Morgan River at Sparrows Nest, Beaufort 29920
One adult present - nest looks very thin.
07-02-17 one bird sitting.
03-24-18 One bird waiting for mate.
05-21-19 Very active, birds sitting.
04-06-18 One bird flying around, nest in poor condition.
04-19-18 One bird, nest somewhat improved.
06-04-18 One bird sitting.
06-29-18 Twins!! One bird sitting.
07-26-18 Only one chick visible.
08-11-18 Chick is growing quickly - adults not close by.
06-06-19 Nest larger, bird sitting.
06-21-19 Two birds present; sitting on edge of nest.
07-06-19 Two birds still sitting.
07-20-19 Two adults present; no chicks visible, some storm damage to nest.
08-20-19 Nest nearly destroyed, two adult birds present.
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.