I have a 5 acre pond with a one acre island in front of the house. About 100 yards away. It's still got 15" plus of ice on it and the honkers have already started to get in the nesting mood. A pair is walking around right now looking over the possible nest sites. A dozen more just gave them a very low flyover.
Have a 50' high split spruce that is very thick. Each year the great horned owls nest there. They are calling and should set eggs soon.
Amazing how early these birds start.