Bella & Beau 2019: Both ‘Teens’ Are On The Wing & Having a Blast

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

August 4, 2019

This week Bella and Beau’s two ‘teens’ are approximately 9 weeks old and fully grown in size.  They still attain their white-tipped feathers, not acquiring their full adult plumage until 18 months old.

There is a noticeable size difference between the two ‘teens’ that tells us the eldest chick, considerably larger, is a female; and the younger, a male.  Another gender characteristic is the Osprey’s chest.  Female Osprey usually sport a speckled chest or “necklace”, whereas the male’s chest is more predominantly white.

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Left – Youngest/Male           Right – Eldest/Female

 

There was a sudden change in the eldest teen’s appearance a week ago I thought I’d share.  In the next photo, she returned to the nest with a noticeably much darker head.  Even the lower legs and talons looked dark.

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Eldest ‘teen’ returning to the nest with a very dirty head, lower legs & talons

 

With her water dives, baths, and skimming since that photo, she appears to be not quite so dark/dirty, so I’m guessing she got herself into mud or muck, maybe plunging into too-shallow water or from resting on a muddy embankment.  Otherwise, she appears to be fine.  You’ll notice changes in her throughout photos.

So we left off with my last post confirming the eldest Osprey ‘teen’ fledged on July 24th; and, let me say, she looks to be having a marvelous time perfecting her flying, landings, and water-tests.  It must feel exhilarating to a newly fledged Osprey!

Eldest ‘teen’ coming in for a landing, with something to say

 

Eldest ‘teen’ in flight

 

The youngest ‘teen’ stayed very attentive to his sibling’s practicing and maneuvering.

At five-day’s fledged, eldest ‘teen’ is skimming the water already, while the youngest watches

 

Eldest ‘teen’ landing after skimming the water

 

It was apparent the youngest wanted to fly, he flapped vigorously and ‘helicoptered’ over the nest day after day.

Youngest ‘teen’ practicing lift-offs

 

Youngest ‘teen’ and his apprehension

 

Mom Bella continued to visit the nest, to encourage her youngest.

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Bella and her youngest ‘teen’

 

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It is lonely on the nest for the youngest ‘teen’

 

On July 30th, I was out of town before sunrise, returning late in the day.  My husband said the youngest had fledged.  I went outside and watched the youngest ‘teen’ flying to the nest where his sibling was resting.  I captured the landing.

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Youngest ‘teen’ focusing on landing – “Watch out, sis!”

 

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“I’ve got this!”

 

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“I’ve been flying & landing all day, Donna, where have you been?”

 

Bella & Beau must feel proud!

The next morning…..

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We haven’t seen an empty nest since early March!

 

The nest will continue to be home port where the ‘teens’ will come to cry and beg, and be fed for a few more weeks by the parents.

Beau delivering a fish and then quickly departing, the eldest ‘teen’ grabs it and won’t share

 

Another time, Beau heading to the nest with a fish – and encounters a Barn Swallow!

 

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Youngest ‘teen’ watching Dad Beau coming in with that fish

 

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From a nearby perch, the eldest teen also sees Dad Beau and takes flight

 

The eldest chick goes to the nest ahead of Dad Beau

 

Beau delivers the fish and quickly departs, again big ‘sis’ taking the fish for herself

 

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“Now where was that fair?  I was waiting here first!”

 

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Mom Bella to the rescue with another fish eight minutes later – “Yay, Mom”

 

Although Beau has his ‘drop and go’ policy with fish delivers, Mom Bella still has the sweet instinct of wanting to stay to feed her youngest ‘teen’.  I watched her do it again this morning.  Other times, she’ll pass a huge piece and allow him to feed himself while she eats alongside him.

Bella still occasionally feeds her youngest ‘teen’ — how sweet!

 

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When aggressive big ‘sis’ is around, the youngest always waits for leftovers

 

Bella & Beau will take the ‘teens’ out to the river to master the hunt of fishing so they can begin to catch and feed themselves.  To further encourage the ‘teens’ to fish, Bella & Beau will slow down fish deliveries to force them.  Something they’ve got to learn within the next 4-6 weeks before migration occurs!

Now onto a photofest of galleries from the past 1 1/2 weeks for your enjoyment.

Youngest ‘teen’ (male) in flight

 

Eldest ‘teen’ (female) practicing a water dive & lift-out

 

Youngest ‘teen’ coming in for a landing with big ‘sis’ in the way

 

I am seeing less and less of the eldest ‘teen’.  I imagine she is exploring more and hopefully attempting to fish.  She returns to the nest for a feeding and is wet many times.

The youngest is still a bit of a ‘homebody’ so keeps providing wonderful photo ops for now, including landing on a sailmast near my balcony.

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Youngest ‘teen’ lands on a sailmast – great job!

 

Youngest ‘teen’

 

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Youngest male ‘teen’ close-up

 

 

Youngest ‘teen’ practicing flight low over the water with an ‘oops’

 

Bella in flight

 

B&B condo balcony shot

Donna’s ” perch”

 

Bella skimming the water to clean herself, returning to the nest to dry

 

Bella home alone at times….and probably enjoying the quiet solitude!   😊

 

As the Osprey ‘teens’ learn to master flight control, fish, and explore a vast new world they’ve now learned exists, Bella & Beau will continue to watch over, teach, feed, and protect them.

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Bella and her nine-week old ‘babies’

 

After posting a couple hours ago, a comment was made about naming the ‘teens’.  Thank you merrylbethelhouse!  Let’s have a little fun with it for a week or so.  In the comments of this post, you can give your two names for the ‘teens’.  I will put each pair of suggestion names into a hat and do a drawing in another week or so.  If you like/choose the same names as another commenter, then that pair of names gets another chance in the drawing box!  If you are not a wordpress blogger and cannot comment, you may send me an email bayphotosbydonna@gmail.com with your two name choices.  If it matters with your name selections, we have a female and male to name.   Good luck, everyone!

90 thoughts on “Bella & Beau 2019: Both ‘Teens’ Are On The Wing & Having a Blast

  1. What a great series! And I’m glad to see your own ‘perch’. Lucky you, with your ‘window on the world’! I have enjoyed watching our three chicks fledge, but haven’t noticed them doing the ‘water dipping’ that yours are doing. No doubt they do it around the corner from my view. As always, thanks for sharing! I have put together a series of my fledglings leaving the nest that I’m posting tomorrow. It takes a LOT of time to put one of those together, so I really appreciate your wonderful blog posts.

    • Thank you, Mike! It’s always a good feeling to live alongside this family, watch their season on a daily basis, and see their life cycle continue towards success. I’m tickled for sure! 🙂

      • My (pupa) ‘teens’ have all but disappeared, either naturally (when I wasn’t looking or away) or due to some other natural phenomenon in the middle of the night.

        As for names, I would suggest, following the tradition of naming things alphabetically, and last year would have been names beginning with ‘C’, so this year it would be D… Hence Donna is an obvious choice for one and, in keeping with a ‘french’ theme for the male, David, (pronounced Daveed of course) for the 2nd. 🙂

      • It’s amazing many wildlife juveniles come into the world and are gone so quickly, and on their way. The Osprey take all summer, lol.
        Great names ;-), yours are in the box! 🙂

  2. Wonderful photos as always Donna! And wow! They’ve flown the nest! You have a fabulous platform for photography, nice. 😎

  3. Fantastic pictures, Donna. You are fortunate to have such wonderful birds to watch and we are fortunate that you watch them so carefully and skillfully.

    • Thank you, Tom! Our bay is super-fortunate to have the successful return of the Osprey in huge numbers after they were almost near extinct in the 1970’s. I am glad to share their success, even with just a family’s season, to whoever would like a peek into the Osprey’s world. So many people around our bay have no clue about the success story of the Osprey. If they are ever around me, they will learn real quick! 😉

    • Thank you very much! You know, I almost put a comment in today’s post asking for suggestion. I am glad you mentioned it, I think it’d be fun! I just updated this post adding the invitation. So what would you suggest? 🙂

  4. Your post is a wonderful album of the family Osprey. I’m sure that you will treasure these scenes later on. I will remember them too. Time, pass so fast that surprises us always.
    Thank you for your dedication toward the birds. 🙂

    • Thank you, Ashley! Now everyone can see my secret on why and how I get so many wildlife photos so easily! 😉 Hey, I just updated the bottom of this post inviting all in naming the ‘teens’, if you’re interested! 🙂

  5. Yet another marvelous series of these amazing birds! Enjoyed seeing your perch, too!
    How about Ozzie & Harriet? Or am I dating myself.

  6. It has been fun ‘joining you’ on your Osprey watching. Some great shots. Here in the UK the few Osprey (though numbers are increasing) are not that sociable and seek out more remote locations. So it must be quite something to get such regular entertainment viewings of their daily lives. Sadly as you images show…. it will not be long now before the season ends and they depart till next spring 🙂

    • Thank you, David, I know ‘our’ Osprey are quite different than yours with human tolerance, interaction, and adaption. I follow some of the UK Osprey and know how very fortunate we are with them, and yes what entertainment! Yes, with a tinge of sadness, the season is quickly winding down. 🙂

  7. Hello Donna,
    Oh, how glorious! How wonderful to see the “teens” thriving and doing so well. I feel my chest bursting with pride just following along on this journey 🙂 It’s great to see a glimpse of your special “perch” and although it’s already been said, let me also say “thanks” for sharing these moments. Your husband is also very sweet and supportive 😀

    • Thank you, Takami, and you’re quite welcome! It’s been a great roller coaster ride, ending with glorious success, it’s been a thrill for me to get to watch them grow daily. My perch is definitely a great spot for wildlife, and sure does beat house chores! 😉 Yes, my husband is, he’s a keeper. 😊

  8. What a great moments you captured dear Donna, fascinated me all. You are doing great. Thank you, Love, nia

  9. I love the intense look on both the teens’ faces as their gaze follows one of the parents.This is neat to watch as the parents are teaching in earnest now. Yesterday I was watching a parent Grebe with its young, I think encouraging it to get more food on its own, but still feeding it, occasionally, then the young one was swimming across the pond, flapping its legs behind it on the water. Not sure what that was about, maybe trying a take-off? There is some comedy about their take-off and practise, and oh, you have a great perch yourself and I saw where the nest is from your “roost”. I like the siblings’ white wing-tips.and am thinking about names.

    • Thank you much, Jane for all your comments! The expressions and behaviors at times are priceless. Just as your Grebes, actually watching young ones observing and learning from their parents with such intensity is amazing, and yes comical at times. It’s like they’re little sponges, absorbing it all! 😊

  10. Dear Donna, this was such a joy, thank you. I have enjoyed watching the osprey saga, and today’s series was excellent–interesting and exhilarating to watch the teens advancing in their young lives, excited to be on their own. I love seeing the photos of them practicing. We sometimes expect that birds are born with the skills, being nature and all, but there is much failure, goofs, practicing, and triumphs…and your photos here did an excellent job of pointing that out. Fantastic! Also liked seeing your perch. 🙂

    • Thank you, Jet, and you’re welcome! We know, no matter the wildlife species, getting a peek into their daily life is a treasure for us. On a continuous basis nets awesome behavior antics. I’ve had fun watching, learning, and sharing what I’ve seen for others with interest to see ‘alongside me’. And my balcony, it’s much more fun to ‘perch’ than to do housework! 😉

  11. Thing 1 and Thing 2 would be too seussy, I guess. How about Headstart for osprey #1, and Slowly-but-surely for osprey #2? I think it would be awfully challenging to pick names for one’s kids!

  12. Donna, this has been another fascinating season’s documentary about these lovely birds. It’s a joy to be able to follow them in (almost) real time, and to admire the photos. RH

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