This nest is located in what looks like is a dead tree trunk that is covered in vines and weeds. From 278, turn as if entering Indigo Run. At the Indigo Run circle, proceed 3/4 of the way and turn right onto Leg-O-Mutton Road. Part way down on the left, there is a small pull off. Park there and look to the right in that small field. The nest is nearly impossible to spot unless you see the osprey flying in or out of it. However, if you check during the winter, you can easily see the nest since the vines have died. Note: It is nearly opposite where years ago there was a nest in a different dead tree.
NOTE: The monitor has named this pair Fred and Ethel.
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.
Carol C reports:
On 6-5, one adult was on the nearby perch tree and one was standing on the side of the nest. Again, it looked like she was tending a chick and I am pretty sure I saw a very brief glimpse of a wing. I do believe there is at least one nestling in the nest.
Carol C reports: Two adult osprey were perched on branches on two different trees. One was eating a fish and the other appeared to be looking back toward the nest. I could not clearly see the front of either bird to ID as M or F (forgot my binoculars). While I did not see or hear anything at the nest, I still think there may be at least one in the nest based on what seemed to be clear feeding behavior on 5/28.
Mary Alice T observed two adults by the nest.
Both were sitting on a limb on the left of the nest (where they usually perch) and stayed there for some time. Didn't see anything in nest. Looked like females to me or they both looked dirty.
Added 5 images.
Carol C reports:
Today Ethel was upright in the nest. When I first arrived, she appeared to be feeding a chick. Although I was not able to visually confirm a chick, I believe there is at least one. NOTE: Tentative hatching is listed for about 5/24 and tentatively 1 nestling.
Carol C reports:
I checked the nest several times between 5-15 and 5/26. While there appeared to be absolutely no activity at the nest, it is possible Ethel was down in the nest still incubating. She is nearly impossible to see down in the nest because of the depth.
Carol C reports: This morning Ethel was still incubating eggs. She was calling to Fred, who seemed to just be flying around, and then he flew further from the nest. Hope he was going fishing for Ethel!
Carol C reports: The adult flew out of the nest this morning. I believe Ethel is incubating, but the the shape and height of the nest makes it hard to be sure. Another observer also saw activity that might indicate incubation. We will have to watch for chicks to be certain.
NOTE: I am listing a TENTATIVE date of incubation of April 17th, but this is just my best guess.
Carol C reports: This nest still has a lot of Spanish Moss and twigs hanging down the side of the dead tree trunk. NO osprey were in sight today at about 1:00PM. However, it is possible one is down in the nest. It is very deep and in the past it has looked like there was no activity only to discover later on that there were young. It is very hard to tell if mom is incubating because of the depth and configuration of the nest. It is, however, out in the open with no obstructions.
Carol C reports: At first the nest looked empty, but soon after I arrived a male flew into the nest with nesting material and carefully arranged a small stick. He was looking around as if waiting for the female, but I did not see her while I was there.
NOTE: While we have photos showing two nestlings, our latest observations indicate only one. It is possible there is only one that has survived.
UPDATE: July I know think that one of the nestlings was off flying when we spotted only one in the nest.
Mary Alice T reports: : I stopped by today and saw only one nestling in nest and Mom on nearby tree. Mom eventually flew over to nest and started eating, but made no attempt to feed the nestling. Men working on both sides of Leg-O-Mutton making lots of noise with machinery. Mom flew off after she was done eating. Dad did 2 fly-bys as Mom was eating. I did not observe another nestling and don't think there are 2. 5 photos attached.
Carol C reports: There were two osprey in the nest. While I thought there were two nestlings, now we think it might have been 1 nestling and an adult. One remained visible while I observed but the other ducked back into the nest. There was no chirping from the nest. I heard another osprey as it flew by across the street and down the road a ways. It didn't approach the nest. (3 photos added)
Mary Alice T reports: No adults around, but lone nestling sitting up high. Didn't make any noise. At one point an Osprey adult flew overhead, but did not stop of come lower. Nestling looks healthy and well. Stretching her wings!! 5 photos attached.
Mary Alice T reports: When I first arrived, I could only see Mom, who had right wing raised and was obviously shading a chick. Then I saw another chick on Mom's left side and she began shading that chick with her wing. Dad flew over a couple of times. 5 photos added (a couple are zoomed in).
Karen R reports: Stopped by an hour ago... saw Mom several times moving around in top of nest ... then Dad flew in for a minute or two and flew off (didn't see any twigs or food in his mouth)... i sat there for several minutes and heard 'chirps'... i played my iBirdpro sounds for osprey and i am quite sure what I heard out my window was the same chirp I heard on my cell phone.... one could only hope!
NOTE: Based on recent reports, we are indicating at least 1 nestling and will update when number is confirmed
Combined observations of Mary Alice T and Carol C:
About 11:00AM, there was an adult down in the nest with just the top of its head barely visible. It was very noisy at the nest for about 30 seconds after arriving, and then all was quiet.
Later in the day:
Clearly an adult Osprey sitting on nest. Not sure if Mom or Dad. Was there when I passed earlier - 1:45pm or so - and then when I stopped to take some shots. So happy they are nesting here! 2 photos added
Carol C reports: Checked the nest about 10:30 on 5/29. Dad was making a lot of noise from a nearby tree. At first, I couldn't see anything in/at the nest. However, after several minutes Mom started calling from the nest and popped up her head. I still cannot be sure if their are little ones, but this nest is very high and covered in vegetation. My guess is that there may be a chick or more that are not yet visible. Maybe next time! Photos added - 2 of the male on the tree and one of the female's head in the nest.
Karen R reports: It was an adult I saw in the top of the tree but no chicks .. almost looks like it could be the male with a branch in it's mouth? I was thrilled to at least see activity.
2 images added
Carol C reports: About noon, I checked the nest and heard Mom calling, but couldn't see her. After a few minutes, her head popped up from the nest. Shortly after, Dad flew in with a fish, briefly paused at the nest, and flew to a nearby tree. Dad stayed there eating a fish. While he must have left something in the nest for Mom, she wasn't happy with it. She appeared to eat briefly and then began calling, Dad ignored her and continued to enjoy his fish. I had to leave before he was finished. Mom is still incubating.
Steve E reports: Same as usual. No osprey.
NOTE: If we were correct on the hatching about 5/2, these two should have fledged by now. We will close off this nest but cannot definitely say that they fledged.
Steve E reports: Indeed they are there! You can probably tell that the nest is 95% hidden behind leaves. I was a second away from asking if we were talking about the same nest when I heard a commotion and saw the very top of one chick's head. Then this happened! (photos posted)
Mary Alice T reports: driving by nest on Leg-o-mutten and saw male eating fish on top of nest and spotted female's tail feathers sticking out of nest. Dad has fish in his talons. They both flew off while I was there, but Mom flew back after a short fly-by...
On July 26, Mary Alice T again contacted Carol C because she did see more activity, although the nest is really not visible. Mary Alice reported her Observations: Observed two adults perched close together on tall tree to the left of where the possible nest is. Then female flew off and circled a couple of times and landed on a small limb in the tree where the possible nest is. Perched there and then dove (jumped) down into tree. Re-emerged about 10 minutes later and circled again and then landed back on the small branch by the nest. Male osprey stayed on his perch the entire time. I feel certain there are nestlings in this nest presently. ... 6 photos.
Based on this second confirmed siting of Osprey at this possible nest, we created the nest. While there is little we can add this year, we will check it in the winter to see if we can actually spot the nest. We will monitor the site for 2020-2021.
This is a very difficult nest to see or to confirm. On June 2, Mary Alice T, contacted me about this possible new nest since she saw an osprey land in a " clump of vegetation" that was well hidden. Another osprey flew off to a tree limb. Carol C went to investigate but did not see any osprey and could not confirm a nest. It is extremely difficult to see. We made a note to check the site in Dec. when the vegetation died off to see if we could spot a nest.