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.
One adult male on perch near nesting platform calling. Another individual then flew in with a fish and landed on the nest. The first male flew to the nest and landed briefly before taking off and landing in a nearby tree. Both individuals continued to call.
Two juveniles on nest calling incessantly as well as preening and stretching. A large crowd walked by a both juveniles flew off at the same time, the individual calling landed on the perch next to the nest and remained calling.
Two adults - one stood on nest, head up and down, adjusting nest, moving sticks and fiber etc. then laid down in nest. Other adult flying overhead, dove into water twice then landed in nearby tree. Possibility of chicks.
No individuals present on the nesting platform. The wild formed nest has one individual perched near the outer rim. It appears to be a solitary male. No calls or particular behaviors are noted or observed.
No individuals are present in the nest or in the vicinity. The previously mentioned newer wild formed nest is also unoccupied with no individuals in the vicinity either. This observer believes that there may be a proximity issue with nearby boat traffic, or some other extraneous reason.
No individuals were noted during the duration of the observation near the nesting platform. There is evidence that there is a new nest being built directly next to the platform in a dead tree. One individual, sex unknown, is perched near this newly formed nest.
No individuals are present in the vicinity of the nest. One male sits to the right of the nest in the tree line. Upon second observation an unidentified, but presumed female, sits to the left of him in a nearby dead tree.
Upon second observation the four individuals in question are seen in the vicinity of the empty nest. Two are confirmed males. One male returns and sits on the V perch. Another approaches and flies close by, provoking the perched male to pursue. All individuals leave after about 5 minutes.
Upon observation, one individual (sex unconfirmed) perches in the nest. 3 individuals are loudly calling and soar overhead. Two of the flying individuals make contact with their talons as the individual in the nest looks on. Eventually the three individuals leave, and the individual in the nest follows after them after waiting less than a minute to do so. Confirmed male returns and perches on the V perch.
Male and female present. Confirmed female (size) sits in the nest, while male sits on "V" perch. Male flies off during primary observation. Male returns within the nest 15 minutes with the female gone, leaving the nest unoccupied.