Located on a pine tree snag in the open in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. It is on a grassy area between the Over the Hill and Anhinga Trail divide in back of twin benches leading to the boat storage area peninsula on Lake Mary.
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.
Jack C reports:
no osprey activity at nest or in vicinity.
NOTE: While we can not be certain, this nest may have produced 1 nestling that probably hatched about the second week in May. It very well may have fledged without us seeing it.
Jack C reports: 7757 one osprey probably male on branch about 10 feet above nest in looking down at nest and vocalizing. I think I heard some talk from the nest but not absolutely sure, could not see an osprey on the nest but it could be low down. There were some regular vocalizations from about 50 yards away
Jack C reports: 7757 no activity at nest but what appeared to be a juvenile was on a branch about 20 yards away vocalizing constantly and two adults flying around and oriented to branch rather than nest.
Mary Alice and Allyson report: no activity on nest. Both adults sitting in a nearby pine tree making calls to each other. While I was there to get a shot of something else, when I left one adult as sitting in the nest but they were making no effort to gather nesting materials...
Mary Alice T reports: one adult was sitting on the nest and one in a nearby tree. They eventually both flew away. The nest still looks a mess and they were making no attempt to rebuild. I don't have high hopes for these mates unless they get serious... I think they were trying in the beginning, but some weather event must have happened that destroyed it perhaps.
Allyson L reports: (In reference to a photo taken of this nest in a really sad state!)
I went by and it looks exactly like the picture. I walked all around the bottom of the tree, looking for any debris or egg bits, though I didn’t expect to find them. I did not see anything. I waited almost an hour and drove around the tree on the dirt road that encircles it. I didn’t see any signs of ospreys. Then five minutes later, there was an osprey hunting in the distance but I couldn’t see it clearly.
On the way out of the Forest Preserve, I stopped and talked to the nature guide that takes people out on Lake Mary. He said that only the lower part blew down but the nest is still there and so are the two ospreys.
As I was talking to him, the female flew over my head.
So, not 100% conclusive but I have hope after talking to the nature guide.
Mary Alice T. captured a photo of this nest showing that part of it appears to have come down in a storm/wind. Allyson then made several trips to the nest to check on the situation. Both reports are posted as 4/21/21
Allyson L reports: The female and male have returned! The male hunted over Lake Mary while the female perched on a tree just behind the nest. I watched, excited, as a bald eagle chased the male and seemed very close to catching him. The male did a quick maneuver and ducked below the bald eagle and then followed the bald eagle. Wow. This is an evasion tactic taken to be out of the higher predator’s reach. How thrilling to see this in action. (once I saw the male again alive and okay!)
Allyson L reports:Spanish moss is droopy down from the nest and it appears to need shoring up. Keeping my fingers crossed there! There was no activity around the nest, nor were there any ospreys in the surrounding area.
Debby B reports: Yesterday late afternoon, Tues. 11th, stopped by nest for few minutes with both babies hunkered down. Luckily, dad few in with fish and proceeded to dissect it for kids and few away. Mom was like a stone statue on adjacent limb. This morn, stopped by and saw one baby in nest, so thought other had flown yesterday pm after MA and I left scene. Then, LUCKILY saw this one baby fluttering wings and jumping up and down...with mom flying from adjacent tree to limb right above nest. Suddenly, baby took off mid air toward lake, flying low circling nest about 4X.Two birds flew overhead and I thought one was the other baby who may have fledged yesterday, but, no, the other baby appeared center of nest when courageous one returned. Then #1 "big sister" left little one in nest, sort of standing and looking around. So think perhaps this morn (12th) was first flight and the other will follow in day or so. So that's just additional observation to closing out our happiest avian family on Hilton Head!
Mary Alice T reports: when I arrived Mom was sitting in tree with about 5 other crows, making alot of racket. Then she flew off with a headless fish in her talons. Never saw her again. Both nestlings alert and sitting up and stretched their wings several times...
Debby B reports: Chicks will probably fly away this weekend. This morning both chicks were sitting in nest, mother on adjacent tree. Dad flew in while I was trying to id some little birds in elderberry tree and don't think he left fish, but flew to another tree. Suddenly three osprey were flying circles over nest, believe mother had joined two others as dad was still on tree chirping away..."come on over, kids, you can do it, see those black and white wonders flying around." As the two were gazing into the air. I believe both babies were flapping wings, but not yet standing on edge nest.
Mary Alice T; reports: There was a lot of activity - Dad flew in with nesting material (a little late, eh?) and Mom flew off two times while Dad perched on tree and guarded the nest. At first I did not see the 2nd chick for a while, but when Mom flew out, I could clearly see both.
more photos - Dad perched in tree, Dad bringing nesting material in, Mom yaking (w/chick), nestling stretching wings
Debby reports: , 7757 chicks should be off and away, but they aren't. They are still in nest with adults, not even exercising their wings. I knew the whole family was super devoted, and now the kids can't seem to leave home like some human ones I know.
Debby B reports: mon, 7 a.m. 6/22...just saw two scrawny baby heads peeking up in 7757, so probably did hatch on June 4th! I am so happy I cried on the spot! Had seen male twice in last two weeks on adjacent limb eating fish, and I thought, "how selfish," but maybe he was ingesting food to regurgitate to babies. What a wonderful pair! mother was on nest.
Debby B reports: I thought eggs had hatched as both parents mulling around excitedly. When checking afterwards, although both parents in and around nest, think perhaps eggs failed. Both have been bringing sticks to nest and sitting in middle.
Debby B reports: Much coming and going.
4/27 looks like female is incubating, but not sure. Both back and forth, chased adult eagle away, then I believe female nestled down in nest while male perched on nearby tree. Difficult to distinguish between male and female when not together. NOTE: Based on this we will list TENTATIVE incubation as of today.
Debby B reports: Debby B reports: early a.m. DB observed much coming and going. 9:00 – 10 a.m. LH saw Adult on nest, but doesn’t seem settled down as if incubation. Shortly, she left the nest and perched in the nest tree. About 10 minutes later she had flown off.
Lynn H reports: Lynn H reports: April 21: 9 a.m. LH observed female on nest, arranging sticks. She flew off while I was watching. Another adult was soaring nearby. l/2 hour later, LH observed male bringing fish to the female at the nest. Then one flew off with the fish, but I couldn’t tell which. No evidence that they are incubating.
Debby B reports: 4-18 a.m. previous 4 days, no birds on nest when I drove by in early morn and thought abandoned. 4-18 a.m. both on nest, then left for 15 min., then saw both on nearby tree. this is strange, yet devoted, pair...perhaps young.
Debby B reports: on Fri, 4-17, both on nest, looks like male left, female went to nearby tree and brought back a twig, then left. I never get out of car nor go near nest, yet wonder if they are spooked with constant action. 4-17, Austin, the worker, cut grass with LOUD whacker under nest for about 10 minutes.
Debby B and Lynn H report: Debby B and Lynn H report: April 15: 9:30 a.m. no ospreys near nest. As a thunderstorm approached, an adult landed in a perch tree two trees to the nw of the nest. So at least one adult seems to be staying in the area; but there is no evidence of incubation yet. DB reported that she saw no adults near the nest the last few days.
Mary Alice T reports: .These are some shots of the female Osprey at the new nest in SP. I was there today and I know someone is following, but might not have a long lens to get better shots. Did not see the male. I don't think there are any eggs yet. They have really built this nest up, so they are staying
Debby B reports: one brought nesting material, both together on nest, left. then both few together to nest, one brought fish and then left with the fish in his/her talons. selfish! not sitting yet. looks like the male is primarily bringing/preparing nest material
Lynn H will be helping Debby B monitor this nest for a while.
April 4: 11:15 a.m. Deb B showed Lynn H where this nest is, so she can help with observation. There was a female on the nest, and a male perched nearby. He flew off while we were watching. Then the female also flew off, so she is probably not yet incubating. This nest is within sight of #7143, so there may be some confusion about which male we are seeing, if he is not right at the nest.
John C. reported this nest to us, it is currently be monitored but this is added info: The nest is active, with a pair of ospreys dressing the nest and perching on the branches of the pine tree above the nest. Perhaps the significant new fact is that this pair of ospreys seem to have mated at about 12 noon on Friday 3 April.
Debby B reported this new nest on 3/25: Here's pix of strange start of osprey nest by double bench in Forest Preserve entry to anhinga trail. This morning, 25th, drove by and saw osprey on same snag as seen previously, but then another flew in with nesting material (spanish moss) and left and came back with more material. Then both left, flew to nearby pine and I believe.... MATED!!