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.
Nest appears to be abandoned. No sign of adults in the area. Watched for over an hour. I don't know reason, however eggs were laid very late here. They could have abandoned
nest or predator is possible.
After several weeks of nest disturbance by a 2nd and sometimes a 3rd male, things have
settled down as incubation finally began around the 12th of May. Can't tell how many eggs there are. This family will face a challenge due to the late appearance of eggs.
5/4 Continuing interference by a 2nd male keeps this pair busy for hours per day. I am thinking, this male intruder may be last years resident that was ousted. He is very determined and constantly brings fish with him when he visits.
Lots of drama at this nest. For 3 weeks I have watched as an unpaired male attempts to take over nest. Most of the day is spent by both adults chasing this intruder away. This has been, for many years, a very successful nest.