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.
:) 1pm Very vocal fledgling in the nest, peering over the side and vocalizing to another Osprey (I can confirm it was not Fred)- appeared to be a possible fledgling sibling in the air. That in-flight Osprey flew to a nearby copse of trees and rested but still talking. I didn't see them take to flight again on my visit.. Ethel was on the pole next to the nest during our visit - she too very vocal. I was concerned as I had not seen "2 heads" in the nest over the past week or so, but now I believe one of the chicks had fledged already. Lots of activity today at nest today. Photos updated. I believe they would are approximately 55 - 60 days old or so.
Ethel on side of nest. One chick very prominent, sticking head up, looking around, moving around. Could not verify two heads at one time once again, but I am confident there is still two chicks in the nest. Ethel very vocal today. Photos updated. *Have made contact with VB Gov. to hopefully secure a platform for next season :)
Ethel in the nest - witnessed her feeding one of the chicks. One of the two chicks pokes their head up very prominently and erect in the nest, the other lays low. Only could verify one chick at the time today, didn't see two heads together. Winds have subsided, no new nesting material on the ground. Photos updated. Fred not sighted.
Very strong winds and rough surf over the past few days. Ethel in the nest, Fred flew over but had no fish. He tried fishing a nearby pond while I was there. Two Chick heads visible with Ethel. I am concerned over Nest, has lost some material over the past few days.
Ethel is still in the Nest, she lays very low. It appears as if there is new nesting material, and new sticks have appeared on the ground under the nest. Fish tails still under the nest. Fred was there on the edge of the nest upon our arrival, then he flew off. Photo updated.
:( Ethel was in the nest, Fred flew in and delivered a fish while we were visiting. He has been busy as at least five fresh fishtails littered the ground under the nest. Upon inspecting the ground I was heartbroken to see a very newly hatched, or broken out of egg, chick deceased directly under the nest. I did not, however, see remnants of an egg. Wildlife Response was immediately contacted, and they directed me VA Game Warden, but since it was Saturday night, I could not reach them.I contacted RL, and he directed me to VBAC so that it could be retrieved and logged. They responded quickly, and I am confident there is still atleast an egg or two, or possible very new chicks in the nest. BACK OF NEST is precarious from the storm destruction last weekend, and this is the direction the deceased chick was found, at the back. Will work on getting possible Platform for next year here. Updated photos today.
5/1/23 Went to check on local nest in the area as Severe Weather (F3 Tornado within the city) moved through the area yesterday. Was heartbroken to see the back of the Nest missing, and neither Fred or Ethel was present in the area. Went by at two different times of the day to see if I could see them, and they were not present either time. Will go by several more times this week to check, but the Nest is abandoned and the eggs I believe were being incubated are gone as well. Updated Nest damage photo uploaded.
Ethel in the nest, she doesn't move from the "right" side of the nest. Fred was on a nearby pole. We witnessed him bring in fresh nesting material while we were visiting. Ethel became very vocal at one point, and alerted Fred to another Male Osprey who was circling the nest. Fred took to flight and and the two circled around each other until the other Male left. Fred then went to the nest and sat on the very end by Ethel. Photos updated today.
4/2/23 - Upon our arrival, male was sitting in the nest. A short while later, Female flew in, & he promptly flew to the nearby light. She foraged around and sat down in the nest. About 30 minutes later, she vocalized, and he took off fishing. While at the park, a lady who walks her dog there everyday told me that on Saturday she observed them being antagonized by several Crows, and one of Osprey gave chase and fought them off, but the other didn't leave the nest. Photos of today uploaded.
3/19/23 - Witnessed Male bring Female a fish, she accepted with her beak and flew into the air, landing just outside the nest. Possible copulation occured. Nest has taken on a rounder, sturdier appearance.
3/16/23 Nest lost a lot of progression this week due to high winds. Alot of the nest on the ground, construction material being used in the nest as well as sticks/branches. Male has made alot of progress catching up, she is sitting in the nest. She stayed in nest, and he went fishing as I left.
3/11/23 Very windy this past week, nest had taken a "rounded" form on 3/10/23, but today alot of sticks had blown down. I spy alot of construction material used in the nest (plastic netting, a piece of metal fence, plastic bags). Male was collecting material while I was there, she had a fish.
3/6/23 2:45pm - Returned to check on Osprey pair I have affectionately nicknamed "Fred & Ethel". He was working on building nest when I arrived. She was perched on the nearby Cell Tower. While he was working, he was antagonized by an American Crow, and a chase ensued. The male left shortly after, I assume to fish as I didn't see him again, and she returned to the new nest site after his departure.
A park visitor approached me and asked me about them. I explained some basics about Osprey, and she stated their nest was in the same general area, that pole or the next, last year. She said they "disappeared" (I assume she meant migrated), and Bald Eagles moved in. She then stated the City came and "cleaned out the nest/removed it". I was extremely disconcerted to hear this. She expressed concern over deceased bunnies found in the area, and I assured her it is not the Osprey, and is more than likely the Eagles or other Raptors in the area.
I have included dates upon the photos I have captured, so the season progression can be followed.