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
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.
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.
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.
What is that thing?
Forty minutes later, I checked on the nest; and the object had been moved again.
And then literally, after retrieving a cup of coffee, it was moved again! I couldn’t believe I was missing Bella moving it around.
A child’s toy stuffed animal! Oh my goodness!! Here’s a grainy cropped shot.
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.
Bella from ground level
Hello World from way up here!
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!
Beau enroute to the nest with a fish right over me!
Fish means eating time. Line up everyone!
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.
Sibling rivalry has already begun too.
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.
“Hmmmm….Wonder what that is up there?”
“Whoa, it’s a long ways down there!”
Bella asks, “Okay, who messed on me?”
“Not me!” all three chicks said innocently.
One chick is already flapping and stretching its little wings
Finally, a couple flight shots of Bella & Beau….
Beau in flight
Beau in flight
Bella in flight
And two sunsets from this past week that calmed down some of the weather and Osprey excitement…..
All is quiet at sunset – June 11, 2019
All is quiet at sunset – June 15, 2019
What an amazing week!! 😊