Please see numerous photos of this nest here . . : http://www.flickr.com/photos/rbinv/sets/72157629226634560/ . . . . Nest is at the top of a live tree just north of the nature trail entrance. The nest / nest-tree is near the middle of the inlet water area. The location is east of the entrance road bridge and west of the railroad bridge where it crosses the water.
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.
06/01/2014: Observed two young and two active adults. Please see 3 photos posted from this date. The young do not appear ready to leave the nest yet. One adult brought in some nest material to what appeared to be a well-made nest. All appeared well and normal.
18 April 2013: Please also see ebird http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S13800560 ; Observed 2 adults sitting on the nest. Each adult took turns "fishing." One adult may be "right" handed, and the other "left" handed (?) "Lefty" appeared to give a fish to "Righty."
On Sunday, 25 March, 2012, Melissa Martin, Frances Brown, and Roy Brown, observed the mated pair on the nest. One adult stayed on the nest then entire time and appeared to be incubating eggs. The other adult appeared to be hunting and bringing the nest adult food. Both Osprey appeared healthy. Dates and specific times in this eBird report: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S10269242
On 14 March 2012, Roy Brown observed Nest #205 at Veteran's Memorial State Park at Lake Blackshear.
The mated pair spent some time together on the nest. They engaged in presumed copulation activities. The presumed female remained on the nest during the entire observation period of 4:00 PM until 5:30 PM. The presumed male left and caught a fairly large fish and brought it back to the nest after eating a portion of it. The female did not appear to eat any of the fish. 5 photos of these activities were posted to Ospry-Watch.org.
Below are links to larger views of the 5 photos (same as the thumbnails) taken on 14 March 2012:
IMPORTANT NOTE regarding ADULT ARRIVAL DATE: The date of 7 February 2012 is a "best estimate" based on research in eBird and interview(s) with park staff. We have photographic and other evidence that the mated pair was on nest by at least 7 Feb 2012. Though this date is reasonably close, we do not know if this is the actual "early date" with certainty for this pair on this nest.
2 March 2012:
Took photos of nest and mated pair. Pair appeared to be in court-ship activities.
There was always at least one Osprey on the nest, except during period of time when fisher-men (in a boat) were too close to nest.
Links to photos:
1 March 2012:
The photos I added today are photos of the mated pair. The photos were taken just west of the nest, as the Osprey were soaring. One of the Osprey appears to be molting (looks a little ragged in the photo.) Here are links to the photos to see larger: