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.
We don't get to check this nest very often, unfortunately. The last time we checked, there was one osprey incubating. Every other time we checked, the other bird was in a nearby tree. Unfortunately, we have not seen it since, but we did find a dead osprey in the road a few blocks over. This whole area is right on the river. Other than not seeing but 1 bird lately, there is no way to tell if the dead bird was the partner to the one incubating.
We first noticed this nest pair was back on Saturday, 3/14/15. One osprey was in the nest and the other was sitting in a nearby tree where we had seen an eagle all Winter. We just assumed the large bird sitting there was still the eagle, until it swooped over and into the nest with the other osprey. I hope this pair has better luck this year. We didn't find them until late last season and shortly after, we saw a dead chick in the nest.
We first saw this nest on July 19, 2014. There was one parent and 2 chicks. We checked it the following week and still saw a parent and 2 chicks. Just a few days ago, we checked it and there appears to be a dead chick, from what we can tell from across the river. There was no parent around and we don't know if both chicks were dead or if it was only one.