Nest sits atop a man-made pole at the water's edge next to the Hog Island Audubon camp buildings. A nest cam follows activities during the summer season. Nest has been used for many years. Osprey parents: Steve & Rachel.
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.
7-11-17: Chick 2 (Sierra) taken by GHO at 1:35 AM;
7-13-17: Chick 1 (Aspen) taken by GHO at 12:33 AM;
Nest with 3rd chick defended by female (Rachel) against subsequent owl attacks;
3rd chick (Bailey) attempted fledge on 7/29/17; Rescued by camp manager and placed in nearby nest platform; Fledged from that nest 8/8/17
Rachel's and Steve's chick #1 of the 2015 clutch hatched from egg #1 at 922 PM EDT on Sun., 7 June, after nearly 38 days of incubation. Chick #2 hatched from egg #3 at 243 PM EDT on Thurs., 11 June, after 35 days of incubation.
A female and a male osprey appeared at the nest today, Sun., 12 Apr. Debate ensues as to whether they are, in fact, Rachel and Steve, the osprey pair who have been nesting at Hog Island, Maine, for several years. The consensus thus far seems to be that the female is Rachel; there is divided opinion about whether the male is Steve. We are awaiting official ID by Audubon. Around 1030 AM EDT today, a male arrived at the nest and departed. Shortly after 1 PM EDT today, a female arrived, followed by a male.
The 2014 season fish count data is posted as a photo on this site. A total of 805 fish deliveries to the nest were counted between April 11 and September 13, when Steve delivered the last mackerel to Pia at 6:12 PM. Steve delivered 645 fish, and Rachel, 158. There were two deliveries with no clear proof of who brought them.
Today, Sun., 14 Sept. 2014, we last spotted last-hatched chick, Pia, at the nest @ 702 AM EDT. We last spotted Steve yesterday, Sat., 13 Sept. 2014.. We believe that both Pia and Steve have now left on their fall migration to South America. Remarkably, this is 1 year, to the date, after Steve migrated with last-hatched chick, Tory, last year.
We believe that first-hatched offspring Poole and Pan have migrated, having last spotted them on Tues., 26 Aug. Since then, we have been watching last-hatched offspring Pia being fed by Steve, wondering whether she's learning to hunt successfully on her own or will have to do so during migration. In 2012, Steve remained with last-hatched Sibley till they both disappeared on 7 Sept. In 2013, Steve remained with last-hatched Tory till they both disappeared on 14 Sept.
We believe that Rachel has now migrated. Fortunately, Charlotte Gobbens made a video of Rachel's last recorded appearance at the Hog Island nest on Mon., 25 Aug. --
Cam Op Lynnie and kalcat both believe they spotted Rachel on the mast of the Crown Royale on Tues., 26 Aug. No recorded sightings of Rachel since then.
We are anticipating Rachel's migration. In 2012 and 2013, she has migrated in mid to late Aug. In 2013, Olivia has a pic of Rachel on 23 Aug., the last record we have of her appearance at the nest last year.
Pan, the 2nd-hatched chick, was the 1st chick to fledge at 907 AM EDT on Thurs., 31 July 2014, 55 days after hatching on 6 June. He's following in the footsteps (or wing flaps) of Tory in 2013, also a 2nd-hatched chick who was the 1st in his clutch to fledge.
We have a classic star-shaped pip on an egg this AM, Wed., 4 June 2014, day 38. First noticed at 649 AM EDT by Gigi. Will chick #1 hatch today, or tomorrow? Both days are within the hatch window of the past 2 years -- 38-39 days after egg arrival.
It's great to see both Rachel and Steve return to the Hog Island, Maine, nest after their winter in South America. Their first egg of what we hope will be a viable clutch of two or three arrived at 548 PM EDT on Sun., 27 Apr. She's keeping to her prior schedule, having laid her first egg on 26 Apr. in 2013 and on 29 Apr. in 2012.
Beginning June 27, a tally of fish deliveries to the nest was kept. Through July 29, 291 fish were brought to the nest by Rachel and Steve, with the highest tally noted for several days of 13 fish. Fish species included mostly mackerel along various types of herring and flounder. Also, Rachel delivered a squid for the chicks. Steve, the adult male, was observed several times bringing in two fish at once. After the chicks began fledging on July 30, fish deliveries continued to the nest and ended on September 13, with a grand total of 450 fish. The juveniles were observed fishing. Tory caught what was believed to be a sculpin and brought it to the nest.
Jay Adams and I have assembled data for summer 2012. Libby Mojica is working on entering it. Do any of the "old-timers" know Steve's and Rachel's 2012 arrival date? That's the only piece of data we're missing.
Summer 2013 Data Summary -- Steve and Rachel returned to the nest for the 2nd year that a live cam was operating. They laid 3 eggs. Offspring Mabel and Tory successfully hatched and fledged. A 3rd egg turned out to be non-viable.
Summer 2012 Data Summary -- Rachel and Steve returned to the nest for the 1st year that an Audubon / explore.org live cam was operating. They laid 3 eggs beginning on 29 Apr. 3 chicks -- Sky, Ollie, and Sibley -- successfully hatched beginning on 7 June and successfully fledged beginning on 2 Aug. Rachel migrated mid to late Aug. with Sky and Ollie, the 2 1st-hatched offspring, soon thereafter. Steve migrated with Sibley, the 3rd-hatched offspring, on 7 Sept. See details posted above. Many thanks to Jay Adams for his assistance in providing this data.