In Elizabeth River and in close proximity to the Crescent Cove neighborhood (at end of Marina Reach). Please be advised that this area is private property, and viewing this nest from this neighborhood is by permission only. Also viewable from the end of Inland Rd. As it turns out, this is a much better viewing location.
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 observed this nest for the first time in mid-March. I left off traveling and observing this and other nests because of Covid-19. I resumed watching in early July.
I'm not sure what to make of things here. One would expect chicks at this point.
I showed up and watched the nest on 7/4. The adults added nesting material. At one point, both adults were in the nest, and the female(?) appeared to be shading young.
Will continue to observe, and will keep fingers crossed.
The first photo was taken on 3/1, and the second on 7/4.
Observed this a.m. Finally observed a chick in the nest. The chick was small. I also observed the female brooding. Had never seen Ospreys brood before. I assume there's more than 1 chick. Also observed the male deliver nesting material. For a time both parents were in the nest.
Footnote: Brooding by female continual, days 1-14, and intermittent afterward, up to 4 weeks. I'm now guessing that eggs hatched around 6/15.
Have visited several times since 6/09, including today. I'm sure chicks are in the nest. Today both adults were on the rim most of the time. One had its head in the nest as if it were tending something there. At one point, both adults left, but they returned.
Visited again this am. Juvs. spent most of their time in the nest, and vocalized much, but they also flew around. At one point the pair appeared to chase off a vulture. Captured one of them in flight. See 17/19. Both still very much dependent on adult. Did not observe either attempt to fish.
Visited in early am. Male delivered a big stick to the nest. Nest building continues (nest building can continue into nestling period and beyond). Adults were always on nest rim and never in nest. I assume hatchlings are in the nest.
Observed from the end of Inland Rd. This is the best location from which to view this nest. Nest building continues. And the nest is huge! Two or three times observed one of the Ospreys drop into the river's edge and grab a clump of fine material (grasses--and maybe some mud?). So they're lining the nest as well as still adding heavier stuff. No sign of incubating. Both left the nest at times.
Spent 3 hours observing nest and taking photos of same this am. Nest building continues unabated. The male, and I believe the female, both participated. I saw the Ospreys deliver large sticks, finer material, a pine cone. The male, presumably, brought in a fish. At one point both flew in together, the male above the female. The female landed and the male landed gently on the female. It appeared that copulation ensued. Also, at another point, a third Osprey appeared. It looked like a young bird. (Feather color on the back of the head was a tan color.) Was it theirs? All three stayed in the nest for a while. Had never seen an Osprey adult trio in a nest before. Had never seen Ospreys copulate either!