The pair is trying to build a nest on top of some sort of square post that is sitting on top of a utility pole
This nest can be accessed by making a left on to the main road once you enter Ft De Soto. Then you make the second left onto a service road that says "do not enter" (park maintenance area). In order to get to this nest you have to drive into a prohibite
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.
Both were flying overhead, there were several vultures flying around the area as well. They were very vocal, calling back and forth to each other the whole time I was in the area of the nest, and as I approached it.
The female was sitting on the edge of the pole and the male was flying in with nesting material. The materials from the previous week were at the base of the pole and only a few branches were on top of the pole.
During the third observation of this nest, the male and female Ospreys flew around in the area but stayed away. We never saw them close by the failed nest. We walked further into the wood to check for a new nest that they may have built, but we couldn't find one. The nest didn't look to have made any progress but the Ospreys were still hanging around. We aren't exactly sure what to make of this nest.
Upon arrival for the second observation of this failed nest, we spotted two Ospreys. The male Osprey was perched on top of the nest but flew away as soon as we arrived. The female Osprey was perched on a near by tree and remained there during our observation. The male and female flew around the area for a while during our observation but never returned back to the nest. The Ospreys may be in the process of rebuilding the nest, or moving it to a more secure location.
The nest was very difficult to access because it was in a secure and prohibited area. We had to ask permission to enter the area, and after much effort and persuasion, the officer let us through. We drove through the woods off-roading for a half mile, then proceeded on foot for a quarter mile. We finally found it after almost giving up. The structure was unfit for a nest. The dead tree/pole sat in the center of a cleared out area of woods. There was about fifteen feet on either side which isolated it in the center. The nest was extremely low compared to every other nest I've seen, only reaching a maximum hight of about 20-25ft. The top of the pole was level with the trees in the woods. The nest failed and collapsed. The shrapnel and remains of the nest were on the ground at the base of the post. Around the post was a large square metal box looking object and the nest remains laid on it. There were no Ospreys in site during the time of observation.