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.
Fledge. The juvenile finally left the nest and was observed both flying (around noon) and on a different light fixture (8 AM). I first saw it jumping and flapping on July 5. It was managing to get airborne for a few seconds by the 15th before landing back in the nest.
Both adults were at the nest this morning around 7:10 AM. When the male flew off, I caught sight of one chick's head briefly. Given the height it will be a while before it's clear if they have more than one.
Around 8:15 am. A third osprey was perched in a tree outside the soccer field to the north east eating a fish. The local male osprey flew over to the tree, but failed to scare off the interloper the first time. It made a second pass at the tree and the fish eater flew off. The male made another pass at the tree, snapped off a branch and took it to the nest where the female was perched. In the afternoon, both ospey were sitting on the southeast light enjoying a fish dinner.
3/29/23 At 8:10 am both birds were present at the nest, the female in the nest, the male at the end of the light fixture. The male flew over and they copulated. Both remained at the nest for the few minutes this observation continued.
3/20/2023 Two adults were present at soccer field, one was in the nest. They both left flying north.
3/23 Male was sky-dancing with a fish at 8:15 am while the female circled around the soccer field and environs. The female landed in the nest and the male followed. They remained in the nest probably less than an minute--no copulation was observed. Then the male left with the fish, heading north and the female followed after less than a minute.
3/27/23 Both osprey spent part of the afternoon on the southeast tower together.
3/28/23 Both osprey were at the nest at 8:15 am. One was perched to the side on the lighttower, the other was rearranging furniture in the nest.
8:15 am the juvenile was in the nest, occasionally calling. No other osprey were seen at this time. Last night around 5:15 the juvenile was in the nest begging. An adult was sitting across the field on another tower.
Around 5:15 there were two adults on a tower opposite the nest. One was eating a fish. The fledge was diagonally across the field begging. After about 5 minutes the fledge flew to the nest and continued begging. After a couple of minutes the adult with the fish took the remainder and deposited it in the nest. The fledge ate a little and then flew back to the tower it was on previously with the remains of the fish.
7:20 am. Juvenile was on the nest one of the adults sitting off to the side. The juvenile did some flapping, jumped across the nest, flapped a little more and then flew off around the field for maybe a minute before returning to the nest. The other adult arrived back at the nest about the same time as the fledge. It seems likely this was not the fledge's first flight since it had no trouble returning to the nest, but it was the first one observed.
5PM. The adult sitting with the juvenile flew off the nest to a different post. Shortly afterwards the juvenile managed to get airborne for a few seconds a foot or so above the nest (distance is impossible to judge given the height of the light fixture).
Happily the chick was observed this morning so it survive the storm on 7/2/22. Around 8 am both adults were perched at the nest, mostly preening. The male flew off briefly and clearly had remnants of fish or something in it's talons. After less than a minute it returned. The chick then got high enough to be visible.
Both adults present at nest at 8:15 AM. One flew off and came back with a stick and did some rearranging of the furniture. One chick visible and flapped its wings briefly. The other adult flew off to chase a random osprey that approached the nest.
A guess at hatch time was around May 27. On that date the female was observed leaving the nest and circling the tower and environs a couple of times. Previous to that she was mainly so low in the nest it was hard to see her. The nest is still occupied and active as of June 22 though it is too high to tell how many chicks there might be.
On 3/25/2022 there was one osprey at Monmouth University's nest. On 4/1/2022 both osprey were present. On 4/4/2022 they were observed copulating. Through out early April they came and went and were often together at the nest. 4/25 it looked like the female was incubating--staying low and horizontal in the nest. They were extremely vocal on 4/25 as other osprey flew through the area. 4/26 the male was next to the nest working on a fish while the female incubated.
This nest is active as of 4/14/2022. An adult osprey was observed sitting on one of the lights next to the nest. It took off when approached, flew off towards Whalepond Brook, and returned with a large fish in its talons. It flew past the nest to another location on campus to eat.
Actual date of failure approximate. Adult osprey was observed at nest around 8:30 AM, flapping and moving branches, but most of day osprey pair were building nest on a light fixture diagonally across the field. The new site already had a layer of branches at 8 am.
Everything was normal for an active nest with chicks as of 6/9/2021. Because of the height, no information was collected as to number of chicks. An inspection around the base of the light tower offered no information as to what might have happened, but Monmouth University groundskeepers are very active in grooming the area.
To update the nest history, the osprey first arrived late summer 2018 and laid down some nesting materials on the light tower. They returned in 2019, but the nest failed. Probably due to crows--a half dozen or more were seen in and around the nest, the adults were not at the nest. 2020 they fledged 2 offspring.