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.
Nesting season 2021 construction began at this nest site. Apparently the construction company allowed the nest to remain intact until the chicks fledged. The tower that contained the nest was removed in the fall of 2021.
A single male arrived to build the nest in the summer of 2013 by himself. The light tower he was trying to build on is two-tiered and the initial shabby nest fell from the top tier into the bottom tier during the construction. By late fall, the male left the area of the nest. The following spring, the male showed up to the "nest" with a female. Within a month, the nest was fixed and the female was nesting. The first year the pair had one successful fledging. The pair has been coming back since, with 1-2 successful fledglings each year, even with the crowds at the flea market every weekend.