Hi Everyone- I hope you are all doing well. Now that we are starting to see the first signs of the chicks fledging, I’ve received a question about how and when to report fledglings in the Observation form. Hopefully these guidelines will help!
You’ll know you have fledglings when you see that the nestlings now have their flight feathers (with tell-tale speckled wings) and they are able to make short flights out of the nest. If you Google “osprey fledgling”, you can see some photos to get an idea of what they will look like! Ideally you will see them leave the nest, or they may actually be perched outside of the nest, or make short hopping flights around it.
When you see the fledglings, you can start reporting the nest status as “Successful”, and begin including the count of fledglings when you fill out the form. You’ll see there is one question for the number of nestlings visible, and another for the number of fledglings visible- they will each be counted separately, either as one or the other, not both.
It is possible that some of the young are more developed than others, so if you believe there are some that could be considered fledglings and others that should still be considered nestlings, then you can split the count between the two categories (i.e., if there are 3 young in the nest but only one is able to leave the nest, then you’d enter 2 for visible nestlings and 1 for visible fledgling, and the nest status would be “Successful”).
Please do feel free to reach out with any questions, and wishing you happy osprey-watching! -Jess