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.
1/20/21 As I had planned, we drove to this lake in winter. Although we searched the shoreline with binoculars, we still could not find any evidence of a nest here even though there were no leaves on the trees. If there has been no activity for 4 years, it is likely this nest is no longer used.
1:00p.m. From Roseville Rd, Wolf Lake is easily visible, but the two dirt roads to the west side of the lake where this nest is or was located, are private. With the trees fully leafed out, it is impossible to locate the nest from the public roadway. One would have to be here at dawn and watch to see if any osprey were observed and where they flew with fish! If there still is a nest here, hopefully someone who lives in the area knows about it and will report on it. Otherwise, the only alternative is to locate the nest in spring before leaf-out.