Nest is on an osprey platform on the southside of Chesconessex Creek just prior (by boat entering from north) to coming to the crab houses. Red daymarker #8 in Chesconessex Creek is just to the east of nest.
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.
Although this nest has been very active, it suffered much damage in storms this season. Nest appears to be about 1/2 the size it was at beginning of season, with fresh nestorations seen today. This morning, we finally observed one nestling. Yay!
We finally got out in the skiff (in the shop for storm damage repairs) on July 22, 2014. There were two adults and one chick in the nest. As we approached one adult flew directly at us. The other adult and chick remained in nest. Chick looks healthy and almost ready to fledge.
My husband and I have been watching this nest for about a month from a distance, but were unable to get out in skiff to platform until yesterday evening. We finally had waters calm enough to make the short trip out. Osprey is exhibiting incubation behavior. We did not put skiff close to nest as we didn't wish to disturb her.
On 03/20/14, the US Coast Guard came into Chesconessex Creek to repair/replace day markers. They came alarmingly close to osprey nest on platform which can be seen in back of CG boat. I didn't observe an osprey in next after this activity.
We never did see hatchlings, but from a distance saw adults bringing food to nest up until about June 28. On prior trips to nest by skiff, we were unable to observe hatchlings but were able to hear them deep in nest. We estimated there to be two. After not observing any activity in nest for about a week, finally weather permitted us to take skiff to nest on July 4, 2013. The nest appears to be abandoned. We saw no osprey in area at all, but there was one bald eagle sitting in a dead tree across the *creek* from where the nest is located. Today is July 8 and after observing nest for last 4 days and not seeing any activity at all, I am going to report nest as abandoned. We had problems with workers in a house across the creek shooting at wildlife. VADGIF was notified and took care of the problem, but we know that shooting was cause of one other nest that I watch being abandoned. (Birds killed??) I am hoping that birds in this nest just fledged and left area and didn't fall into harm's way.
We went out by skiff to the nest to try to see how many nestlings remain in nest. We couldn't see any. Nest is very deep. But parent osprey was keeping a close watch on chick or chicks. Wish we could see how many were in there.
Observed two parents in nest. When we approached in skiff, one parent remained in nest and one flew to nearby dead tree. Birds don't get very upset with close-by boats as they are not far from main channel into and out of crabbing village of Chesconessex.
After viewing from distant shore, osprey in nest for the past 2 weeks, we were finally able to take the skiff out to nest for a closer look on April 8, 2013.. Two osprey in nest as we approached. One flew off into a dead tree on shoreline as we approached, but second osprey remained in nest until we got too close. It was quite breezy and difficult to get images from a rocking boat. As we left area, both osprey circled over our skiff and returned to nest.
I have heard but not seen osprey for the past week or so. This morning I checked on this nest and there is already a huge nest on platform. Again heard osprey in area, but did not observe. have entered 3/13/2013 as arrival of pair since I first heard osprey on that date and on 3/15/2013 observe nest construction.
Went out in the skiff yesterday evening. Found an empty nest, but observed 3 osprey in nearby dead trees. Couldn't get close enough to trees to determine age of osprey in trees, but considering proximity to nest, I am guessing two fledglings and one adult could be seen in trees.
We took the skiff out very early this morning to check on nest. We observed two chicks of good size. Yay! Don't know why we couldn't see them before except for the fact that this nest is huge and probably very deep. Both chicks look healthy and happy. Both adults in area, but didn't seem overly concerned about our visit. There are a number of watermen in the area and platform is in close proximity to their channel in and out of Chesconessex.
We took skiff out to check to see if there was any damage from terrible storm of early AM June 30. Nest looks to be intact and in really good condition. One osprey in nest and one in area. However, we continue to be unable to observe any chicks. We heard both adults chirping, but did not hear or see any young uns. Disappointing.
I have been watching this nest from a distance every day. No sign of chicks, so we took a ride in the skiff to more closely observe nest. It appeared adult was shielding a young one, but we did not observe the chick(s). Nor did we hear a young one although we clearly heard the adult chirping. Second adult was in area.
While observing nest today, an intruder eagle attempted to invade nest. Both adults sent the eagle on its way. I did not observe any chicks, but there are either chicks or eggs in nest given the degree of protection of nest by adults. Nest is healthy and huge.
April 13, 2012 Observed what looked to be incubation behavior. Nest has always been occupied by at least one osprey during the past week. Very cold and very windy this past week, but nest and birds look to be in good shape.
April 6, 2012 8:00 am I continue to observe birds in nest past few days. Although birds are spending a lot of time in nest, I can't say that they are exhibiting described incubation behavior. Very cold and windy this morning. One bird in nest.
March 29, 2012 For first time, we observed nest from boat. It was very windy so I could not get a good picture of one osprey sitting in nest. Nest looks very strong and has withstood very high winds for the past few days. We continue to see two osprey in area, but only one in nest at a time.
March 23, 2012. I have been checking platforms and daymarkers in Chesconessex Creek every day for a week or so. Yesterday evening we observed two osprey in area. This afternoon when I checked platforms and daymarkers, I observed two osprey constructing nest on platform in close proximity to Chesconessex red daymarker #8. It is amazing how fast this nest is being constructed. Picture is from very far away on north side of Chesconessex. We don't have our boat in the water yet. When we launch skiff, I will be able to get closer to nest to get better pictures.