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.
9:55AM - I was surprised to see an Osprey at the nest site (top of cell tower) as I drove by on I-64. So, I turned around and drove back. From the cemetery, I checked with binoculars and saw two Ospreys on top of the cell tower together. When I went to take a photo, one Osprey flew off; so the photo (posted here) shows the one that remained.
48°F, overcast and starting to rain. Although it's chilly today, temperatures recorded two days ago at Norfolk International Airport reached at least 80 degrees and broke the all-time record for Feb. 23, according to the National Weather Service. https://www.pilotonline.com/weather/vp-nw-record-heat-cold-20230223-wpawtccgwnaz5p7vrc6ysff6ii-story.html
Also, this was our third consecutive week with temps in the 70s. Dogwood, cherry trees and daffodils are blooming. Sunday I saw Dismal Swamp Red cockaded Woodpeckers copulating and three species of butterflies. Heard Spring Peepers and Leopard Frogs too.
One of the few remaining occupied nests in Norfolk; located between two major freeways. Adults routinely transect Chambers Field flight path en route to Mason Creek. Adult and nestling observed. A clearly urbanized family.