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.
the nest showed signs of chicks hatched on 5/30/20 . The male was seen bringing leftover blue fish to the nest. the male continued decorating the nest with large pieces of cloth adding to the ropes and plastic .On 6/6/20 the male was seen bringing a whole shad to feed chicks though chicks where not yet visible. On 6/13 3 chicks where visible for the first time and again shad was seen brought to the nest.
Early June all 3 chick were being raised mostly on shad with an occasional Blackfish/Tautog.When July arrive Black sea bass along with Scup/Porgies and Menhaden and one small bluefish was seen brought to the nest by the male .As July rolled on the mother of the chicks started to periodically leave the nest mostly to defend her air space.One day was privileged to see her drop a Great Blue Heron from the sky and was relentless in her attacks when he landed too close to the nest. She was never see out fishing and only left the nest to escort other Osprey ,Egrets and cormorants that came too near on August 25th 1 fledgling could be seen sitting on nest