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.
Female was on the channel marker nest and was vocalizing when I arrived around 11 am. Pretty soon the male arrived carrying a large stick. He proceeded to fly past her and deposited the stick on top of a nearby crane. I wasn't sure what he was doing, but I've observed similar behavior before.
Got there around 9 am. Bingo. I no sooner arrived than I heard the female vocalize. She was on the nest. Her mate was flying towards her with several large sticks. He arrived, arranged a few of the sticks that were there, and they settled in.
No sign of anything on or around nest. There were Ospreys around, but most likely associated with the communication tower nest. Juveniles have fledged. In all likelihood they fledged toward end of July.
I've been wrong all along. There are 2 chicks in the nest! I just couldn't see them. Eggs probably WERE laid in mid-April. Today I observed 1 nestling, but the adult female clearly fed a second that wasn't visible. I observed the adult female feeding both. The male was there a well on the channel marker light. Please see latest photo.
Observed in am. Since I was here last the pair (though most likely the male) has added more nesting material including what looks like part of a white bed sheet!
Female in large nest. My guess; she's still incubating. Here's another guess: eggs were laid somewhere around mid-April. So hatchlings should arrive toward the end of May or beginning of June.
Observed nest late am. Two Ospreys on nest. Not much to this nest yet. When the nest was vacated, it was briefly taken over by a pair of cormorants. They were later chased off. Observed Osprey attack pelican that was close to nest.