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.
I thought the nest was unsuccessful this year, but after trimming a large crepe myrtle that was interfering w/ the the my view of the nest platform I discover TODAY 2 juveniles in dark plumage w/ the female. The new next box is deeper and they have been covered well in there w/ the sticks and my bad view. Do not know when they hatched but they seem rather well developed although I really know nothing scientifically backed to make that statement.
This couple, (banded male), seemed to be settling in until today.
Observed at approximately 8 a.m. a third osprey, most likely male, who was sitting on the nest with the couple.
At one point all three flushed from the nest. The female returned, and the two males, one of them banded, (the original male mate) began to interact in mid air. This behavior could be territorial, or perhaps the female has not been successful with her current mate.
It is unknown to me whether she can be fertilized by an outsider, or if the new male will chase the current one away if he is not successful.
Im also wondering if the new male will mate with her and then take off.
If anyone reading this may know the likelihood of a third osprey appearing at a nest, and why, please let us know.
See photos below.
I visited the nest today at approximately 6:59am where a male and female osprey were occupying the nest together.
The male is wearing a silver band on his left leg. I have not been able to tell if the female is banded. The female was sitting on a small pile of twigs waiting for her man to bring food and nesting material... which he did.
See photos to document diary activities.
Todays activities included bringing a fish, some nesting material and mating attempt.
This is the first full day the couple has been actively occupying the nest.
4/3 the femail arrived in the morning. They both left the platform and were missing until the following day showing only in the morning and leaving again for entire day. Today 4/5 they were mating on the support pole of the platform and the female lost her balance. I missed the next moment and they were gone and have not returned.
An actual osprey has actually arrived on the platform and is eating a fish. It seems to be a male. Today is the first siting of an osprey. the March observations 3/23-3/25 were Eagles and not ospreys and I cannot update the information of osprey arrival date, but today is the arrival day.
I cannot edit the information on "adult arrival" and "nest occupied" BUT the nest is NOT OCCUPIED. Apparently the bird spotted was an eagle and not an osprey. The eagle was on the platform for two days waiting for partner; they then mated and left the platform. The only other option was there was an osprey sighted and was chased off the platform by the eagles.
May have been wrong about what I observed prior. I noticed out my window two birds on the platform so I went upstairs to use the scope. What I observed was not two ospreys but two bald eagles. I did see a quick bird dive on one of them but I don't know what bird that was. So at this very moment at 7:45 am there are 2 bald eagles on the platform each one on separate poles that support the platform.
I was inccorect in my assumption that parents were gone. Mother showed up [she's very large] maybe she provided the fish? The platform was empty for a little while, maybe they were out practicing fishing.
juvenile is alone on nest sitting on post. Juvenile can fly, was out w/ adults yesterday. They dropped off fish and flew away. He didn't eat until one of them returned. Did observe juvenile this morning alone & recently looked again- has been alone now for hours.
Just checked again it's 7:45 and junenile still alone. I have a feeling the parents have left permenantly. Will check again in morning.
There seems to be one fledge that hangs out on the platform alone most of the time. Seems to have a problem fishing. Spends most of his time looking at the water from above. Today I spotted him flying over the little channel in front of my house at low tide; came up w/ nothing. Checked on him later w/ my scope positioned in window upstairs and he was fluffing his wings and crying. A hawk was flying around him and I assumed it was his sibling but something was not right. No landing on platform. The fledge finally took off. I went outside because I saw the two firds flying around. Towards the end of the channel I saw activity and noticed the other hawk was a redtail and obviously it was after him on the nest and then in flight. He managed to get away and I saw him moments later alone on the platform. I am going to assume that the redtail knew, however animals do, that this young osprey is not in the best of condition. It's sad.
7/30- was incorrect that family is gone. They are using platform to eat and all four were on it for a minute till one flew off. Too tight a space now for four. Happy fledglings are flying and all is well.
on 7/27 the smallest nestling had first flight and did a small circle and came back to nest. Has since left the next and hasn't been seen again. The larger nestling took a reluctant test flight yesterday and returned [we witness both test flights of both birds]. He returned and hasn't left since. One adult [mom?] stayed with him for a bit of time and then left [she keeps leaving and returning]. He was later delivered food. Both parents showed up at one time yesterday [Dad had been not visible on nest for many days] & then both left. This morning nestling is still up there alone. Just looked and Mom back. I am guessing one or both parents wait until nestlings finally move on? I don't know the behavior and should probably read up on it. I am just recording my observations. I am not looking at nest constantly but try and check as much as I can. I can see from my dining room window and have a scope upstairs that I can check also. I work from home so I can obsess over these birds easily.
There are two babies in this nest. the ospreys who are the parents [my husband calls Fred & Ethel] have tried for at least three years to have babies. this is the first year they are successful. I have a scope in my upstairs window and I can spy on them all day.
The adults started arriving probably four years ago [may be three]. they had no success hatching eggs until this year. The nest sat empty for three or four years until these two claimed it. they have what appears to be two healthy chicks. they are still initially being fed food by the mother? but also seem to join in a bit when the parents are eating.