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.
This nest was destroyed 3/28/2014 in 67 MPH straight wind storm. the Osprey's are currently rebuilding although the nest looks a bit tattered. I noticed one Osprey the other day and it looked a bit tired after the severe storm. Prior to this I had not seen any nesting behavior so I am hoping there were no eggs. I don't want to walk in to look so that I am not adding any extra stress
My favorite pair are back and I wish another wonderful year for them I witnessed mating on 3/22/2013.
To me they have picked the oddest nest substrate but they did well last year so hear is to fingers crossed for 2013.
Never thought these two would leave home, and actually one just hung out for quite a while. But then about the 3rd week of August the 2nd bird fledged. The nest has blown apart in the storms and rain. I have not seen any birds in and around the nest area but there are many young birds and adults still in the area.