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.
I think the nestlings have hatched in the past couple of days. The parents have been remodeling the nest. It looks like they are making the sides higher. They've also been standing on the nest looking down into it.
Last year geese claimed the nest. I had the nest removed after the geese were gone so the osprey would have a "clean slate" this year. I was overjoyed when a pair started building a nest weeks ago. I'm thinking there might be eggs because the female's posture has changed and she seems more hunkered down.
This is a very dysfunctional year for this nest. Although occasionally there have been two, most of the time, there have been only one or no osprey in the nest. The nest was vacant for four weeks. For the past three days there are two.
One of the two chicks fell out of the nest Friday 7/11/14. It managed to swim ashore and was brought to Wildlife Rescue the next day. The plan is to release it here when it is ready to fly.
This nest is in a no-wake zone across from the state park. It is a very popular spot for paddle boarders. They have become a real stress for the osprey parents. I think they don't realize how much they upset the birds. It's possible that the nuisance of the paddle boarders may have had something to do with the chick falling out.