Nest is on platform in Chesconessex Creek. Nest is about 1,000 ft east and a bit south of nest #693. Nest is on left coming into Chesconessex Creek by boat just to the east of daymarker #8 before coming to watermens' crab houses.
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 were able to take the skiff close to the nest at high tide this morning. I have been able to watch this nest from land, but getting to it my water is a challenge because of crab and oyster pots. Although there has been much activity in nest with fish being delivered and rebuilding of nest after storms, I have never seen a chick. The nest is rather shallow, so if one were in nest, it would probably be visible.
On July 26, 2014, we noticed 4 osprey flying in area calling to each other. I got the binocs and walked to a point where I could observe nest. It was empty, but later in day all 4 osprey were observed in nest.
We took the recently repaired skiff into Chesconessex Creek and observed this nest in addition to nest #693. The two young osprey who abandoned this nest last year and were very sloppy nest builders the year before, successfully produced two chicks this season. They look healthy and almost ready to fledge.
I first recorded a few sticks on platform on March 30. On April 5, 2014, I recorded an osprey on platform with stick. On April 6, there was one osprey in nest which is not more than a few sticks on platform. This nest was abandoned last year because of nearby workmen shooting at birds. Issue has been resolved by VADGIF, so I am hoping that this pair will have a successful reproduction season.
I worked for a month with VADGIF to stop remodeling workers in a nearby house from shooting at birds in the area of house. Alas, efforts of conservation officers were too late to save this nest. I am sure that the osprey were either killed by shots or driven away by being constantly shot at. Shooters did not discriminate. They shot at everything in sight. I and other neighbors reported the shooting to VADGIF and mercifully it has stopped. However, it is too late for this nest. It is abandoned.
I haven't seen any birds in or near this nest for about a week. Nest is slowly deteriorating. Sad because I observed incubation behavior prior to disappearance of osprey. I suspect but hope not that workers in a nearby house being repaired from Hurricane Sandy damage were shooting at osprey as well as other birds in the area. I am trying to get pictures of them shooting at wildlife and will call VADGIF.
Finally there is a nest of sorts on the platform. Noticed egg laying behavior on April 22, 2013. Incubation behavior observed on April 24, 2013. The next is rather skimpy, but I guess is serving the purpose.
I have observed two osprey on platform for the past couple of weeks. If these are the same two birds as last year, they are exhibiting same behavior when it comes to nest building. Once in a while, they will bring in a stick and lay it on platform. However, they spend a lot of time on platform and especially like to eat their meals there. No sign of serious housekeeping yet. 04/09/2013.
April 15, 2012 More sticks brought to nest today. Observed one bird in middle of emerging nest this morning. It appears that these birds after two weeks of a stick here and a stick there are finally getting serious about their nest building.
April 13, 2012. I have not observed an osprey on this nest for 3 days. All nest building (which never seemed to be of much interest to these two birds) has been suspended. However, even tho' it has been very very windy this past week, the very small original stick arrangement of the nest remains in place. Maybe they'll return.
April 6, 2912 I first noticed osprey on platform on March 31. A couple of sticks have been brought to platform this past week with the first serious beginning of nest construction seen today April 6, 2012. Osprey have been on platform day and night for past week. Nest is located not far from nest #693. Nest is about 1,000 ft east and a bit south of #693.