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.
Observed 1231-1247. 91 degrees with 5% overcast and breezy. Only one on the nest, sitting very low in the nest. Around 1243 and elderly couple in a convertible stopped right underneath the nest, agitating the osprey and it began to call out, but wasn't flushed. The car left a minute later and this calmed the bird. Mate was not in sight.
Observed 1556-1612. 100% overcast with on/off rain. 59 degrees. Both adults present. One laying low on the nest, the second perched on the power line next to the nest that has been covered in safety cones.
Observed 5/3/2016 1706-1725. Sky 100% overcast with slight misting. 57 degrees. Both adults present. One sitting low on nest not moving, but chirping actively. About quarter after, the other moved close and pulled on the wing to move in and take over, also laying low.
Observed 1451-1516. High visibility with no clouds. Female sitting low in the middle of nest. Cessna took off from base, but she was unfazed by the noise. Male brought fish, but immediately left. She seemed agitated at that point, and began inching closer to the edge, and calling out loudly. 1501 the female left the nest, and I followed her movement over the field to the SE of nest, where male was engaged with an adult and juvenile bald eagle (my car roof had been blocking the view). She attacked the juvenile three times very aggressively, and the adult disengaged. Bald Eagles took off south and the Osprey returned to the nest. Male tried to mount, but she pushed him off rather quickly.
Observed 1410-1437 with 100% overcast, but high visibility. Temperature 56F with breezy conditions. The adults have arrived in the past week. (I've been past here a few times, but had seen crows stealing nesting material, so I assumed it abandoned.) The female was arranging material while the male was rummaging back and forth in the field bringing new nesting material.