I work on Hickman Circle in Sanford, FL. I watched these Osprey build this nest on a platform located at 440 Hickman Drive in Sanford, FL. I'm worried because the Seminole County Fair just set up in the field all around them and under them. Big rides! Now they hide and I'm not sure if they can continue like this.
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.
Osceola was flying in with food when suddenly a bald eagle appears right behind him. The bald eagle tagged Osceola until he dropped the food. The bald eagle flew down to the ground and got the food. It was an ambush for sure.
The young Osprey are in the pine tree across the field from the nest most of the time now. Today I observed them both hovering and flying over the two retention ponds in the field. They swoop down and hit the water and sometimes they land and walk around the retention ponds. I have not observed them catch anything yet. Osceola and Chechola still bring fish to the nest everyday. The young Osprey dine in the nest then fly back to the pine tree. Being able to hang out in the pine tree has to be a great relief from the Florida Sun. I took some pictures today of the two young Osprey in the pine tree and will post them this evening.
Observing the nest today at lunch and Chechola was in the pine tree across from the nest and one of the young Osprey was perched on a branch in the pine tree also. The nest was empty so I took my binoculars to scan the area. The other young Osprey was perched on a power line across from the nest. Then the young Osprey on the power line flew back to the nest and started making loud calls towards the pine tree. This went on for about 5 minutes when the other young Osprey flew into the nest with a half eaten fish for the sibling. The one in the nest must have thought he was starving from all the fit he appeared to be having. Then the young Osprey that brought the fish flew back to the pine tree where Chechola was perched. It's a big pine tree with lots of open sturdy branches. I feel myself getting tears each time I observe the nest now because I can tell this daily ritual of mine may be coming to an end. Don't get me wrong I'm glad they are growing and will fly away to fish and have families of their own but this was the first time to observe a nest from the very beginning and I so look forward to seeing them everyday.
Today was first flight day for one of the young Osprey. I observed the nest at noon and the whole family was present. Chechola in the nest with the two young Osprey and Osceola in the pine tree across the field with a fish. They where very vocal calling back and forth to each other. Then I stopped by the nest again at 5:10pm and one lone youngin was in the nest. The young Osprey in the nest was calling and calling and looking over toward the pine tree. So I look across and I see the other young Osprey in the tree. The one in the pine tree takes off and flies around and around the field and lands back in the pine tree. The one in the nest hops around and flaps his wings and calls but doesn't take off. Soon the one in the pine tree flies back to the nest and then Chechola flew in too. The three where very vocal like they where discussing the whole event! I smiled the whole time getting to observe this. So very thankful to God for Ospreys and for getting to observe this wonderful family of Osprey. I posted some pictures of the one lone osprey and one of the other young osprey returning to the nest after first flights.
The field below the Osprey nest is beautiful now. The circus is gone and with all the rain the grass and wild flowers are beautiful. It has turned out to be a wonderful nest spot after all. I'm so glad they have been so successful. Today Osceola Osprey flew in with a large fish. He immediately flew off again. Then Chechola did something new. She took the fish and flew over to a near by pine tree. The young Osprey wanted to follow her to the pine tree. They called out to her over and over. Maybe that was the whole point and she was trying to cox them to fly over. They didn't fly yet but they flap and flap and hop back and forth, back and forth in the nest. Chechola finally brought about half of the fish back to the nest and let the young Osprey have a turn with it.
These days it's all about getting ready to fly. These young Osprey want to go fishing! They flap and hop from one side of the nest to the other practicing to fly. I took a lot of photos of the young Osprey today. I truly love watching this Osprey family!
Observing the nest today and the chicks no longer look like chicks. They look like the parent osprey just smaller. I took some great pictures today and will post them later this evening. They are going to fly any day. They are flapping their wings as they stand on the edge of the nest. Preening themselves in the sunshine while their Mom - Chechola stood watch. I can tell the real life training will soon begin.
The male Osceola is all about fixing up the nest. It has been raining everyday and the nest has been soaked. Osceola is smaller than the female Chechola and he has a cow lick that sticks staight up in the back and it reminds me of an indian head dress. I think that's why the indian names came to me. Anyway, so today I observed Osceola fly away from the nest come back with sticks or moss and weave it in the nest over and over. He would fly into dead branches of the tall pine trees that are across the 1-4 Hwy. If he was successful a branch would fall and he'd fly down and get it. When he's on the nest weaving new branches or moss then the chicks stay down and quiet. As soon as he fly's off to hunt more nest material they pop up and stretch their now long wings and pier over the side of the nest. But when he fly's in they go still again. No sign of Chechola. She's off hunting for lunch I guess. The chicks are very big and actually look like small Osprey now rather than baby chicks. I love observing the Osprey.
The sun came out today. It's been raining so much the field is flooded below the nest. The chicks are huge. It's hard to believe how fast they are growing. The two chicks appear to be wrestling today. I read that the chicks will fight with each other. Chechola just stayed out of the way. They are so beautiful. I wonder if I will get to see them take first flights. Oh I hope so.
At noon today Chechola had the chicks covered and she is very nervous like in a guarding position. What ever happened yesterday seems to still have her disturbed. At first I was only able to see one chick and I was sick thinking one was gone. Then Osceola flew in with lunch. As soon as Chechola starting ripping it up I finally saw two chicks coming up after the food. What a relief. Osceola stayed for about 10 minutes while they ate then he flew off. Then Chechola went back to standing over the chicks in guard mode.
I came over to the nest after work around dusk to observe the nest. I always observe during the noon time so I thought it would be interesting. It was quiet a different mood around the nest. Osceola and Chechola where very upset. Osceola was dive bombing a nearby tree making loud calls. Chechola had the chicks covered and was looking all around. I had noticed two large Osprey flying around so maybe this was it. What ever happened has them very disturbed.
Observing today at 11:30 am. Osceola and Chechola where both on the nest. I bring binoculars everyday so I can see close up. The chicks are no where in sight. Then Chechola flies off a little ways to the power pole just watching. Then she flies away. Then Osceola flew down to the retention pond which is real close to the nest. The chicks are up looking around for now. Osceola was gone maybe 2 minutes at the most getting a drink and he brings a stick back to pad the nest. The chicks settle back down in the nest. I was able to get a couple of good pictures though. I will post those later from home computer.
Today at lunch break I saw a little head pop up when the Dad flew in with more moss. He's been bringing moss in everyday to pad the nest. I'm bringing my binoculars tomorrow hoping to see the chick better. This is exciting to see they have at least one chick that I know of.
Observing the nest on my lunch break today and was relieved to see the Osprey is still on the nest. I took some photos to show the situation they are in now. I wish I would have taken pictures from the beginning so you could see how the field was so quiet before the circus.
on March 20th the Seminole County Fair came and started setting up in the field all around the nest and under the nest. They have tall rides and the osprey's appear to be hiding down in the nest. My fear is that they will abandon this nest. I'm not even sure if they are in there. I will look today at lunch.
I first noticed the nest on March 1, 2018. I observed them making the nest and mating. I try to go by on my lunch break and watch the nest activity everyday from 11am to 12. Before they paired other ospreys where chased away by the male and he engaged a bald eagle that got to close.