Bella & Beau 2019: Teen Temper Tantrums

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

August 27, 2019

Welcome back to Bella & Beau’s Osprey season!  For the past 1½ weeks, there were many wonderful highlights that I was lucky to witness and some captured.

First, the great news that I didn’t confirm until yesterday.  I hadn’t seen Momma Bella for several days.  I began to wonder if she had left for migration.  But although I hadn’t visually seen her, I was getting some ‘hints’ from the teens she might have been perched several times in the tree across the creek that Beau also uses.  There were times the teens would beg towards that direction, then turn to Dad Beau on the water tower and beg more.


Bonita & Brad begging across the creek.                Dad Beau is behind them on the water tower.


It was yesterday, the teens started alarming.  I knew something wasn’t right from their sound and ran outside to see a family of Black Vultures flying quite low over the creek.  I saw an Osprey shoot out of that tree I mentioned and began to pursue the Black Vultures.  They quickly took off, of course.


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Osprey in pursuit of a Black Vulture


Once satisfied, the Osprey (who I thought was Beau) flew over the nest, looking down at the teens who were quiet and watching, and then flew off towards the end of the creek and perched on the communications tower Bella & Beau used a lot late in the season last year.  I turned to check and saw an Osprey on the water tower.  I got my binoculars and saw it was Beau.  So was that Bella I just watched chasing the vultures?  I quickly checked & zoomed in on my shots and could see a ‘necklace’ on the Osprey’s chest.  It was!


Bella in flight


Bella on the communications tower


So all along, Momma Bella has been around, keeping a protective watch over the teens when at the nest.  And she just proved again, no one messes with her babies!


Bella’s instinct to leave for migration is imminent.  I felt very fortunate to get to see and photograph her again as I know it may have been my last time.


So, yes, the teens, Bonita & Brad, are out and about for hours at a time.  The nest sits empty.


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I know Bella didn’t see this blackbird at the time, she wouldn’t have allowed him there.


As soon as either teen is tired of flying, or tired of trying to fish, they’ll return to the platform and solicit to Bella & Beau to feed them.  It appears the parents are starting to withhold feedings even longer as the begging can go on for hours.  The begging turns into downright loud, hilarious temper tantrums!


Teen Temper Tantrums



Bonita & Brad looking and listening to see if the temper tantrums worked



Bonita having a full-fledged temper tantrum.                     Bonita checks to see “if it worked”.



Bella & Beau withholding food must be working.  I’ve watched both Bonita and Brad trying to fish in the creek, sometimes right from the nest platform.


Bonita diving for a fish



Bonita dives for another fish another day



Brad attempting a dive for a fish but changes his mind



I haven’t seen either teen catch a fish yet, but they are probably trying out on the river as I’ve seen them both return to the platform wet.

To be sure, Dad Beau does make fish deliveries to ensure they don’t starve.  Poor Beau, he’s practically assaulted trying to pass the fish.


Beau delivering a fish to an aggressive Brad



Beau delivering a fish with both teens eager for it…..who gets it?


This next gallery series was a wonderful highlight I was excited to share.  Beau dropped down right in front of me and caught a fish.  I captured most of the action, as did Bonita who was on the nest.


Beau catches a fish


Was this a teaching moment for Bonita’s benefit?  Dad Beau obviously made sure he didn’t deliver it, he probably went off and ate it himself.  Bonita certainly looked solemn after that.


Bonita’s reaction to Dad Beau passing her by with the fish


With Beau staying in close proximity much of the time, I have gotten some nice photos of him as he flies in and out of the area.


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“Peek-a-boo, I see you”
(Beau in flight)


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Beau’s handsome wingspan


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“Beau’s Belly”



Eldest teen Bonita is the ‘wild child’, she’s out adventuring from the nest most of the day, then suddenly flies in with speed while announcing loudly her arrival.  Trying to catch her in flight hasn’t been easy, but I did get a few of her in flight as well.


Bonita in flight



Youngest teen Brad is the homebody, he still likes to hang around the general vincinity of the nest and has his share of handsome flight photos.


Brad in flight



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Brad using his ‘goggles’ in flight



Brad still enjoys perching on the sailboat mast just off to the right of my balcony.  I love when he perches there.


Brad on one of his (and my) favorite perches



A few more favorite photos from this past week and a half….




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Bella perched, watching over the teens



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Bonita amongst the clouds



Finally, I’ll end with three dramatic sunset photos with Bella & Beau’s nest platform.


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Sunset over Bella & Beau’s nest platform on Cambridge Creek



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Different sunset dramatics over Bella & Beau’s nest platform on Cambridge Creek



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Sunset over Bella & Beau’s nest platform on Cambridge Creek



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