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.
George arrived 3.8.15 about 1 pm. River and creek frozen. He left in afternoon, probably to look for fishing area not covered in ice. Did not return as of noon 3/9/15. What do Osprey do for food with river frozen?
George and Martha have worked together to provide around the clock incubation and protection. George delivered a very large catfish one day and Martha feasted on it in nearby tree. George has chased away geese swimming below the nest and played top gun to chase away a bald eagle circling the nest one morning. Neighbors report that when George arrived this Spring he battled a heron for 3 hours. The heron laid a claim to the nest but eventually gave in. Like his namesake, George is not afraid of a fight.
George arrived 3/13, perched in tall tree over creek most of time until Martha arrived in afternoon of 3/15. They had to chase a blue heron off the nest in a noisy scuffle. They have remained together on nest most of time, apparently resting. They have not started improving the nest.