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.
Jim H reports:
Despite seeing a large osprey at the nest all spring and into summer, I have not observed any feeding behavior nor have I seen any fledglings. My only conclusion is that the nest was unsuccessful this year.
NOTE: We are assuming that either the eggs never hatched or if they did, the nestling did not survive for long enough to even observe feeding behavior.
Jim H reports:
Nest 8813 is an active nest. I have seen at least one osprey around or near the nest every time I have looked - which is every 7-10 days since the beginning of March.
I am guessing that the female started incubating the nest around March 25. It was very difficult to see if the female is on the nest due to the height of the pine tree.
Around May 7th, I observed both osprey with one osprey standing on the edge of the nest. I'm thinking that the eggs have hatched and the female has moved to the edge to give the chicks some room. I have seen the male bringing in fish.
Jim H reports: On approximately March 1, an osprey was seen on a branch close to the nest. At weekly intervals, the nest has been checked and there has been an osprey perched close to the nest. The nest is too high to see if there is a female on the nest.