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.
pair incubated on the new pepper creek platform (8672)but that nesting was adandoned nest 5/5/23 after storm. they then played around on the channel marker but no nest built, we have requested DNREC place a larger excluder on the channel marker pole but t so far they say they are too busy to do it
Nest is on a channel marker directly in front of a seaplane ramp, fireworks are set off directly over this nest and a helicopter now lands at this location. Boaters tie onto this channel marker and harass the ospreys regularly. Late 2021, we placed a new platform in the marsh across the creek, #8672, within this osprey pairs territory on Point Farm Community marsh land,Osprey arrived spring of 2022, accepted the new nest platform, built a large nest but ultimately went back to the channel marker and with out an excluder they were able to rebuild a nest between the danger shoal signs. They continued to use both nest sites but incubated eggs at this location, they lost one chick around 8 weeks of age, fledged one chick. The channel marker needs a substantial excluder placed on the top to deter future nesting.