Nest is on top of a Osprey Nest Platform at the East end of the Spence Grayson Bridge between Whitemarsh and Wilmington Islands. Two adults have been seen on the nest as of around the date of 3/15/12.
What to look for
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 have not seen the adult Ospreys by their nest in quite some time. Over the last couple of weeks, I have driven by the nest several days a week at various times of day, and I have not seen the adults anywhere. I'm not sure if the nest has been abandoned.
On Friday, 03/23/12, I stopped by to visit the nest at 9:00am. I observed and took photos (posted here) of one Osprey on the nest. I stayed for about 10 minutes. No other activity took place. I did drive by the nest again around 3:00pm, and again there was a single Osprey on the nest.
This morning, Wed., 03/28/12, I drove by the nest on my way out, and I saw 2 adult Ospreys sitting on the nest at 10:08am. Driving past it again about 15 minutes later, I only saw one Osprey on the nest.
Went to visit the nest this evening around 5:45pm. There were no ospreys on the nest at the time of my arrival. I waited for about 15 minutes. I walked around and found one Osprey sitting in a nearby tree. When my boyfriend walked around to get a better look at the Osprey, it may have been spooked off and then flew back to the nest, where it sat alone when we left the area another 15 minutes later at around 6:15pm. The other Osprey of the pair was not in sight.
Two adults have been seen on the nest as of around the date of 3/15/12. I moved to the area about 3 months ago, and the nest had been there since I was here, but with no activity until this past week. Some locals have said that an osprey had initially created the nest on a nearby telephone pole, and the telephone company had build a platform and moved the nest there instead.