I was not convinced there was only 1 chick in this nest, so I made a quick stop to look again today. I did not have a camera for photos. Today's visit was in the afternoon rather than the morning. Sure enough, 2 chicks were in the nest. I is most definitely a female, but I could not get a good look at the other. It kept hanging back towards the back of the nest and behind posts of the tower. I want to say female as I did see some brown speckles on the chest/neck area. Both chicks began making lots of noise as Mom flew over the tower. She did not land, but kept flying past towards the pond on the property. The homeowners have told me that they frequently fish in the pond. She appeared to land in the trees near the pond. She did not return before I left. Neither of the chicks flew to her. I stayed about 30 minutes. I drove past the pond as I left but did not see Mom. Glad to have confirmation of 2 chicks again this year.
Lighting was terrible this morning, but it was exciting to see the girl. I arrived about 7:35am. I saw Mom perched but nothing else. I waited about 15 minutes and I was about to give up, when I heard another voice. Finally I saw a wing flap, and a body walked to the end of the nest. She lightened her load, flapped a couple times, and took off just like that. She went for a fly out past the pond, circled a couple times, then flew back to the tower. I could see today, this is a female. I was there for some time hoping Dad would come home with maybe a youngster in tow. That did not happen. Things quieted down, so I left. I believe there is 1 chick this year. I will continue to check.
I arrived just before 9 this morning. I found the female perched on the tower, seemingly alone. She took off after a few minutes, and I could hear someone else in the nest. I saw a wing stretch also. She returned 2 minutes later, flew up to a perch, and promptly left again, flying with the male. It was then that a head finally popped up above the nest. The female returned to the nest. I watched the 2 females (chick and mom) for another 20 minutes. No feeding took place, no other chick was seen, and all was quiet.
When I first arrived, both adults were on the tower, the male perched on the side and the female in the nest. She appeared to be feeding chicks. I could not see any heads, but she was bent over and head down. She remained like this for about 10 minutes. He was on his perch, preening. Both watched black vultures as they flew overhead. The photos again show all the plastic material they have gathered and use in the nest. I hope the inside is not as bad as what is observed outside the nest, and flying in the breeze.
Talking to the property owners, they shared stories of the osprey fishing in their pond. I was shown video! They also told me a story about the day a bald eagle flew by, and both it and the osprey had a mid-air encounter, complete with both birds displaying full out talons.
With so many osprey returning to sites down the NJ shore, it was time to check on the Hunterdon County county. I arrived on this day about 8:15am and saw the female perched alone on the tower. It was cold and windy, and she had her head down holding on. She eventually flew down to the nest area. There is much "junk" in the nest. It can be seen blowing in the wind. The male was not seen. I did run into the landowner, and he confirmed that both, male and female, had arrived 2 weeks before my visit today. He has seen them both off and on the nest.
3:35p.m. When I arrived, I followed Diane's advice to observe from partway down the driveway toward the road. I immediately spotted two big chicks sitting side by side. One appeared to be self-feeding. I noticed a lot of string and other plastic trash in this nest. I saw neither adult. Apparently prey was left not long before I arrived as the one chick continued to eat as I watched.
When I first arrived only 1 osprey was visible. It was the male who sat on a pillar of the tower. He and I both watched a pair of Kestrels mating on a tree below the tower. The osprey flew off the tower with his half eaten fish in his grip, circled around, and returned perching on another of the tower's pillars. He continued eating and vocalizing. He took off again about 5 minutes later. It soon became clear why he had taken off. A bald eagle flew into the nesting territory. The eagle made no attempt to get close to the tower or the osprey. It was just flying by. The male osprey made sure things stayed that way, and escorted the eagle past the nest. He flew back to the tower, and perched on a pillar. His mate was perched on a nearby pillar. She was on the nest the entire time of my observation, popping up during the eagle flyby. He never let go of the fish he was eating.
Stopped by about 1pm today for a quick look. Found the female adult only on the nest. She flew off with a fish in her talons.
9-9:15am Visited today and found no one home. Both adults and chicks were gone.
I made an early morning visit today. The female was on the nest along with 1 female chick. That chick had LOTS to say. It was yelling almost constantly. Mom stayed quiet except to give out warning calls when a Sharp-shinned Hawk flew by chased by Barn Swallows. I thought she might be hungry, and was yelling about being fed. Her crop was huge. I can't imagine she was hungry. About 30 minutes went by and she turned to the far side of the nest. I saw wings go up, and she took off. She made a few circles over the area gaining height. She finally flew over the trees and headed towards the river. The female (mom) remained on the nest. She called several times, but remained. When I walked to my vehicle to leave, she flew over my head, circled the tower a couple times, landed on a post, and continued to sit. She almost acted like there was something more in the nest. I saw and heard nothing else beside her. There were a couple Kestrels nearby but not paying attention to the Osprey. As I drove away, there was activity nearby the tower by the business located on the property. I saw as I looked back, the female circling the tower again. She didn't like their activity. I will check again this week to see if anyone remains on the nest, or if they are gone for this season.
At first I thought the chicks were branching. I saw one bird perched on the tower, watching me as I walked to a viewing spot. Photos showed yellow eyes, and no spotting on the wings and back. She vocalized for a bit and more voices joined in. I could only get a photo of 1 chick today when it stretched its wing. The male flew in with a fish. Chicks were on the far side of the nest. It was not possible to get a decent shot of them, though there was plenty noise and lots of flapping around. It appears there are 2 chicks.
When I arrived, I only saw 1 adult on the nest. It was the female. I remained in my vehicle and observed for several minutes hoping to see other heads pop up. She watched me, but was silent. I couldn't get a good look at the nest so I got out to walk to a different spot. She was not happy when I got out. She immediately began yelling at me, left the nest, and flew over me making several circles around me. I never saw any chicks in the nest, though from her behavior, I think it safe to say there are chicks.
Observed both adults on the nest. Saw one bringing nesting material to the tower (too far away to see who it was, as I caught the activity as I was driving up to the nest area). I stayed about an hour. Saw one adult fly in, and the other fly off. Again hard to tell, they were quick. I was not able to get any photos this visit.
Made a visit this afternoon. Found the female and 1 nestling sitting on the pillars of the tower. As I drove up, thought I saw something in the nest too, though when I took my observation spot, I saw nothing in the nest. While I watched, both the female and her female nestling took off from the pillars! They flew together, often passing very close to each other as the flew in circles around the tower. The female fledging was the first to come in for a landing. The female made several passes over the tower to encourage her young to fly. She wouldn't. Lots of vocalization from both birds. Female finally came in to land on the tower platform next to her daughter. Shortly after, I saw movement in the nest. Sure enough another female nestling made her presence known. She did not fly but did put on quite a show of jumping jacks, catching some nice air! While she exercised, both her mother and sister watched from the tower platform. I observed for about an hour.
All looked quiet again at the tower in the late afternoon when I arrived. I walked to get a better angle and saw movement. It appears the female was on the nest. I would see her move her head over the nest to look at me from time to time. As I walked back to my vehicle, I heard her. She never did get up off the nest, so I am assuming she is incubating!
Arrived at the tower late afternoon to find the female. She was scanning the sky and preening. Saw vultures nearby, but I did not see the male. She saw something fly overhead - I missed it. It was windy, and she floated in mid-air when she took off before flying away. She flew over the field, and in photos not worth publishing (the distance was too great), I saw another osprey with talons full of grass. The 2 osprey flew close to each other and the vultures. They took off towards the river.
The male was perched on the cell tower when I arrived about 4:30 pm. About 20 minutes later, he flew off across the field and went down in the trees. Within seconds he was back up flying to the nest with a stick. He placed and arranged the stick before flying off towards the river. Only saw the male today. Talked to one of the folks on the property who told me they arrived back 3/12/19.
Arrived at the nest site in the early afternoon. The female sat on her perch on the tower. I heard lots of vocalizing. Could only see 1 nestling, and that one was behind the posts of the tower. While observing, the female took off, circled the tower a couple times, then came in for a landing. Was that a lesson in how to fly? Observed for about an 1 1/2 hours. No sign of the male. Did see a few vultures and a red-tailed hawk in the distance.
Arrived and asked the landowners if the osprey pair had returned. They hadn't seen them yet. In the past I've been told they returned on April 1st. Hung around for a while to watch the Great Blue Heron, Mergansers, and American Black Duck pair on the pond. As I was preparing to leave, an Osprey flew over my head. I walked to get a view of the tower they which they nest. She was perched there. He flew to a nearby field, gathered grass, and delivered it to the nest. He perched near her for a couple minutes before flying off, and circling the nest. He flew over her, landed, and began mating. When he finished, he flew over the nest, circled over my head, and then flew off.
When I arrived, the boy was in the nest and his sister was perched on a pillar. Mom flew in, and the girl took off with her. They made a pass over the tower, then headed toward the river. Mom flew back to the tower. I could see the girl in the distance. It appeared as if she landed in a tree, but it was too far to tell for sure. Mom landed on a pillar. There was lots of vocalization between her and the boy. She took off again in the direction of the girl. I did see him fly. He took off from a pillar on one side of the tower, made a couple passes around it, and landed on the other side. He would not follow his family.
Just before noon when I arrived, the young male was alone in the nest. Within minutes his sister made several circles around the tower gaining height with each pass. She landed on a pillar. She no sooner landed and her brother took off landing on a pillar next to her. They scanned the sky for their parents, constantly calling out. Mom flew in and landed briefly in the nest. The girl flew back to greet mom and to look for food. None was to be found. As dad approached, the boy became very active and vocal. Dad buzzed the tower but no food drop again. I saw the parents fly by several times, once flying with or chasing away, a pair of black vultures. The girl did fly off again leaving her brother alone. After another fly-over by dad, he finally stepped off the pillar and flew. I waited for an hour and a half to see him fly. Worth it! Before leaving I drove past a pond on the property. I observed 2 osprey flying over it - dipping low, flying up, hovering, and repeat. Photos showed the pair to be dad and the boy. The property owners told me this is new behavior they began seeing the day before. The pond has no fish in it, however. Is this a lesson in how to get close to the surface? Lots of vocalizing today by both young. I guess they are hungry. Time to learn how to fish.
An osprey was perched on a utility pole below the cell tower when I arrived. Thought it one of the adults. It was a juvenile. We have at least one fledge. Since I did not witness any other flights, I will mark this date as the fledge date. Observed it for about 10 minutes. It finally flew back up to the nest. Mom sat on a pillar next to the nest. Was able to see 2 young in the nest. It appears there is 1 female (speckled brown feathers on breast) and 1 male (clear, white breast).
This nest sits on the top level of a very high cell tower. It is near a business and residence with lots of activity. The osprey are tolerant of all activity. Observations are made with a telephoto lens from a distance with which the osprey are comfortable.
As I arrived to observe (2:30PM), so too did mom and dad! Each brought a fish with them. She sat closer to the nest, while he took his position on his perch. Lots of vocalizing as I took my observation post. They soon settled and mom surprised me as she flew off her perch and into the nest with the fish to begin feeding! I could only see one young bird. At one point, dad looked up and began calling. Another adult osprey flew over. It circled a few times, and then flew off.
I was told by the land owner that the osprey returned to the tower on April 1st in the past. This year followed suit. While I was not observing at the start of this season, I will return to catch a fledge date.