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.
Visited early this morning to find both adults on the nest but no nestlings observed. This early morning was quite foggy and dark, but from what I could observe the nest appears empty. Communication with NPS personnel indicates no chicks this year at the nest. However, I did observe the male bringing in another large stick to the nest which is interesting... Perhaps next year they will relocate to the new nest across the street at Spermacetti Cove where the nesting pair was spending some of their time together shortly after the nest was erected by CWF and NPS.
I observed what appeared to be an incubation handoff at this nest. Picture uploaded. The male made an approach and landing to the nest and the female departed. He appeared to get comfortable and low over the nest, presumably to incubate. I have also observed both Osprey in this nesting pair eating and preening at the brand new nest across the street at Spermaceti Cove. They vocalize while located there as if to say - this is ours too. Both the male and female use the new nest as a staging area to eat and preen. They did mate at the new nest as well earlier in the season.
What an interesting observation today. Confirmed by reading leg band in my photos that this male was born in 2010, not far from Sandy Hook. Same male as last year but on the nest that fell during the April storm in 2018. Also, there was a third Osprey sitting on the nest today, appeared to be a female (necklace.) The male looked so tired, and the female kept giving her looks. Eventually the female flushed from the nest to chase her away. This happened yesterday as well.
All kinds of action at this overstuffed nest. Leg banded male spotted with fish and the female together at this nest today. Also, another female and male had been seen in confrontations with the nesting pair near this nest. Drama!