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.
We have not seen either parent bird at this nest for well over a week now, so I am calling it a failed nest. There is another nest nearby that also failed, so maybe a local hawk or eagle was the cause.
I feel sorry for this pair, as it appears their nest/s have failed. We see an osprey in one or the other nest (one at each end of the sign) most of the times we check. They even tried building a nest on a nearby pole. But nothing seems to have worked out.
There is still no sign of a decent nest, though both birds are nearby or on the sign regularly. Unless there is enough of a nest in any hollow of the sign post, this isn't going to work well this year.
Neither bird was near or on this nest (nests) today. We have to wonder if they have or will give up on this spot. There doesn't appear to be any further nest building, but plenty of twigs that have fallen or blown off of the sign post.
It looks like the pair has attempted to fix up and add to this sparse nest, but several twigs were on the ground beneath the sign. We've had a lot of wind this Spring. There was one osprey on a telephone pole nearby though, so we're wondering if they're going to try something different this season.