Nest sits quite close to a recreational trail, and is fairly close to the shore of Utah Lake.
What to look for
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.
I was convinced this was going to be a good nest as the female seemed pretty focused on trying out the platform when I first found it, and there was a male hanging close by, but it appears it has been abandoned by both adults. It is obvious no work has been done building up the nest since I last saw them two weeks ago, and the adults were nowhere to be found. I am unsure why they gave up on it, though I suspect the platform was just built way too close to a recreational trail. As I had walked down the trail towards the nest the previous time I was there, the female became quite upset and flew off, only to return as soon as I left. (I swear I kept to the trail). If enough people were using that trail in the last couple of weeks, it could have upset her to the point that the ospreys would have gone to find another nesting spot, I suppose. I hope the reason is as simple as that.
I just discovered this nest on April 1st, 2012, I have no idea how long it's been around or how long it's been used by this pair. The female was sitting in an incubation pose on the nest when I found it, but I do not believe an egg has been laid yet as the nest has hardly been built up at all. It doesn't look like they have been working on it very long. She was distressed by my walking by even though I stayed on the trail, and called for her mate and then left the nest, only to return as soon as I started leaving the area. It ought to be interesting to see what effect all the recreational bikers and joggers that use that trail have on this female over the summer. I think they built the platform way too close to the trail. The male was also there, close by on a tree, keeping a watchful eye on me. I am not sure of the exact date of the adults' arrival as I only discovered the nest a few days ago.