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.
One adult and two juveniles sat on nest. When the adult flies off one of the juveniles starts to vigorously flap its wings. It rises up and hovers for a few seconds, before settling back on the nest. Adult returns with sticks.
Adult female on nest feeding two juveniles. Boat comes close and the female flies off with the fish. One juvenile stretches and flaps his wings energetically - soon be flying. Female returns and resumes the feeding.
Nest empty at first. Then about an hour later 2 birds on the nest. At least one juvenile. Eagle flies by, one bird takes off, and juvenile remains on nest. After about 10 minutes, adult bird returns. No other juvenile seen for over 30 minutes. Juvenile flies off, briefly landing on nearby tree, then returns to the nest.
One adult (F) and 2 juveniles stood high in the nest. Adult flies off. Juveniles look ready to fly. One of them is feeding and stretching his wings. Other is walking around the nest. F returns after ~15 minutes, aerial battle with neighboring adult.
One bird perched at the side of the nest reaching in and shading. One chick visible. Male returns with fish and perches on nearby piling. Much squealing from the female. He doesn't share. After 5-10 minutes she flies off catches a fish and returns.