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.
We just got back to the island ourselves and upon arrival observed one osprey (smaller seemed to be male) on perch on Friday April 3rd. We aren't sure of his exact arrival date. The larger female osprey showed up on the nest Sunday morning April 5th.
The nest is empty but I can see one osprey on the perch on the ground and another not far from the nest also on the ground near a small pool of water. It's hard to tell the difference between young and adult at this distance.
Two of the three chicks fledged in the past week. The smallest chick is on the nest resting between hopping and flapping the wings, landing on the post and then back into the nest. An adult is patiently waiting on the other post.
The chicks are as big as footballs now. Two are hopping and flapping stretching their wings. The third one is about the same size but is still laying low, not as active. We think the most active one could fly at anytime and we will be excited to see it happen.
This nest has 3 chicks! The father just brought back a fish. He is perched beside the nest. I can see the mother feeding the young, three distinct little heads. Seem the be similar in size, flapping their skinny wings and reaching out to their mother for a meal. This is the best view we've had so far and its great to see this osprey nest thriving.