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.
One adult osprey was seen sitting in the middle of the nest. The osprey flexed its wings and from beneath its chest a chick popped out. The female adjusts herself about every five minutes, with the chick curiously peeping out.
At the beginning of the observation period no osprey were present at the nest. As dusk approached the lights beneath the nest turned on, and only the silhouette of an osprey could be seen landing in the center of the nest.
Only the tail feather of an osprey was visible above the nest. Briefly a head popped up, it was definitely attached to the visible tail and not a separate bird. The osprey was in the center of the nest.
One female osprey was seen in the center of the nest. It was laying low. Something appeared to move in the nest but after close observation it could have just been the wind moving some nesting materials.
Saw both a male and female in the nest. The male flew away soon after, leaving the female laying low in the middle of the nest. After 25 minutes the male came back and perched in the nearest tree, eating a fish approximately the size of the osprey's abdomen.