a canada goose was using this nest until around 5/6/12. flathead county osprey seem willing to wait out the goose, then swoop in immediately when the mom/goslings leave and start their own nest building activities. this has happened at two other osprey nest platforms just this year. i think the pair now using this nest are the ones that were hanging around Nest #1013 the past couple weeks: Nest #1013 has had no activity observed in about 5 days.
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.
a ray of sunshine here this morning - two ospreys on the nest! the female appears darker and much larger than the male. watched for about five minutes, they basically had their backs to each other, but male did not seem upset, so i'm guessing it's a possible new mate - fingers crossed!
out of town for last 10 days. today, the nest appears to have been abandoned. no osprey around, although the lone male (i believe it was dad) may be out fishing. very sad, such an ideal nest location to go to waste.
this nest makes me sad. there is at least one nearby intruder (three active nests being harassed close by), but not this one. guess the intruder and this lonely osprey are same sex. wish it would find a new mate; it is always standing patiently in the nest bowl when i do my rounds :-(
was able to climb up a nearby hill and look down into the nest for the first time. no wonder it's hard to see bobbleheads - mom and dad have a nice big berm on the side of the nest facing the road, where two chicks are finally seen clearly. also, we had a brief intruder fly-by at this nest, dad came in quickly from the river and stood on guard from nearby tree, calling the whole time. mom was strangely silent; must not have taken the threat too seriously this time.
female incubating, no sign of male. met the property caretaker, shannon, who gave me permission to enter the property and use it to gain better observation spot - up the hill by the barn, i should be able to see into nest, maybe count eggs?
copulation observed in nest today. curiously enough, i thought this nest would have eggs by now. when we first arrived, female was standing up in nest, then about 5 minutes later, the male arrived and copulation. i never observed the female lay down but am going to look again tomorrow when i have more time.
ok, now there is one osprey back at the nest. i didn't think those geese had any eggs in there, and this sort of kind of confirms it. problem is i thought this pair might have given up fighting the geese and moved across the road to the riverbank nest; however, the riverbank pair is on their nest at the same time we have a returnee to the sliter nest. so lord only knows what's going on and where the new riverbank pair came from. i am watching the gho nest to see if possibly that pair relocated to this lakeshore property or if this is a totally new pair.
yep, unbelievable - now there are two geese standing on this nest, and i believe it's this nest pair that is currently directly across the road, working on the riverbank platform nest just recently vacated by another goose! dad was eating a fish on the telephone pole, mom appeared to be cleaning out the riverbank nest. the sliter pair was definitely on the nest 4/10, how the heck did a goose evict them??? it will be interesting to see if they return to their normal spot this season, or if they've decided to move permanently - both nest platforms are in prime locations
one in nest. while i observed, two ospreys flew over this nest, one in pursuit of the other. the lead osprey took a dive at the nest, the nest osprey protected, then all 3 ospreys took flight heading north.
empty nest, but there is a chick on the empty osprey platform directly across the road. no way to know if this chick is from the sliter nest, but i have seen them use this perch to fish from in the past.
one chick in nest, flew off when i approached, showing that all 3 chicks have now fledged. adult was in nearby tree, looked like dad. another chick was on the river platform across the road; i'm pretty sure it's a fledgling from this nest
one chick preening, one chick laying down, mom was at nest but took off after an intruder. as i was leaving, dad flew in with a fish drop and immediately left to go get another. too far away at this point to see if the 3rd chick popped up to be fed.
after a full week of heavy rain, winds, and just-above freezing temps, i ventured out to check my nests. lo and behold, finally a nest with a chick!!! watched mom feeding someone deep in the bowl while dad snoozed on the platform perch - lovely, lovely sight!
both standing in nest, then one (i'm assuming female) crouched down, with her tail way up in the air for about 10 seconds, then she got down into an incubating position on the nest. i will check again tomorrow, but i think we have an egg!
v-e-r-y interesting observation today. fledgling was in nest, working away on a very large fish, with what i thought was mom or dad yakking on a nearby tree. when i put the scope on the yakker, i realized it was another fledgling, not an adult! i'd heard that fledglings will sometimes go a'beggin at other nests, which this one was definitely doing (albeit from a distance). no adult in sight...
fledge happened sometime between 8/18 and 8/25, probably closer to 8/18 based on what i saw that day. empty nest today, pretty sure it was the fledgling on that tree to the left of the nest in my picture :-)