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.
First observation of either osprey perched physically inside the nest instead of around it, by the female. Male was again perched on top, and both seemed content with the arrangement. The nest remains large and well built, with rope thoroughly interwoven into it.
Large piece of rope can be seen tangled in the nest. Pair of osprey was spotted in the area, the smaller of the two (male?) seen perched directly above the nest. Female was sighted flying off to another nearby light pole.
Nest is still extremely large and strings continue to hang down. Both a male and female are present perched next to the nest. Nether osprey appears very large. Male remained perched by the nest for durArion of watch time where female flew off after about ten minutes.
Today I found the nest for the first time this season. The nest looked large and easily sighted. There was no sign of an osprey in the nest or around the area. The weather was overcast- maybe that has something to do with it.
We found this nest much easier than the first time we looked for it. Still haven't seen any osprey in the area so I think it is a safe bet that this nest is abandoned as well. Unfortunately all three of my nests are now vacant.