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Osprey Communal Nesting Behavior

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There are 4 adult Osprey tending to a nest by my house.  I don't think that's normal.


I watched it the other afternoon because it appeared to me that the chicks had hatched (adults bringing food).  While watching it, I witnessed four adult birds at the nest (all at once- so it's not an observation error).  They appeared to all get along very well, and to be feeding nestlings (or something).


One bird perched next to it (cell tower) and pulled apart a fish, then climbed in, and I could see it feeding something.  Then it settled in.  While it was there, another adult flew in, hovered above as if deciding where to land, and while doing so, another adult came off the nest, joined it, and both flew off together.  As those 2 birds were flying away together, 2 more adult birds came off the nest (while the two others were still in sight), moved about the rim of the nest , fed something still inside the nest (presumably chicks, but I couldn't see the recipient of the food), and one of those adults then flew off in a different direction, carrying a fish carcass.  The remaining bird that I could see settled back on the nest.


I can't find anything suggesting Osprey normally nest communally.  If this isn't a known, documented behavior, I'd like to get the information to someone who can document it properly.  Any idea who or how?

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I'd start with your local or nearest Audubon group. They'd be the kind of people who would know the right people to notify in your area. Getting video or photos of the Osprey group at the nest might be a good start to documenting the interactions. 

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