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.
The tree and the new nest do not appear to be stable and much of the nest has blown away. I’m not sure if the pair will return, though this is the second year they were in the area. They were never successful in the first nest they built and that one also blew down over the winter. No sightings yet.
Kathy B reports: NOTE: This is the nest that was destroyed, along with the nestlings, in the storm of 6-14-23.
Update on my Osprey. Not only are they sticking around they are now bringing nesting material to the stump of the broken off tree. What the heck! Too late for a successful do-over but I hope they aren’t building for next year as this tree is terribly unstable.
Kathryn B reports on damage to tree:
Two photos posted taken previously. Red line added to represent the break point. . Arrow represents the break point. Multiple photos compared to generate this data.
The last photo is from this morning showing broken tree and nest destroyed.
Kathryn B reports:
So we had a terrible storm last evening (6-14-23) and I am devastated to report that the Osprey nest didn’t make it. Early this morning the female was on the tree calling on a branch just below where the tree had broken off under the nest. No chance of survival of the chicks. So sad…
Kathryn B reports:
The female was in the nest. No activity this morning.
Early morning visit revealed a great look at a nestling! The female and the nestling were sharing a meal. I’m pretty sure I saw another nestling alongside the easily visible one. (See the last photo to the right of the nestling.)
NOTE: Based on this info, we are listing 2 nestlings but can change if needed.
Kathy B reports for 6/1 - 6/5
The female Osprey was in the nest, intermittently vocalizing and tending to the nestling(s)
The female was sitting quietly in the nest.
The female was busily working in the nest, tail up. I saw a nestling again but was unable to convincingly appreciate a head. The male was quietly perched nearby.
Kathryn B reports for May 16-30::
More distant view from the lake this evening. One Osprey in the nest, another on an adjacent limb.
One Osprey sitting near the top of the nest.
Evening check today from the lake side. The female was moving about in the nest.
The female was in the nest pulling apart a piece of food. She was bending down in the nest appearing to feed the nestlings. The male was perched on a nearby snag.
The female was sitting in the nest with frequent calls.
The female was sitting quietly on the nest.
Lots of activity today! The female was in the nest tearing up some food and making repeated “head bows” into the nest. I also got my first peek at a nestling who was bobbing in and out of sight! Light wasn’t great but a photo is included.
NOTE: We have listed 1 nestling until we can confirm how many there are.
Kathy B reports for the week of: 5/7 - 5/14:
Male was outside the nest and the female was moving around in the nest with her head often down in the depth of the nest. No further drones.
The female was moving about in the nest. After a bit she flew out of the nest, flew around the nest for a few laps returning to the nest with a stick. I didn’t see the male today.
The female was busy working in the nest, moving sticks around. After a while the male arrived at the nest with a large piece of food.
Both Osprey were in the nest this morning. The male was upright and the female was tail up, head down in the nest.
Single Osprey in the nest.
NOTE: the behavior described on both 5/7 and 5/11 might indicate that hatching has occurred and Mom was feeding them. We will list 5/7 as tentative hatching.
Kathryn B reports:
Morning visit. Still incubating with one Osprey in the nest.
One Osprey in the nest without change.
The male was in the nest and the female was on an adjacent branch. Lots of vocalizations from the female today. After about 20 minutes the female joined the male in the nest.
Kathy B reports for 4/21- 5/1:
Early evening visit today. One Osprey was in the nest with it’s head just visible. I saw and heard several vocalizations.
Late morning visit revealed one Osprey deep in the nest.
One Osprey in the nest in the morning as usual.
Incubation continues. Evening visit today. The nest was intact after 2 days of high winds and one Osprey was deep in the nest
Kathy B reports for the week of 4/9-4/16:
Windy and cold this morning. The top of one Osprey head was visible in the nest.
The male was deep in the nest. The female was nearby, flying to several different perches, eventually landing in the nest. Lots of vocalizations by the female today.
Both Osprey were present this morning. At first they were both perched on the side of the nest. The male then flew off, broke a stick off of a nearby tree and delivered it to the nest. When I left the male was deep in the nest and the female was on a branch nearby.
Incubation continues with the male deep in the nest and the female on a nearby branch. I heard a few vocalizations today
Kathy B reports: 4/7/2023, Friday
I returned to check on the nest today and to my dismay the construction crew had cleared a new path through the marsh which passes right by the base of the tree with the nest. I found the construction crew who was nearby with a larger tractor and they said that they had not been told there was a nest. I pointed it out to them and have emailed my HOA with an update. Regarding the Osprey, the incubation appears to be undisturbed. When I arrived the male was in the nest with the female on a perch nearby. She then flew into the nest to switch with the male who lighted on a nearby snag.
Kathy B reports: 4/6/2023, Thursday
Today at the site the male was deep in the nest, barely visible. The female was nearby intermittently flying around and lighting on perches. She appeared to have a fish in her talons. I did notice some construction equipment and an area of clearing they had done within 50 yards of the nest. I notified the HOA of the situation and they assured me that the construction company was aware of the nest. They also said no large tree removal was planned in the area.
Kathy B reports: Right on time incubation appears to have begun. The male was barely visible sitting low in the nest. A few minutes after I arrived the female swooped in with a fishy snack and perched on the adjacent branch to enjoy her tasty treat.
Kathy B reports: Both Osprey were at the site this morning. One was barely visible in the nest and the other was perched on a branch just adjacent to the nest. The one on the branch was doing some strange gyrations with its wings the whole time I was there. It was quite windy so I’m not sure if that had anything to do with it.
Kathryn B reports for the week of 3/24 - 3/29
The female Osprey was perched on a snag adjacent to the nest.
This morning a lone Osprey was in the nest. The nest is now so large that the Osprey can be so deep in the nest that they cannot be seen from the boardwalk.
This morning the nesting site was quite active! Both Osprey were flying in and out of the nest, sometimes perching nearby or flying out of sight. I heard and saw many vocalizations. At one point the female flew into the nest followed by the male for a conjugal visit! The female appears to be missing one or more tail feathers. I had not noticed this before.
Brief stop by the nest this morning. No Osprey seen or heard.
At least one Osprey was in the nest this morning with only the tip of a tail feather visible.
NOTE: This description seems to indicate that incubation is underway.
Kathy B reports: Both Osprey were at the nesting site when I arrived. The male soon flew away but had apparently delivered a tasty treat for the female who chowed down while perched on a branch and then dropped some inedible parts to the branch below.
Kathy B reported for the week of 3/8 - 3/14:
The female was sitting on a branch adjacent to the nest while the male delivered more sticks. The nest can be seen in the photo without magnification just to the right of the center.
The male and female were both sitting on the nest.
One of the Osprey was sitting on the nest and and the other was on a nearby snag.
The female was sitting on the nest and then flew to an adjacent snag. I did hear a few vocalizations. I didn’t see the male. The nest was definitely more elaborate.
The female was sitting on a snag near the nest and didn’t change her location during a 30 minute observation period. I was to see and hear her call several times. No sign of the male.
Both Osprey were present this morning. The male was on the nest and flew away shortly after I arrived. The female was perched on an adjacent snag.
The female was on the nest and the male was not seen or heard in the area.
This nest was added to the database after being reported by Kathy B, who will monitor the nest. Kathy provided this background info on the nest:The nest is just off of a boardwalk nature trail across from 30 Fishdancer Court in Hampton Lake. The area is a marsh with lots of snags and is a hotspot for woodpeckers. I first noticed the nest this morning (3/7/23). I last walked the trail on Saturday and the nest wasn’t there then. I have been watching because a pair built a nest in the same area last year in April. There were never any signs of eggs or hatchlings and the pair eventually left. Some time this winter the nest disappeared. I feel like the whole tree must have fallen because there was nothing left. Today, March 7, 2023 there was a smallish nest (see photos) with a male and a female. The male was delivering sticks while the female sat on the nest. Interestingly there was another Osprey perched in a tree 30 feet away and did not seem to bother the pair.
NOTE: We are listing the date of the pair return as today, 3-7-23 since this is the start of monitoring the nest and the return of the pair was sometime between 3-5 and 3-7.