Look for 2 adults on the nest. The adult pair will show pair bonding behaviors such as vocalizations, aerial sky dances, and the male feeding the female fish. You may see the pair copulating, which typically begins 14 days before laying eggs.
Females will lay 1 - 4 eggs at a rate of one egg every 1 - 2 days. After laying, incubation starts. Look for adults taking turns sitting low in the nest incubating eggs. The incubation period can last 35 - 43 days.
Chicks hatch ~39 days after incubation begins. Look for adults bringing food to the nest and making "head bows" into the center. Chicks typically can't be seen until they are 2 - 3 weeks old, so feeding behavior is the only way to know chicks are there.
Around 4 weeks after hatching, look for the heads of chicks to show over the rim of the nest, particularly when adults bring food to the nest. Other times they lie flat and are harder to see. Count the number of chicks in the nest before they learn to fly
Chicks begin flying around 7 - 8 weeks old, and are still fed by the adults. Count the number of chicks who have successfully fledged the nest and are observed flying.
Chick Last Observed
4 - 10 weeks after fledging, chicks begin leaving the nest area to migrate south, once they have learned to fly and feed themselves. Record the date that the last chick left the nest.
Look for signs of nest failure like adult abandonment, adults no longer incubating eggs or feeding young.
On the GSP heading to south Jersey, I can see ospreys on this tower. It is difficult to stop on the GSP! This is an active nest that no one seems to be regularly monitoring. One of these years I might have to make a special trip down to see this nest and the one close by also visible from the GSP.
I see osprey at this tower as we pass at speed. I can see more than one and assume this tower nest is active. No one seems to be reporting on it regularly so the status and number of chicks is not known through the years that it has been reported active.
There appeared to be an osprey still at this nest site. I looked again (traveling south in the express lanes) and one could stop in the zone out of the traffic lanes, with yellow diagonal lines. One would have to anticipate this and plan a stop!
Again, as I passed on the GSP, I noticed multiple osprey at this site. I did not stop so I can't say whether it was an adult pair or an adult with chicks. I did notice this time that there appears to be a possible temporary pull off with yellow diagonal lines, out of the traffic lanes. This is right near the toll plaza. One has a good view of the nest from the toll plaza but if you were to watch regularly and stay at the site for awhile, you would have to explore better viewing posts.