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.
The tower climber, Frank Cortino, from 3Z Telecom, sent me photos of the nest with its three eggs, which I've posted. I've sent the photo of him with the bird circling to the local paper. It would be nice for the public to realize that these workers are aware of and abide by regulations to protect the birds.
Birds were first observed on Jan 11, 2015, although they obviously had been there a while. One bird was on the nest and another nearby. On Jan. 12, a cell tower maintenance climber ascended the tower and when at the height of the nest, the female rose from the nest and began circling and approaching the climber. He went a little higher and photographed 3 eggs in the nest. While the female was basically mobbing him, the male approached carrying a fish but only circled nearby. The climber descended (because they are not allowed to work on a tower when eggs or young are present) and the female returned to the nest, followed shortly by the male, who perched on a support beam just below the nest. All this was photographed, and the climber has promised to email photos of the eggs. The nest is lined with coconut husk fiber, evident in the photos.