9:10 a.m. No one was home when I drove by. I searched the tower, the top tier/nest area, and the surrounds, but saw no sign of the fledglings or the parents.
9:15 a.m. Mom was on part of the structure low and centered not far above the nest. One of the fledglings was on the high post on the east side and the second fledgling was sitting in the nest. The third fledgling was not seen the entire time I watched, but the other two put on an interesting display of skilled flight!
First, the fledgling on the high post, signaled his intentions with a poop shoot, then took off, circled around over the nest, dropped low and then landed skillfully once again on the same high perch.
Then the second fledgling that had been sitting back on the nest right under Mom, flew off to the west, circled around and landed back on the east side of the nest, on the top tier platform.
All the while the fledglings were practicing their flight skills, Mom just sat and watched. I did not hear calls and didn't see open beaks so perhaps everyone was well fed before I arrived.
9:20 a.m. After setting up scope and camera I saw the female feeding one very large chick! Apparently this nest has already fledged or two of the three chicks have as they were not on the nest. I did suspect this third chick has also taken its first flight and was just back for breakfast. Mom was calling while she fed her chick. I wonder if she was calling her mate to bring more fish, or calling her other two chicks to "come and get it"! After the one chick finished eating, it lay down behind Mom and was more difficult to see. I could just see its back/wings.
2:50 p.m. I pulled way off the pavement onto the grass on route 80, set up my scope and camera. I saw all three chicks and the female. Two chicks were sitting up tall, the third was lying down lower and partly hidden by part of the structure and its sibling. I saw it move and stretch a wing, but the photo is not clear. I have marked the back of the third chick in the photos. Mom was perched above the nest on a post. These three could fledge at any time.
12:50 p.m. On route 80 on my way to do an eagle nest check north of the water gap, I stopped very briefly but the chicks were all down and the adults were not seen either. It was raining lightly.
9:30 a.m. Mom was sitting up tall on the nest. 9:41 Dad flew in with something small in his talons and landed on the nest. He didn't stay but flew up to the post. I saw one chick. 9:43 both adults flew off but I couldn't see where they went! The chick(s) was down. 9:47 first Mom flew back into the nest, shortly followed by Dad to a post. At 9:50 suddenly chicks popped up and become active! First I saw two and then a third! This nest had 1 the first year I watched, two last year, and this year three!! These chicks looked to be 4-5 weeks old.
9:50 a.m. I saw one chick for sure. In a video I could see what appeared to be two chicks. The female was to the left side on the tower.
8:10 a.m. The female was on the nest, sitting up high. She fussed with the bottom of the nest. Both were sure signs that there are chick(s). At 8:21 the male arrived with a fish. I saw the adults feeding the offspring and was quite sure I saw 2 nestlings, but have only listed one (as I have photo proof!). The adults were eating also.
12:40 p.m. The female was sitting on the nest either on eggs or brooding chicks. The male was perched on one of the posts above the nest.
8:00 a.m. An adult is sitting very low on the nest, probably incubating. I saw the head and tail of this adult (probably the female) moving occasionally and sticking up slightly, but it was often almost invisible.
7:50 a.m. As I parked way off to the side of I-80, I saw the male flying in and landing on the nest with a fish. The female was sitting low, still incubating. The male flew off before I could get a better photo of him.
9:35 a.m. One adult was on the nest in the incubating position. I am going to assume, after seeing an adult in this position of April 19, that there are egg(s).
8:30 a.m. On adult was sitting on the nest. I did not stay long enough to know if it was incubating or just sitting waiting for an egg. It was a gray day so it is difficult to see the head of the adult in the photo, but it was clear through my spotting scope.
7:45 a.m. Stopped along route 80 and saw an osprey perched at the tower. I watched for a few minutes and right before I pulled out, I saw that the perched bird was in the air flying in circles above the nest with a second osprey. Perhaps its mate.
8:40 a.m. Passing by this nest on route 80, I stopped to observe. I saw a bald eagle perched on the tower just as I had seen three miles east of here along route 80 at the Mt Herman tower! The nest is substantial and has not been removed by the cell phone company. It looks good!
10: 25a.m. This is the second or third time I have driven by the observation post on route 80 and seen no sign of the birds. Later in the day (and previous times) while cycling past on Lenaberry Rd, I have not seen nor heard any sign of the adults or chicks.
8:08 a.m. When I pulled off onto the grass on route 80, set up my scope and camera, the nest looked empty. I wish I could have watched longer, but I had many nests to check. During the 15 minutes I observed, I saw no sign of any osprey chicks or adults.
When I passed by a second time at 9:20 a.m. the nest was still empty.
Based on my estimate that this pair incubated "early", the two (or three??) chicks at this nest might have already fledged. I hope to catch a glimpse of these big fledglings during my next visit.
7:55-8:45 a.m. The female was busy feeding two chicks. One must have been fed first as it moved to the left, while the mother fed the 2nd. Then both chicks moved to the left while the female ate some herself. It is possible there was a third chick, but I couldn't be sure. There were some big wing stretches after the meal.
9:05-9:20 a.m. Today I definitely saw 2 chicks. I could not determine if there were more. When I arrived, the female was sitting to the left edge of the nest with one chick near her that kept popping its head up and down. Then, I spotted the second off to the left. It also was moving up and down. The female then walked to the center of the nest and sat down. It was hot so perhaps it was trying to shield the chicks. The male was not present today while I was watching.
Once again, both adults were on the nest. The male sat to the right while the female was obviously pulling pieces of prey and feeding some number of chicks. I could see movement of chicks, but could not determine numbers.
Both adults were on the nest. The male sat to the right while the female had her head down in the nest bowl and could have been feeding a hatchling. This would be about the time one would expect a hatch from an early nesting pair.
There was an adult sitting on the nest. Because I did not start watching until the end of April, I don't know the exact date when the eggs were laid. A pair in south Jersey began incubating around April 27, but the two years prior to this one (2019, 2020) began April 20. It is likely that this pair laid their eggs sometime in mid April. 40 days is the normal incubation time for ospreys in NJ.
Apparently there is an adult incubating eggs on this big nest. Last year, the one chick was much younger than other osprey chicks in this area. I wonder if it was a re-nesting since this year this nest is ahead of some others.
15:25-15:40 We were riding our bikes past this nest and I could hear the single chick--a little girl from the looks of her "necklace"--calling and calling! I didn't see either adult, but the fledgling is still hanging around, hoping for a fish delivery. I suspect maybe at least one of the parents has taken off in its southern migration. This chick was late...well behind others in this area, perhaps a second clutch? She needs to leave soon or she will run into some bad weather flying south.
10:55a.m. I can only see one adult from route 80 so I exit and go immediately to the corner of Cook and Linaberry Rds. From this view point, I see both adults. The male must have just delivered a fish because the SINGLE CHICK is mostly hidden behind Mom, but eating. For the first 10 minutes or so that I watch, the chick eats while Mom stands in the nest watching, and Dad is perched on the tall pillar above. At around 11:10, Dad flies off. He is not gone a minute before he returns with a huge stick! As he lands awkwardly carrying the stick which is twice as long as his wing span and has a "V" branch at one end, the stick seems to whack both Mom and the feeding chick! He puts it to the back and left, and then flies back up to his perch. Mom continues to watch the chick eat, but the chick now moves to the left and I see its head for the first time. The chick has the stick in its mouth! Chick is helping to arrange the nest material wrestling with this large, unwieldy stick! Seeing her chick is full, and the prey is now free, Mom begins to eat at 11:28 a.m. At 11:32 a.m. Dad flies off his perch and Mom immediately follows him, but one of them (I believe Mom) returns at once and perches on a pillar to the left side. The chick is hidden and must be way back and lying down. Before I leave the area, I drive up the now very over-grown (very high weeds!) dirt road up to the cornfield to see a different perspective on the nest. I can see the chick's head as it is just sitting/lying and full, and Mom is back working on the prey. My conclusions about this nest are that there IS ONLY ONE CHICK, and that it will be fledging in a week or two.
8:30 a.m. The fog is very thick and from milepost 6.6-6.4 I am just too far away to see the nest. I exit and drive to the viewpoint beside Cook and Linaberry Roads. I get a good view of the famale and ONE chick. At this point, this chick is big enough to see and I doubt another could be hiding! This is a single-chick nest. It is too foggy to get photos. When I drive past (on Linaberry Rd) at 4:30 p.m. after a bike ride in the area, I see Mom on the pillar above the nest, but don't take time to wait to see the hidden chick.
9:00a.m. From the grass next to the shoulder of I-80 between mile markers 6.8 and 6.4 you can see this nest pretty well. I moved slowly along the grass spotting from a couple different view points. It appears this single chick's age is way behind others in northwest/central Jersey. Although I am photographing/spotting from quite far away, this chick looks at least 4 weeks younger. It still seems to have a lot of down rather than its pin/flight feathers. Again, I only saw one chick. I suppose a small sibling could possibly be down and difficult to see. I will check this nest again in 2-3 weeks. While I watched, the male was perched on the post high above the nest and the female was in the nest. After five minutes, the female flew off, then flew back with a stick a couple minutes later. About five minutes after Mom flew, the male also flew off and returned with a stick. He placed it, then flew off again. I did not stay long enough to see the male return with prey.
11:45 a.m. After checking two other nests in the area, I stopped again on the grassy shoulder of I-80 to have another look. Dad was perched on a pillar and Mom appeared to feeding the little one in the nest. The light on the nest isn't nearly as good now as it was early morning in the sun.
11:45 a.m. After checking 2 other towers, I stop again on the shoulder of I-80 westbound to look at this nest. Dad is perched on a pillar, and Mom appears to be feeding the little one in the nest. The lighting now is not nearly as good as the bright, early morning sun was earlier today.
7:45a.m. I stopped at the shoulder of I-80 westbound when the tower came into view. One can pull way off onto the grass beyond the shoulder between mileposts 6.8 and 6.6. From there, with morning sun, the view is quite good albeit far away! Note that I said in my last notes that this nest seemed to be quite a bit later than others in the area. Today it would seem to be true as I saw one chick which appeared quite small/young. I was very happy, though, to see the chick as my goal today is to determine how many offspring in three nests that have been challenging to see! One down, two to go! It will be interesting to return to Linaberry when the chick(s) are bigger and easier to see and count!
Mom flew off for a couple minutes and came back with a stick. The young chick was sitting up. Mom was not feeding while I watched from this view point. I then continued on a couple miles to the next exit, then backtracked to Linaberry Rd. The viewpoints there are not good in morning sun. I tried the steep dirt road to the cornfield and got a silhouette of Mom on the nest. I then tried from Lenaberry Road westbound, but could see nothing, and also checked out the view from Cook Rd which was no better. Both Linaberry and Cook are seldom used roads so from that perspective, good for stopping to watch a tower!
3:00 p.m. Traveling west on I-80, I saw the tower to the south, right before the exit for a scenic view point. I took the exit thinking perhaps the parking for the scenic view point might be higher than Linaberry Rd and thus might be a clearer view of the nest. It was, and I did get some photos which showed one adult on the nest and the other perched on a tower post. I did not see any chicks. From the posture of the adult on the nest, this pair could still be incubating, but could also be brooding. Other nests in this area already have nestlings. I then exited I-80 and started back east on route 94. I pulled into the farm road and viewed the nest and pair from about half way up this steep dirt road. I still saw no chicks, just the 2 adults, one on the nest, the other perched on the tower. As I left heading east on Linaberry Rd I realized I had a pretty good view of the nest looking back toward the west. I was pulled over, facing west, just east of Cook Rd.
11:26 a.m. This tower is located along the south side of Linaberry Rd, where route 80 is running parallel to the north. I watched the nest from several different angles. Clearly, one adult was perched on the tower, and it would seem, then, that the mate was probably on the nest. It was difficult to see in the nest as the tower sits very high above the road. In an attempt to get higher, I found a steep, dirt lane on the south side of Linaberry Rd, to the west of the tower, that leads to a corn field. Driving part way up that road, I got some photos that do show the head of the other adult sitting very low on the nest. However, the sun had gone behind a cloud so the photo is too dark to be clear.