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.
This is my first observation of ospreys. I observed this nest from 6am to 7am from about 50 yards away. It appears there are three fledglings. One is flying and landing awkwardly on nearby poles with many missed approaches. The second fledgling is flapping and hopping on the nest, the third one just sitting and calling for food. An adult perched nearby eating a fish, then circled the nest with the fish but did not land, maybe it was disturbed by my presence.
This nest appears to be on the same pole as 2016. Upon approach, there was a pair of birds perched upon the nest. As I got closer to the nest, one bird flushed and flew toward the creek. It circled for a while, then returned back to the nest. It did not have a catch, so it can be assumed that there were no fledglings yet. The nest is so high on the pole, it's almost impossible to see if there were any eggs in the nest.
One adult on nest. Another adult flying back and forth from creek to and around nest. This nest is on top of a tall utility pole in the middle of a soccer field. Cannot see how many eggs/fledglings, as the pole is ~40' tall.
This nest was also occupied last year, but I forgot to enter data.