First off, I have a FB and website for these ospreys: https://www.facebook.com/TheScogginsOspreys
The Scoggins ospreys nest in a 90 to 100 foot cottonwood on the bank of Scoggins Creek. The nest is about two to three feet across, and a foot and a half deep. Nest started around March 31st, 2013.
The Scoggins pair didn't start out in the nest that they are in now. In 2012 Hog and Dash(The pair) nested across the road in a large stag. Pic of the old tree here > http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=153132168204376&set=a.153131351537791.1073741842.137459759771617&type=3&theater < There had been a nest in that tree since at least 2005, but I am almost certain that the nest was there much longer, maybe when the tree was still alive.
It was in June or July of 2012 when we began watching the pair a bit. They successfully raised two chicks to fledging, S1 and S2.
After the ospreys left for migration, the nest fell in a windstorm. We tried climbing up the bank to look for remains of the nest, but the blackberry bushes proved a bit to prickly for a thorough search!
In March 2013 the pair returned. We drove out to the lake and saw them perched at the Old Nest Tree. Dash was perched a couple feet from the top of the tree, chirping and chirping. Hog was balanced on the tip. He came and went a few times, trying to drop sticks onto a nest that was not there. They stayed at the Old Nest Tree at least three days before starting to rebuild in the cottonwood they nest in now.
In the 2013 season Hog and Dash successfully raised two chicks to fledging, S3 and S4.
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.
Dash is back, but Hog sadly did not return this year. We thought at first the male that we saw on the 22nd was him, but after not seeing the same male osprey for a couple of weeks, we have come to the conclusion that it was not him. Now Dash has two male ospreys hanging around, but has not accepted either of them as her new mate.
Ospreys aren't back at Scoggins yet, but the eagles have been hanging out around there quite a bit lately! Here's a list of eagle observations since January. Considering we only get out to the nest on the weekends, this is quite a lot!
~January 11th, 2014: Adult Bald Eagle was observed in the nest tree at Scoggins around ten in the morning.
~January 19th, 2014: Juvenile Bald Eagle seen down Scoggins Creek a ways not far from the nest tree.
~February 2nd, 2014: Adult Bald Eagle flew by the Cottonwood. .
~February 15th, 2014: Adult Bald Eagle seen in the Green Branch at Scoggins.
~March 12th, 2014: Adult bald eagle again seen in the Cottonwood in the lower Green Branch.
~March 13th, 2014: Adult bald eagle seen flying by at Scoggins Creek.
Here's a list of albums/posts on FB so far for 2014. (You don't need to have a FB to view them.)
~January 18th, 2014: Foggy Day at Scoggins: https://www.facebook.com/TheScogginsOspreys/posts/219203938263865?notif_t=like
~January 19th, 2014: Album/post: Juvenile Eagle; and Above Scoggins Creek: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.219459908238268.1073741877.137459759771617&type=1
~January 31st and February 1st, 2014: Album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.224498461067746.1073741878.137459759771617&type=1
~February 14th, 2014: Album: https://www.facebook.com/TheScogginsOspreys/posts/228842673966658?notif_t=like
~February 15th, 2014: Album: Eagle at the Cottonwood: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.229188143932111.1073741879.137459759771617&type=1
~March 12th, 2014: Album/post: The Eagle is Back, and Spring Has Arrived at Beal: https://www.facebook.com/TheScogginsOspreys/posts/236014223249503
~March 13th, 2014: Album/post: On the Bank of Scoggins Creek: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.236251783225747.1073741882.137459759771617&type=1
For more info, visit my website: http://thescogginsandbealwetlandospreys.weebly.com/