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 pair seemed to have settled in nicely. I went to check on all the nests today because of the severe wind during Saturday evening. All is well. Today Romeo ate on the perch while Juliet called from the nest. The nest looks very good.
Finally they arrived at the nest - both today and I observed mating.
I visited later in the afternoon, and saw an amazing event. This nest and another occupy the marsh; the distance between the two is about 2 football fields. An unknown pair continually flew between the two nests, agitating the pairs - they were calling out. The pair appeared to be young - I wonder if they're juveniles from last year.
I visited the marsh yesterday - we've had a heat wave last week.
Unfortunately I hadn't seen any evidence of juveniles. There were two adults flying over the marsh - I'm assuming it was Romeo and Juliet. The nest looks so forlorn.
I am sad to say I still see no evidence of eggs or chicks. I wandered into the marsh itself to get a closer look but I saw only Romeo on a post (the swamp grass grew very high so the photo is very blurry) of the platform, no sign of Juliet. Hopefully she was out hunting. While I was there however, I saw 4 ospreys circling overhead. Whether one of them was Juliet I don't know. I have a theory that the 4 osprey that frequently fly over my yard (which is around the corner from the marsh) and that I see on a nearby water tower are the 4 born last year on Seagull Terrace in Sunshine Harbor.
From across the marsh I spotted Romeo on his favorite perch. Juliet wasn't on the nest so my theory is nest failure but for what reason I don't know. I was thinking the constant rain and cool temps throughout spring affected the eggs/chicks.
Lately when I have observed Romeo and Juliet, they've either been on the posts of the platform, or one on another perch while the other one is away hunting I presume. I haven't seen either one on the nest since June 7; I am hoping the eggs/chicks are ok but I am kind of pessimistic at this point. The weather in Point Pleasant has been very rainy and extreme temperatures ranging from 50s to 90s on alternate days with strong winds. I don't know how severe weather affects the eggs/chicks but probably doesn't bode well for them.
I haven't seen any chicks yet but Juliet was fussing a lot with the nest. It was an extraordinarily windy day, and I just saw another nest where the female was reinforcing the insulation for her two chicks. I will keep checking and hopefully I'll spot chicks.
It rained for 3 days and 3 nights with high winds. I went to check on Romeo and Juliet - I could see one very wet head popping out of the nest. And I've been seeing ospreys with fish overhead flying in the direction of the marsh.
This pair had me fooled! Today I saw 3 fledglings! Romeo had his fish ready for a flying lesson, and it looked like he was waiting for Juliet to begin. Finally she got there, and one fledgling took off. He rested in the marsh for a minute while his siblings looked on. I am feeling a little sad because soon they will be headed south.
As I made my way down the path through the marsh grass, the red-winged blackbirds sounded the alarm. Romeo picked up the call and circled overhead, screaming at me. After a few minutes, he settled down on a post of the perch and called for Juliet. I concluded she was out fishing for his Father's Day lunch. I didn't see any hatchlings.
When I went to check on Romeo and Juliet, he came flying overhead to warn me. I have to part the dune grass/swamp grass to see and the red-winged blackbirds sound the alarm! They both perched on the posts of the nest. I couldn't tell if anyone hatched. I would think that Juliet would have been serving as an umbrella for chicks if there were any because it was really a hot day.
I haven't seen any evidence of egg hatching but I did witness this incredible event. I guess Juliet flew too close to this red-winged blackbird's nest and he dive-bombed her like a kamikaze pilot. His nest is right where I have access to take photos - I'm surprised I haven't gotten a peck or two on the head but summer is yet to get here...
Today Juliet arrived! I was so surprised bc I had been waiting for her just like Romeo. She was constantly building up the nest and it seemed like she was
scolding Romeo bc he kept sitting on the perch.
I visited at sunset yesterday and one was on a perch while the other was arriving onto a perch. Curiously this morning, I couldn't see if anyone was sitting on the nest, and there were 2 flying overhead. I don't know what this behavior means as I had thought last week there were definitely newly hatched chicks.
I was puzzled today because both were off the nest when I arrived at the site. One was on the perch pole, and the other flew in. Then both flew o to the nest, chirped, and one stayed and the other flew off. I stayed for a bit but it was getting late. As I pedaled home, o e flew overhead with a big fish.
Romeo on perch, then flew to Juliet on the nest. Can only see Juliet's head.
Few minutes later, Juliet jumped up and perched on one of the poles of the nest! so both are perched, looking down into the nest, and fussing. Then Juliet jumped down to the edge of the nest, fussing. I strongly think chicks have hatched.
I think it was Juliet on the perch eating a huge fish; Romeo sat quietly and still on the nest. I say it was Juliet because it looked much larger than Romeo and markings looked different to me. Weather was partly sunny and cool.
Romeo and Juliet doing their thing, Romeo grooming himself on his perch while Juliet sat on the nest. Decent day weather wise but more rain is predicted for tomorrow. I wonder if ospreys tire of rain as much as people.
Yesterday Romeo surveying the homestead and Juliet keeping watch too. Weather was partly sunny with wind picking up in the afternoon. Romeo chased a couple of great egrets that flew too closely to the nest.
Even though it rained during the night today turned out to be a lovely day. April was very rainy so I am hoping for the nice weather to continue. The ospreys need a break from the extreme winds and rain as well as we do.
I began watching this nest in mid-March 2020, and saw the male for the first time this year on March 27. The female arrived the following week, and the last time they were together not in the nest was April 13. It was on April 16 that the female was flat on the nest. I visit a few times a day ; this particular nest is very near my home.