Osprey nest is on top of a communications tower at the Hilton Head Island office of Palmetto Electric Cooperative. The Co-op created a platform for the ospreys to nest. The platform is roughly 6.5' x 7' chain link fence with hardware cloth underneath. This nest has a web cam which is working.
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.
Carol T reports:
From the Blog update:
Yesterday morning (8/2) about 7:15, EH fledged. The juvenile is hanging out at various locations on the tower and nearby trees. Maybe we'll see EH back on the camera before the family departs the nest. It was 71 days before EH took flight which is the longest of all the juveniles since we placed the camera on the tower on 2008.
EH finally came back to the nest. After sitting on the platform for 71 days, I'm sure it needed to stretch its wings a bit.
NOTE: While there were two nestlings, only one survived and fledged.
Carol T. reports:
The most recent entry from the Palmetto Osprey blog
As of July 24, EH has yet to fledge. The juvenile has been exercising its wing muscles in anticipation of its initial flight. Juvenile osprey normally take their first flights 7 - 8 weeks after hatching. Tuesday, July 25th, will be nine weeks since EH hatched. It's possible that EH has developed a bit slower as Jasper did not provide a steady stream of fish in the early developmental stage this season as he had been in the past, which required Bea to leave the nest to provide nourishment
Carol T reports:
Key points from the blog:
This season has been different than previous years, with Bea frequently leaving the nest, flying about the area, bringing in more sticks and moss. Past years she has always stayed on the nest, never leaving her chicks, but Jasper has not been supporting her.
On the afternoon of June 6th, Jasper delivered a fish and was not seen again until the afternoon of June 8th when he delivered another fish.
Jasper has continued to be unreliable in his support, so Bea continues to have to leave the nest daily to find fish, resulting in the chick, EH being left alone during this time.
Carol T reports:
FROM THE WEB CAM BLOG:
Bea and Jasper have lost their first chick JK. We had storms and high winds Friday and especially on Saturday (5/26-27) The chick, JK, most likely died from exposure as the temperatures also dropped into the mid 50's which is rare for May.
So now the pair has the one chick, EH, and with no competition for food, EH has a better chance of survival.
Carol T reports:
FROM THE NEST BLOG:
Bea and Jasper's second chick hatched at 8:26:13 this morning, May 23, 2023. The pair had two eggs that were laid on March 12th and March 15th with incubation periods of 40 and 38 days.
The second chick's name is EH.
Carol T reports from the nest blog:
Bea and Jasper have their first chick hatch for 2023. The chick's name is JK. Last year Bea laid three eggs, but no chick hatched. We believe the chick hatched this morning as the pair seemed a bit apprehensive.
The chick's name is JK.
Carol T reports form the nest blog:
Today marks 4 weeks since the first egg was laid, and the second egg was laid three days later. So we possibly could see two chicks in about two weeks or so. The pair has not had chicks since the 2021 season.
Carol T reports:
According to the blog, Bea and Jasper have two eggs!! They are not sure the exact day of the week that the first egg was laid, but are estimating that it was 4/13 The second egg was definitely laid on 4/15
Well this is exciting, because they stated in one of the recent blogs that they had just about decided they weren’t going to be raising a family this year. Great news!
Carol T reports: From the webcam blog
The pair, Bea and Jasper, are finally starting to rebuild their nest. They have a very long way to go, but at least they're making an attempt. In past years the pair were quick to tidy up the nest atop the 100' communications tower.
Carol T reports:
From the webcam blog:
the pair doesn't seem very interested in repairing their nest or mating.
It's not looking very promising for 2023 at the rate Bea and Jasper are moving. We'll continue to keep an eye on the two.
Carol T reports: I have not seen any activity whatsoever. In fact, it looks to me like there has been some changes in the tower (or maybe not). But if so, I hope the ability for Osprey to nest there was taken into account in any changes made. There isn’t any updated info on the site yet. I’ll keep checking and looking for Bea and Jasper’s Arrival!
Carol T reports: 2/21/23
According to the Webcam blog:
Bea and Jasper have returned for their 13th season on 2/21/23. The pair is a bit late in their return compared to previous seasons. The nest, atop of the 100' communications tower, is in desperate need of repair.
Carol T reports: There has been no further word about Bea and Jasper since the last blog post on 4/22, and the webcam seems to have been disabled.
This is such sad news as they were off to a grand start with three eggs this season!
I will continue to check for blog posts for awhile in case new info is added.
Carol T reports: The osprey pair, Bea and Jasper, have stopped incubating their three eggs as of April 21st. Maybe the eggs were not viable so they knew to stop caring for them. We'll continue to monitor the couple and see what unfolds.
Carol T reports:
“ Yesterday we noticed that Jasper and Bea began mating again which we thought was odd. Today Bea has not been incubating the eggs for over 2 hours now. Not sure what is going on with the pair and their three eggs.”
Carol T reports:Carol T reports: According to the 2022 webcam blog, Bea and Jasper have returned to the nest as of February 2nd for their 12th season!
On February 9th the blog reported that only about two new sticks have been laid on the platform so far, so nest building activity needs to kick into high gear. Cool temperatures may be hampering their search efforts for nesting material.
Carol T reports: More good news on this nest! According to the webcam blog:
TT and JW faired well with Tropical Storm Elsa last night. We were a bit concerned as only one was on the nest this morning when we checked the camera, but thankfully both juveniles appeared on the tower a little later on. Bea and Jasper are also doing fine.
Carol T reports: Both juvenile ospreys, TT and JW, have fledged - taking their first flight. JW was the first to go which occurred on June 27th. It took TT, the oldest chick by a day, about one week longer. The communications tower located at our Hilton Head office is 100 feet tall, so taking the first flight is no easy task. JW fledged in 58 days and TT fledged in 65 days. The juveniles will stay dependent on their parents for food until they learn to fish for themselves.
Carol T reports: From the nest blog:
The chicks TT and JW are growing up fast due to Jasper bringing in fish such as flounder. Juvenile ospreys normally fledge within 7 - 8 weeks from hatching. That time frame will be mid to late June.” (NOTE: Remember 1 of the 3 died)
Carol T reports from the blog: “The chicks TT and JW are doing well and have added much weight, especially TT. TT has been a bit aggressive towards JW, but in the last few days that has eased up a bit which we hope that trend continues.”
Carol T reports: The webcam blog reports that Bea and Jasper have lost one of the three hatchlings.
It appeared to be fine the day before.
“It appears Bea and Jasper have lost their youngest hatchling, LT. Upon leaving work yesterday the chick appeared to be doing well. The loss of the one will give the two remaining chicks a better chance of survival.”
Carol T reports: From the bog report from 4/8:
“Bea and Jasper continue to incubate their three eggs. Today marks the 20th day since the first egg was laid. We could see a chick around April 24th or so.”
Carol T. - According to the web blog there are 3 eggs.
egg #1 on the morning of 3/19
egg #2 the morning of 3/22
egg #3 as of 3/24
The pair hasn’t started this late since 2013, when their first egg was laid on 3/13.
Carol T reports: According to the webcam blog:
Bea and Jasper continue to mate but there are no eggs yet. Bea is spending more time in the nest and Jasper continues to bring her fish.
They are behind schedule for a clutch of eggs compared to previous years.
Carol T reports: “We have confirmed that Bea and Jasper returned for their 11th season. Since their arrival they have made many repairs to the nest. The pair has been mating often and we anticipate a clutch of eggs by early March.”
(from the web cam blog)
Carol T reports: On February 8th a female appeared on the platform. Jasper has attempted mating, so for that reason the thinking is it must be Bea, the mate for the last ten seasons. Close-ups of her are trying to be obtained to confirm.
Carol T reports: According to the webcam blog:
On January 30th an osprey was spotted in the nest . Two days later, February 1st, the Osprey was confirmed to be Jasper, the male for the last ten seasons.
Carol T shared the blog post from the web camera site: “Hey Everyone, sorry about the lack of posts. With everything going on the Osprey blog was pushed aside. In the last post, April 22nd, Bea and Jasper lost their youngest chick KS. But SZ has fledged. Often the trio has been seen on surrounding trees and on various parts of the communication tower. SZ will stay with its parents until it is time to migrate south.”
Carol T reports: There have been no additional posts from the webcam blog since 4/20/20, when it was reported that chick #2 had died.
I visited the nest a few days ago, on 5/24/20 and observed one adult and the remaining juvenile sitting at the edge of the platform.
Yesterday, 5/25/20, I visited the webcam and the remaining juvenile was sitting at the edge of the platform with no adults in sight.
Today, 5/26/20, I visited the webcam and there were no Ospreys on the nesting platform!
I continued to watch for about fifteen minutes and it remained empty!
NOTE: Based on this report, we assume that the 1 chick has fledged successfully about May 20th. That would be about right with hatching on March 19th and fledging about 8 weeks later. The youngster may still be around the nest for another 5-6 weeks under the parent's care.
Carol T reports: As of today, 5/12/20 there have been no additional updates from the webcam blog since the last one on 4/20/20.
I checked the webcam today and there appeared to be one adult in the nest, laying down, which appeared to be sleeping.
There was another Osprey sitting at the edge of the platform, which must have been the chick, as it didn’t look like an adult. I’m happy to report that it looked large and healthy!
Carol T reports: “Bea and Jasper lost their youngest chick, KS. We aren't sure of the day KS died. It's death could have been to sibling rivalry or due to exposure during the severe lighting and thunderstorms we had a few days ago.”
Carol T reports based on the web cam: From The webcam blog posted on February 25: “It's been nineteen days since the first egg was laid so we are about half way through the incubation period. The pair has been dealing with colder temperatures and rain the last week, but all in all their routine hasn't been hampered with intruding ospreys and the fish have been plentiful.”
Carol T. reports: According to the Palmetto Electric Blog, Bea and Jasper were both spotted on the nest January 9th!
The first egg of the season was laid February 6th, Followed by egg number two on February 9th.
And a third egg as of February 12th.
Note: this nest is on the Palmetto Electric Property and the osprey have long been known as Bea and Jasper. There is a web cam for this nest:
A photo of the three eggs found on the website blog has been posted.
Carol T reports: The webcam blog reports that today, 5/23/19, the oldest chick finally fledged!
This is exciting news because Bea and Jasper have not had a successful clutch in three years.
Congratulations to this Osprey family! We will miss them until next year.
Carol T reports: The webcam blog reports that on the morning of 5/21/19 the youngest of the two chicks fledged! The older chick should be following suit any day now.
The attached photos were taken by me on 5/19/21, just a couple of days before fledging. They show the chicks flapping their wings and hovering above the nest platform.
Carol T reports: This marks the sixth week since the 2 chicks have hatched. The blog reports that they are growing rapidly and the webcam bears this out.
I have not been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the chicks on my visits. I sure hope I am able to view them before they fledge!
Carol T reports: According to the blog and webcam, the two chicks are doing well and growing like weeds!
This week marks the fifth week since they hatched. Seems hard to believe they will fledge in just two or three more weeks!
Carol T reports: As of 4/8/19 the blog reports:
Unfortunately the third egg never hatched, but the other two chicks are becoming quite mobile and as of today are moving small sticks and clumps of spanish moss about the nest. With the chicks hatching close together and the abundance of fish that Jasper is bringing to his family there hasn't been too much aggression between the siblings.
Carol T reports based on blog info: On 3/28/19 the blog reports:
Today marks the 41st day since the third egg was laid. We haven't noticed any sign of a pip in the egg shell and at this stage in the game, it may be best if the third chick doesn't hatch as it will be so far behind in development compared to the other two chicks and likely wouldn't survive.
Carol T reports: According to the blog and webcam the first egg has hatched on 3/21/19.
This is great news! They are hoping the other two eggs will follow suit in the coming days. This first chick is named AG and hatched within 38 days.
Carol T. reports: According to web cam info entered on 3/1/19 there is not much excitement going on.
Bea and Jasper are taking turns incubating the three eggs. The first egg should hatch the week after St. Patrick’s Day.
observer Carol T. reports:Nest 2514
On recent visits to the nest, I was continuing to observe incubation and the web cam supported this as well. However, the web cam blog posted this information on April 19th:
“Unfortunately for the pair, Bea and Jasper, they will not have any chicks to raise this summer. The chicks should have hatched the first full week of April. Today marks the 59th day since the 3rd egg was laid and the 54th day for the 4th egg. This is a first for the pair to not have any chicks hatch. The last two years the chicks and eggs fell through the nest leaving the pair with no offspring. As you may recall the first and second egg were from a different male.
Bea and Jasper will likely cover the eggs where they will break apart and decompose. We are not sure how long the pair will continue to incubate the eggs. After so many years of successful osprey seasons, it's hard to believe we are in our third consecutive year with no juvenile ospreys to see fledge. It is our conclusion that the eggs failed due to infertility.”
Very sad news. Let’s hope that next season will bring an end to this trend.
According to the blog on April 10:
“Today marks the 48th day since the 3rd egg was laid. Chicks normally hatch 34 - 42 days after being laid. It's very possible that these eggs are not viable. We keep watching and wishing the pair the best of luck.”
I observed an adult in nest incubating on April 4th, 6th, and 10th.
The webcam verifies this, and I’ve viewed the webcam when both Jasper and Bea were in the nest together, and a few times when Jasper was on the eggs alone.
Not much activity at this nest when I’ve visited. The web cam reports that March 28 and March 31 mark the the fifth week for the 3rd and 4th eggs.
Jasper continues to bring fish to the nest and takes over incubation duties while Bea takes a break. Should be getting pretty close to the eggs hatching!
Bea laid egg #4 on Saturday, Feb. 24th.
She is now incubating two eggs (#3 and #4) On 2/28 an intruder tried to land on the platform. This was later reported on the blog, but I was actually on site when it took place and watched the entire incident which lasted for about an hour. When the intruder tried to land, Bea was in the nest alone and had to fend off the intruder for a short while until Jasper returned and took over. At that point Bea went back to incubating the eggs. It was a very intense situation, as Jasper and the intruder were involved in an aerial chase for close to an hour until Jasper finally prevailed and the intruder flew away. This was very stressful for Bea during this time as the culprit would fly down quite close to the nest with Jasper in constant pursuit.
The pair in nest #2513 was watching on high alert, so I imagine this ordeal was causing them quite a bit of stress too.
According to the Palmetto blog, It’s not clear when Bea arrived, but it was sometime in January.
A male arrived January 26th that was believed to be her mate Jasper from previous years.
Bea laid her first egg February 12th, but did not incubate it and it was lost almost immediately.
This first male turned out not to be Jasper, who actually was confirmed to arrive on February 14th. Now the real Jasper and Bea settled down and began to mate.
Bea laid a second egg February 16. (This egg was undoubtedly from the previous male). This egg was covered over.
Bea laid a third egg on February 21st and it is possible this egg is from Jasper. She immediately incubated this egg and continues to do so.
When I visited the nest today, February 23rd, I observed her sitting down in the nest exhibiting a posture with a flat back. So this matches up with the blog reports. She was in this posture for the 30 minutes I was there, while Jasper was in and out of the nest.