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.
At least one nestling observed at this nest over the last few days. Dont know how the nest thrives given all of the activity nearby, especially with the 10 day long carnival happening in the field directly under the nest. They are making it, however.
Thrilled to see both nestlings today with Mom on the perch and Dad standing watch from a nearby utility pole. All look hot but healthy. HHH summer day here today. Pics uploaded. First is Mama and the two fledges, the other is Dad nearby on a utility pole.
Beautifully built nest platform. Been watching this since the spring, and Adults are always watching closely over the area. Finally today I was able to observe two nestlings - grabbed a pic. Will upload.