Pair has been at this nest since about 4/16/12, forgot to add it to "my nests" until 4/27/12!!
What to look for
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.
another nest to worry about. haven't seen dad on his fencepost in 10 days, and haven't seen mom home with the chick in two days. i'm worried something has happened to dad and mom is being forced to fish for the two of them, leaving the chick home alone. this has been a bad season for the valley nests, it seems...
definitely a chick in there - dad flew in w/fish, watched mom feed one, maybe two? chicks. dad and mom both facing me in nest, can see that each has a faintly speckled chest -almost identical! makes me fairly sure this is same two ospreys i've been watching since the first year...
both in nest. one of them brought in a big yellow bag, like the kind you see at a construction site. it appears to be buried under some sticks at this point, not sure it will cause any trouble. much of it is hanging over the side; hopefully, the thunderstorms we're supposed to get this weekend will get it out of there.
went out last night to take care of the dead chick. it was in the driveway about 10 yards from the nest. it looked like it had been healthy, no sign of apparent injury, other than i think its neck was broken. this morning when i did my rounds, i found the chick in the same place i had put it last night, in the tall, soft grass near the nest. i also observed mom and 2 chicks still left in the nest! i'm wondering if this one didn't get pushed out, probably accidentally, as the nest isn't that big and the remaining chicks are. so very sad. mom chirped at me softly when i moved her baby into the grass.
this nest had a professional photographer taking photos of dad eating fish on his favorite fencepost, mom bringing in new soft nesting material, and he did manage to see one chick (i advised him there were two).
mom laying in nest, dad eating a very big, very fresh fish on his favorite fencepost, mom not food calling at all, so i'm guessing this isn't the first fish of the day. no sign of chicks today, probably satiated
one HUGE chick and one smaller chick being fed by mom while dad fusses with nest sticks. the big chick is at least a week old, probably older, twice the size of his sibling. kept looking for a third little head but none seen.
dad eating fish on post, mom sitting in nest, not calling for food, which makes me think she has already eaten and probably fed a chick or two, as well. could not confirm a hatch today, but it's definitely due.
very fun nest today. both there when i arrived, then both left, then male caught a very big fish, and i got a video of him flying around and calling to his mate, who soon joined him in the air. he finally took the fish to his favorite fence post, while she flew to the nest and begged, begged, begged. it was a big fish, i'm sure he eventually took some to her!
dad on favorite fence post when i went by today. an hour later on my return trip, he was still on the same post, preening. have no idea if he caught and ate a fish in between. no sign of mom or fledglings
empty nest, nobody around. talked to joanie about the dead osprey; she told me she saw the motorist pick up the dead chick and put it under the nest about two weeks ago. so i don't know if the two fledglings i saw in this nest after that date are the siblings and the dead bird was from another nest (sowerwine platform is very close by; it's not one i'm monitoring because it's on inaccessible private property), or if the 2nd fledgling on this nest is a visitor from another nest that might be missing parents, or what. but i definitely saw two first-year birds on this nest after the reported date of the accident.
ok, one fledgling is dead. not sure of the day, but joan/wally report a motorist hit the bird on the highway, did pull over to check on it, it was dead. i found its desiccated body under the nest; definitely one of the chicks. dad arrived with a nice fresh fish and sat on his favorite fencepost for awhile waiting for his baby, but no chick arrived, nor mom. sad, sad osprey season in montana this year :-(
mom, dad, chick, and CHICK. yep, there are two in this nest after all, almost identical in size. very hot day, dad must have just dropped off fish because one chick has a full crop and the other is grabbing bites when mom isn't feeding herself. c'mon, cool night time temps!
oh my goodness, one HUGE chick finally shows himself in the nest, with mom and dad both standing guard. he appears to be at least two weeks old, maybe older. no sign of a 2nd chick. in fact, no nest has signs of a 2nd chick so far anywhere that i've observed.
after a full week of heavy rain, winds, and just-above freezing temps, i ventured out to check my nests. this nest is in the worst shape of any, with mom sitting in the middle of it, high, but no sign of a chick. dad was on platform perch resting when he should probably have been gathering some nest material. we are close to overdue for a hatch in this nest.
took a quick look at this nest today, fledgling not in it, mom is in exact same spot by river as she was yesterday. i scoped again to make sure this was the adult, and it is. have to believe the kid is somewhere in those trees!
chick was on nest w/mom this morning, on drive back past two hours later, chick is now a fledgling! nest empty, could see mom in the top of the tree next to the river, no sign of fledger, but i'm guessing he's in that stand of trees somewhere! property owner's name is marilyn; she gave me permission to traipse around looking for chick, but i couldn't locate him.
gosh, still see only one chick, and it's a big one! mom a bit agitated at me today, even though i was stopped across the highway. she left the nest and did a few circles around the area, so i packed my bags and scooted out of there
another stubborn mother refusing to show her chicks. today i went down the property owner's driveway to get a better angle, still couldn't see anything but mom glaring at me. left a note for homeowner to call me if they have any osprey info to share.
both in nest, mom eating voraciously, with dad watching. it's apparent i arrived too late to see a chick feeding again! after about 10 minutes of watching mom scarf the fish (and no sign of a chick), dad took the remains of the meal and flew off to his favorite fence post to eat
both parents in nest again, then on way back, mom was down, but in a brooding, not incubating position, i'm also certain. i will drive by again later today 'cuz this nest is driving me crazy; i want to confirm by seeing a feeding!
mom and dad both in nest, dad appeared to be shading mom, then he flew off. mom was standing in nest on my way home, i stopped but couldn't tell if there was a chick. we're overdue, i see! will check again tomorrow
appeared that the female was incubating today. male flew in 'empty-handed' a few minutes later. both still in nest when i left; an hour later, only one in nest, and it was standing, not incubating, so i'm not sure what's what. but i'm thinking there is an egg; will check closer tomorrow.
2 days later than last year, but with the wintry weather in colorado, i'm just excited to see him back! this is the nest where the male has a necklace, too, so i'm not sure if this is mom or dad, but one of them looks quite comfortable in the nest today!
entered last observed date as 9/8, which is the last time i saw an osprey around this nest. i have no idea if if was a parent or chick. but no ospreys have been seen at this nest since that time, so i think they might all be far and away...
both chicks in nest when i arrived, both scolding me. watched for about 10 minutes, then started packing up, at which time one of the chicks flew away - he flew like he'd been doing it for years!! the fledgling flew a circle and then landed on the fence post that dad was sitting on in pic #2, where he stayed for about five minutes before flying in a circle and making a perfect landing on the nest "perch bar". chick #2 and i watched in amazement...
got the scope on the nest and found one big beautiful chick with big beautiful orange eyes staring back at me - it looked like he swallowed a tennis ball! watched for about 10 minutes, never saw #2 chick. packed it up and started to drive away when i saw #2 stand up. #2 quite a bit smaller than #1 but still looks healthy!
just saw my 2nd bobblehead; he's significantly smaller than #1. observed mom eating the tail of a fish, neither chick begging for food. an intruder landed in the nest, which i thought was dad, since mom didn't really put up a stink. but a few seconds later, here comes another osprey circling and screaming and finally escorting the intruder out of the nest. why wasn't mom more upset at this stranger in her house? also, the vicious hail/wind storm that went through the valley on 6/25 tore up this nest quite a bit - about 50% of it is hanging over the side.
this is the other nest bothered by crop dusters yesterday. female standing in nest, male not around. when i checked a few hours later, both were standing in nest and fussing. i will have to go out again today or tomorrow, but i think they have a hatch.
interesting observations today. i thought it was dad incubating when i first arrived (all white chest). his brown seems faded out compared to mom. then the speckled breasted mom flew into the nest, squawking, and i saw an eagle flying nearby. the eagle moved on and mom left again. then she came back with a huge crib rail which she proceeds to place. dad continues to incubate. question - are some mom's white breasted and some dad's speckled? it sure seemed like role reversal day if not! and the bird i always assumed was dad never stopped incubating; he even closed his eyes like he was sleepy many times for the 1/2 hour i watched. i think still on eggs!
spartanmt: lots of fun watching this nest today. male brought in a couple big sticks, bopped mom on the head both times, she finally got disgusted and went to perch on a fence post while he continued working. this nest is on same side of highway 82 as #1013, about 1/2 mile separating them.