case it’s hung up somewhere with trash. We’re at the end of the creek so a lot surfaces, but we’re also tidal so it could have swept back out to wherever it came from or possibly sank from the saturation. Still was an awesome thing to occur!

  12. Pingback: Bella & Beau 2019: Momma Bella Is Gone, Teen ‘Tug-of-War’, and A Liquor Bottle | Photos by Donna

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