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.
I've been waiting impatiently for my favorite pair to return. A few other osprey have been here for over a week now and I was beginning to get worried! Luckily this year, they are coming back to a nest that is still intact (and one along the parkway that the eagles haven't been hanging out at over the past few months)
I'm guessing Jr has probably flown before today, but he took a short flight just so I could be sure-gone from nest about 5 minutes or so! This is the first time I haven't seen one of the adults nearby.
Only one chick in nest :( Playing peekaboo this morning. Every time I'd try to take a photo, it would duck down. I turned to go back to the car and would look back and it's stretching it's wings. Mom and dad will leave the nest for a bit, but won't go very far.
I can't be sure, but I think this is a pair that nested in a tree about 50 ft. away last year. That tree was the only one in the whole group of trees that went down during Hurricane Irene last year. The first photo was on March 11 and the second one today, March 16.