Hilton Head Island, SC, Sea Pines Resort, 13 Baynard Park Rd. Nest is a 3'x3' platform installed in the crown of a 65' pine tree. Platform is made of cypress wood with an open bottom covered with a chain link fence type material.
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.
Ron T observes: 4079 is actively being visited by great horned owls who seem to use it as a platform to launch attacks or to eat food. I will not send any more reports on this nest unless the ospreys return.
Ron T reports: Nest 4079 never had any ospreys this year. The Great Horned Owl and two of their children used the nest / platform to launch attacks on Blue Herons, Wood Storks, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Cormorant that nest within 100’ of the nest. They killed many of the adults that were trying to nest. Typically there are more than 70 successful nests on the island in the center of our lagoon. This year only about 20 successful nests because the owls were so aggressively killing this year.
Ron T reports: The osprey pair have not arrived yet. The Great Horned Owl pair is heard several times a month. Perhaps they arrived in the area to hear/see the owls and left the area. No other birds osprey, hawks or the owls are using the nest.
Ron T reports: The Osprey have not been seen for a couple of weeks. A pair of Great Horned owls who have lived in the area for the past few years have moved closer to Osprey nest. This week they were both seen on the nest and physically mating on a tree branch just feet away from the Osprey nest.
Ron T reports: Mother stays on nest full time except for a brief occasional flight (not more than once every few days) to poop and drink water by skimming the lagoon
Father brings fish very frequently. 5/6 times a day
A crow family built a nest in a pine tree next to the Osprey pine tree. The crow frequently tries to get the father Osprey bringing fish to nest to drop his catch. So frequent aerial battles I’ve never seen the crow get a fish
Ron T reports: There are at least two Osprey chicks on the nest at 13 Baynard park rd. The observation is indirect by hearing the distinctive baby Osprey calls coming from the nest. This is the first day that I could hear them. Appears to be two based on sound. They must still be small since the male is not delivering a significant larger quantity of fish to the nest.
NOTE: We recorded hatching as 4/27 based on this change of behavior.
Ron T reports: The Osprey nest at 13 Baynard is active. The female is full time on nest and the male is actively feeding her when she calls. By the few number Of fish he brings her each day I doubt that the babies have hatched. The male occasionally brings sticks and Spanish moss, which seems odd since the next is well established
Ron T. Reports: Bad news, we only had one chick reach maturity at 13 Baynard Park Rd. Initially we had two eggs. But either before the egg hatched or shortly afterward the chick died. There was a big confrontation when a Wood Stork tried to take over the next. Both mom and dad defended the nest but may have lost one egg/chick.
Great news the couple has produced one Osprey chick that flew from the nest with one of the parents. The two of them flew around the lagoon for about 30 minutes. Including the parent catching a fish then the two of them sitting on a horizontal pine tree branch where the parent feed the chick parts of the fish.
observer reports: The female Osprey has now been on nest without leaving for three weeks. No visible sign of eggs or chicks, but the nest sides are very high and I don’t expect to see chicks until they are large and walking to the high points of the nest. The adults do not appear to be feeding chicks.
observer reports: The Osprey pair appears to linger in the area but the female does not stay on the nest as much as past years at this point. There is a Horned Owl pair in the area. Three years ago the horned owl killed the Osprey babies. The Ospreys stuck around for a few days after that even then flew off until next season
The horn owls have been killing the adult Egrets breeding at this location. The owls may be disturbing the Ospreys breeding routine. I will keep observing and let you know.