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.
3 pm-5 pm No one on nest when we arrived. Soon one fledgling arrived and began calling loudly. An hour later the other fledgling flew in. As it tried to land on the nest, the first fledgling pushed it off! So, it went over to the ancillary perch and sat there. (Jerry and Dorie)
11 am-1:30 pm Both young on nest. Female returned with fish and fed herself with the young looking on. She left after 30 minutes and the fledglings fed themselves on the leftovers. A little after 1pm first one and then the other fledgling left the nest and it was empty. One of the chicks perched on the ancillary perch for a while. (Fran)
10 am to 12:30 pm - Both young were on the nest. After a while, one flew away while the other stayed in place. At 11 am both were gone from the nest and out of sight and both returned 15 minutes later. An adult brought them food and one of the chicks tried to hog it all. Only saw one adult today. (Elaine & Fred)
A big day! Both chicks flew...for the first time that we observed. First they were jumping a lot, then, one flew out of the nest and around for about 5 minutes. When it returned to the nest, the second chick appeared to fall off the nest (and out of view, behind bushes). The adult male immediately flew down to it (out of sight). In a minute both flew up from the ground and around the nest for about 2 minutes. Three Beach Ambassadors got to see it all! (Brooke, Susan and Richard)
10 am Female feeding chicks. Male brought a fish at 12:30 pm and the female fed on it. The chicks are getting big and flap a lot especially when the wind picks up. A third adult osprey came by but was chased away by the parents. (Carolyn and Fran)
(29 May 2013, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA) Great news! Our Plymouth Beach Osprey pair John and Priscilla have a chick! I observed feeding behavior by Priscilla this morning. More importantly I saw the little bobblehead moving to get it's food from mama! I could see just the top of the chick's head and visibility was poor due to rain so no photography attempted. I saw only one chick today with Orion 10x50 binocs. So far so good! Stay tuned!
Our Plymouth Beach Osprey Pair are back! John and Priscilla arrived sometime over the past two days. A second osprey pair (m&f) tried to take the nest but John and Priscilla fought them off. Nest maintenance and copulation is already observed.