Look for 2 adults on the nest. The adult pair will show pair bonding behaviors such as vocalizations, aerial sky dances, and the male feeding the female fish. You may see the pair copulating, which typically begins 14 days before laying eggs.
Females will lay 1 - 4 eggs at a rate of one egg every 1 - 2 days. After laying, incubation starts. Look for adults taking turns sitting low in the nest incubating eggs. The incubation period can last 35 - 43 days.
Chicks hatch ~39 days after incubation begins. Look for adults bringing food to the nest and making "head bows" into the center. Chicks typically can't be seen until they are 2 - 3 weeks old, so feeding behavior is the only way to know chicks are there.
Around 4 weeks after hatching, look for the heads of chicks to show over the rim of the nest, particularly when adults bring food to the nest. Other times they lie flat and are harder to see. Count the number of chicks in the nest before they learn to fly
Chicks begin flying around 7 - 8 weeks old, and are still fed by the adults. Count the number of chicks who have successfully fledged the nest and are observed flying.
Chick Last Observed
4 - 10 weeks after fledging, chicks begin leaving the nest area to migrate south, once they have learned to fly and feed themselves. Record the date that the last chick left the nest.
Look for signs of nest failure like adult abandonment, adults no longer incubating eggs or feeding young.
date of second nest failure i'm going to say was 7/8/16, as 7/7 was the last date i observed any incubation activity. no viable eggs, probably due to stress of original disruption/nest destruction in may
mom still incubating, it's getting too late for a hatch, will hold out until next week to call it a failed nest. probably the disruption right when they were ready to lay eggs has contributed to the failure here...
darn birds have me confused. this morning, mom was standing in nest, dad flew in with a stick. an hour later, mom was somewhat laying in the nest, but not flat-backed, then she flew off, leaving nest empty. so i'm baffled...
one standing in nest when other one arrives with a stick! this pair was seen mating on 5/13, as well. not sure if it's too late or not, but hoping not! very happy the new platform and location have been accepted.
erected new platform this morning, about 30 yards south of where property owner destroyed original nest. hopefully the pair will return and accept it. a pair was skydancing above us at one point, hopefully it's them
great news, FWS told homeowner he cannot disturb the nest once the adults occupy it, which is what we had told him, but he refused to believe it, claiming some MT FWP guy said he could cut it down unless it had an egg. FWS is calling the homeowner directly to advise him to wait until nesting season is over. EDIT: FWS took back their statement, said nest could be disturbed as long as no eggs in it, which is what the property owner did.
one osprey has returned, but property owner is planning on removing the nest pole in the next day or so - 'too messy' - so unless we can get a new platform erected this week, doubtful we will have an active nest on school addition road
chick fledged to nearby power pole (pic posted). couldn't find mom around - won't she be proud when she returns home! asked cheryl to let me know if/when the fledgling returns safely to the nest. UPDATE: cheryl reports fledger is back safely in the nest.
correction - chick has not fledged yet. also, it appears that mom may be raising her baby alone; no sign of dad in the past couple of weeks, and mom has been seen bringing the fish into the nest. cheryl is worried that the chick seems to be laying down more than normal. i did see it stand up and do some wingercizing. i also observed mom in the nest screaming at another osprey at the top of a nearby tree; mom eventually left the nest to perch on a tree closer to the other bird and continue her protests. this doesn't seem to be the behavior of a female towards her mate.
chick home alone. cheryl and i discussed the fact that neither of us have seen this chick standing up recently. today it did raise its head and call, could hear a parent in the distance respond. it's very cool (50s) and rainy this morning, so most all of my chicks are laying low today, but this one is a bit concerning.
now it looks like dad guarding nest from the same spot in tree across the road. chick laying down in nest bowl but busy preening. i do believe there is only one chick in this nest, not sure if there were ever two; if so, the 2nd one passed away fairly early, but i suspect there has always been just one.
mom calling when i arrived, dad flew in with fresh fish shortly thereafter, mom feeds one chick and herself, never saw the other baby. i'm hoping this is 2nd fish of the day and the other chick has already eaten, which is why i didn't see it....
mom in nest, started calling shortly after i arrived, i could hear dad responding but he never showed up w/fish. observed one chick trying to feed from mom's scolding mouth; did not see the other chick
no matter what time i get here (today it was 6:30 am), there's dad in the tree with a fish, mom laying in the nest not complaining, and no sign of babies. have to take cheryl's word for it that there are two nestlings here since i've never seen them or even a feeding!
dad eating a fish in his favorite tree - looks like he's hungry and is going to finish the whole thing. mom laying in nest, sees him, but is not food calling at all. really looks like she's still incubating, will check with cheryl to see if she's seen anything different
it looks like we have a match! both were in the nest this morning, according to cheryl, peacefully co-existing. when i checked this afternoon, the female was in the nest but flew away to a nearby telephone pole - joining her mate, who was on the wire right below. flathead electric is supposed to be out next week to clean up the baling twine from this nest.
what a mess. resident female in the nest, along with two other ospreys. none of them were squawking when i approached. then the resident female started complaining, at which time one (definitely male) flew out of the nest, followed by the 2nd, who had a fish, but also many speckles on its chest. so not sure if this 2nd osprey is a male or not. the osprey w/fish tried to return to the nest a moment later, and the resident female refused to let him/her land. both #1 and #2 visitors eventually flew off, our mom waited a few moments, then flew off in the direction of the lake, as well. per cheryl, the osprey w/fish had been at the nest for over an hour when i arrived, and our female was not happy. so - playing hard to get, or is this a bonded pair trying to take over the nest, or what? stay tuned...
first tragedy of the season - male found dangling from baling twine caught up in tree near nest. by the time he was rescued and taken to vet, it was too late. broken pelvis, among other things, and he was euthanized. lord knows how long he was hanging there. this nest has too much frickin' baling twine in it; i'm guessing he got caught up on some while there, then went to get a new stick and got tangled in the tree. so sad. the female left the nest during the rescue attempt and had not returned in the first 5 hours or so after. what will happen here? is there time for a new mate to arrive? i won't call this nest a failure until it's too late for courting/breeding/chicks
i don't know, this nest doesn't look like it's progressed very much at all this past week. female osprey is standing on the platform, don't see her mate around. plan on taking a walk down that way this afternoon to check on things again
never really saw dad after 6/1, but figured that was because i am unable to visit my nests as frequently as i'd like this season. after weeks of bad weather, the nest was looking pretty sparse, mom appeared to no longer be incubating, i thought it was because she had a chick, but now i'm wondering if it was due to something else. i sure hope she didn't lose her mate, too. in any event, nest is definitely abandoned this morning, no ospreys around, and no movement in the nest.
only one chick in nest, located the fledger on nearby power pole. stopped to talk to cheryl klein, during our talk, the other chick fledged! #2 chick fledged LOW and flew along the road, very scary, before landing on a power line. #1 fledger returned to nest shortly thereafter, while #2 fledger flew LOW again a bit further away from his first perch and came to rest on the same power line, just a bit further down the road. very exciting to see! just hope #2 learns to fly higher fast!
met the property owners where this platform is located, my arrival date of male was spot on! female arrived on 4/26 (2 days later). today i observed 2!!! chicks being fed to the point of food coma, then mom finished the fish. about 15 minutes later (still talking to homeowners) mom starts squawking, there are 3 osprey flying around her nest, she decides to join in the chase for about 5 minutes before returning to nest. probably some unattached males, maybe females, looking for trouble?
stopped in the middle of the road because i thought i saw a little head peeking over the rim of the nest! by the time i got to the parking area, mom had laid back down in the nest. i'm pretty sure i saw a chick today!
big wind & hail storm last night, which is the last thing this nest needs right now! drove by it early in the a.m., around 0530, and mom was standing on perch bar, while dad was in nearby tree. forgot my camera; he looked so white against the fir trees today. i am going to edit my incubation date - either they had an egg and lost it, or i've been deluding myself all along.
i'm leaning towards no eggs in this nest right now. i think there's still an intruder (lord knows which is which) hanging around, which would explain all the nest material at the base last night. tonight i only saw the female perched on the bar, no other osprey in sight.
i honestly don't know what's going on in this nest. tonite when i thought i'd see mom definitely on the egg, instead i see mom and dad both standing in the nest, with a bunch of nest material on the ground that was not there 5 hours ago. picked up two bunches of baling twine from below the nest, and neither of them made a peep at me. rain is expected tomorrow - if there's an egg, then i will definitely see it being protected then!
mom was in nest when i arrived. i decided to get out of car and walk up a nearby hill to get a better view into the nest. when i got my scope on the nest, i could see mom giving me the evil eye. she glared for quite awhile, then left the nest and did circles around me and my dog! this nest is right on a bike/pedestrian path, it has lots of foot traffic almost directly underneath it, and that's ok, but i can't put a scope on her 50 yards away w/o her getting upset. guess it's just something foreign at this point. in any event, i don't think there's an egg yet, but it's gotta be getting close.
on 4/23, saw what i think is the male, fussing with sticks on the nest! no sign of mate yet. UPDATE: the kleins live next to this nest; they report seeing the male on 4/24, and the female arrived on 4/26.
still no sign of ospreys at this nest, although i did see a couple raptors performing what looked like courtship behavior high in the sky. will check again tomorrow. this was the latest nest last year, too.
empty nest, then chick flew in and landed like an expert. thought i could hear an osprey in the general direction of the river but never saw it. chick in nest wasn't squawking like it was hungry. i've only seen one chick here for the past two weeks, and mom has not been in her favorite perch tree since forever! i'm guessing mom and one chick have migrated at this time...
a day for my camera, which of course i left at home. both fledglings perched on the telephone wire along school addition road, about 10 feet apart. no parent in sight. beautiful day, beautiful fledglings sticking close to each other...
well fellow nest monitor thinks there was a hatch on 6/26; i went by twice today, and both times mom was still laying in nest bowl. is she on a chick or still on eggs? will look again later tonight. also realized that i've never seen dad at this nest OR mom eating...
this nest makes me wish i knew more about osprey. today there is a bird laying in the nest, which appears to be satisfactory for laying eggs at this point. it looked like a female; however, i don't think she was in the correct "flat back, tail up" position to be incubating. we'll see!
this is such an interesting nest to watch. today it appears that the holes in the nest have been filled in. no osprey on nest, but i did observe one soar down from a tree top, do some nice turns in the air, then fly back to the tree, where a 2nd osprey then flew off and did the same thing. then they appeared to be flying as a team. is this courting behavior? i have no idea. my theory is this nest is a new one, young male, maybe his first year trying to attract mate? it's getting kind of late, though...
whoops, got my nests mixed up! this nest, school addition, there were no osprey around, didn't look like any new material since last week. the platform seems a bit smaller than the others, maybe the reason it's not being favored by the birds?