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.
Not sure if female is in nest. Male returned about a week ago and is seen on lower strut bar of power line, solo. Usually there, not in flight or beside the nest. Nest too high to observe activity, i.e., if F is actually on eggs and nest deep, F missing, etc..
This nest is by bridge over the Western Branch of Elizabeth River, highway 17. Today Female on nest and male still in process of bringing branches for construction. This year's nest nest on same power line as last year's, but on higher strut of power line, and much larger than past nest.
Branch fell out of nest when male brought new material to nest, and he dove from nest and retrieved fallen branch from the water.
While pair was in nest, three other ospreys were in close proximity. We could see one over Tartts creek, flying high in air, then diving and returning high in altitude, repeating this about four times. Chase then occurred with all three ospreys leaving Tarts creek and flying overhead of us as we stood on bridge. The nesting pair on power line were not affected by the other three.