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.
About March 25 there appeared to be a pair on the nest. But they didn’t seem happy with one another. On March 28th an osprey dove down and attached one on the nest, throwing it into the water and tried repeatedly to drown it. This went on for about a half hour. Finally, the downed bird flew away and immediately a pair sat on the nest. My March 30th it appeared they were ready to lay eggs.
No activity for weeks since the duck and the previous osprey both gave up. Now a new pair, maybe subadults, are hanging out. Female is missing a few wing feathers so is easy to ID. Male hangs in a tree close by. He brings here fish. We think they may have mated and she's sitting on eggs, but we're not sure.
March 27th-Mallard hen on the nest in the AM. 4 osprey circling for hours. Hen snapped at them but eventually left. Pair of osprey now settling in. Some mating behavior yestday.
March 28-both osprey are on the nest this morning.
Sub adult pair spending a lot of time at the platform, especially the female. She continues to squawk a lot, trying to get the male to bring sticks and fish. Today he got a big stick but dropped it well before the platform.Occasionally, a pair of mallards land and the osprey scare them away.