[EDIT: The osprey have NOT arrived as of 3/18/23. I submitted the report in error and have contacted Osprey Watch to tell them. Meanwhile here's some info from my visit today.]
3/18/23 morning: Not sure if I should report a "non-sighting" or not, but today was my first visit with an idea I might see osprey. I did not see any, but I did see what looks to me like a Common Raven pair and their nest on the cell tower, one level down from the Osprey nest. (All the sticks from last year's Osprey nest are gone, so it's possible somebody cleaned the nesting material.) The pair was certainly present and defending the area against a third Raven, and chasing hawks out of the area, too. If this is the case, I'm afraid the osprey may not be able to claim the nest this year. I know Ravens can be ferocious fighters; one killed an Osprey female with nestlings a couple of years ago in Finland or Estonia. Anyway, just wanted to make a note of this. I'll try to get back next Saturday and will note whatever I find.
FYI - nests are considered as "OCCUPIED" when a pair is present during nesting season (Apr-Aug) and ACTIVE when they have eggs or young.
Was in the area from about 9am to 12:30pm on 8/27/22 and did not see or hear any osprey here. They may already be gone. Will update in the future with any possible new info.
Both osprey were still here as of 8/20/22. At 10:35am, I both saw and heard an osprey on the tower. At around 11:25, as I was walking back to the clearing, I heard some soft fish calling from the nest or from the surrounding trees,
At about 11:30am, I saw an osprey fly off the platform; it flew in large circles around the area before I believe moving off East towards the lake. At around 12:40pm, I could hear the female fish calling pretty insistently for about 5 minutes. Then I saw saw an osprey fly off the one of the pylons. As I came out into the clearing I could see that another osprey was on another pylon above with a fish. Will post a photo.
There is still at least one osprey here, as of August 13, 2022. When I arrived at around 9:45am, I saw and heard an osprey calling warnings, and saw him or her flying above in a territorial dispute with a red-tailed hawk it appeared. The osprey soon flew out of sight. At 10:20am an osprey flew through the area from the northwest, but did not land on the nest and kept flying out to the Southwest. I did not see another before I left at around 12:45pm.
At 9:00 am I thought I heard an osprey alert over at the pond by the roadside, but not 100% sure. Upon arrival at municipal building (around 9:45am) I neither saw nor heard any osprey. At 10:45am I heard an osprey alerting several times from the nest. A little later, while I was walking in the woods, I saw an osprey fly overhead. At 12:40pm I heard some anticipatory calling from the nest and then saw the male bring a fish to the female in the nest. Then either the male or the female (with fish, I presume) flew off again, headed south. I got a photo of the delivery, but that was all.
8:35 a.m. There were not ospreys present when I passed by the nest this morning. The pair that has been seen on the nest, was not there.
8:20 a.m. I parked on the side of Spring Valley Rd where I had a clear view of the nest. I was delighted to see the pair that the other observer, "ospreyBabs", reported a few weeks ago. While I had seen a single adult, this was the first time I saw a pair of adults sitting on the top tier of the tower.
There appears to be two areas on the top tier where nest materials have been brought in: The old, more substantial nest in the southwest corner and in an opposite corner to the northwest there appear to be another pile of sticks as if a newer location was started and built up. As I said in the Activity Report, I believe this is a new pair which got a late start. Neither of us observers have seen evidence of egg laying or chicks. It will be interesting to see if this nest tower is productive again in 2023 as it was in 2020!
As a matter of interest, I report on all known NJ nests registered in Osprey Watch west of Morristown and north of Trenton. This is the fifth nest this season with an active, courting pair, that nevertheless has not produced eggs/chicks. It will be important to watch these nests next season to see if the pairs return and lay eggs rather than just setting up housekeeping!
Arrived at the nest area around 9am and saw an osprey flying overhead, probably checking me out. It flew off after that. I also heard a little chatter from the nest later in the morning while I was in the woods. At 10:45am I finally saw both osprey at the same time. They flew in in circles around the area and landed on the nest a couple times each, and then I saw them fly off, separately, towards the southwest. I heard no alert calling or any other kind of sound. So these two were known to each other and not viewed as a threat. I got two fairly decent photos, one of each of them in flight, and it's clear that one has a pronounced necklace and the other does not - so hopefully next year these two will return and try again, whatever happened this year.
8:45 a.m. As we drove past the view point I checked the tower, but no ospreys were present this morning. The single male (?) that has been seen hanging out at the nest was not around.
2:15 p.m. This is a later time than I am usually at this nest. The other regular observer has seen a single adult which she thinks is not one of the resident pair, which has been regularly "guarding" the nest. Sure enough. Today there was a single adult on the nest. It just sat, not moving much. No eggs/chicks this year unfortunately.
Well, I was wrong! There IS a female here. At around noon on 7/9/22, I was walking in the woods behind the nest, and as I came out into the clearing I heard some very low fish-calling. So, definitely a female present. I then saw an osprey fly off the tower, and a few minutes later saw another fly off as well. (I'm assuming it was two birds, rather than one flying off a second time after returning.) In any case, there was definitely a female present, and some quiet fish-calling happening - which she wouldn't be doing if there weren't a male here also. Perhaps these two courted this year, and will return next year to try for chicks. Hope so!
12:40p.m. I observed from the pull-over on Spring Valley Rd, and also from the municipal building maintenance lot and from the other side at the entrance to the municipal building parking lot. While there is a nest there, it is definitely not being used to raise young this year. The other regular observer at this site, "ospreyBabs" confirms this and in addition, has noted an adult which appears to be different than either of the adults of the previous nesting pair. We will have to see if this nest is used by a pair in the future. Personally, I have not seen any osprey present at this tower except for one flying off the nest (6/17 at 8:35 a.m.). I have been here either in the morning (but not at day break), or around noon. I expect this is an issue of timing and am not sure what time the adult has been seen "guarding" the nest.
I have been to the nest almost every weekend this summer, and have seen an osprey guarding the nest, but there are no chicks this year.
As far as I can tell, the osprey who's claimed the nest at this point - I think it's a male - is not either one of the pair who used to nest here. (I could be wrong about this, but this male does not look like the previous one.) The new nest-owner guards it and alerts when other osprey fly close, which seems to be a regular occurrence. I've seen it several times.
But, there are no chicks and there apparently was never an active pair here this year. I will post several photos of the osprey I've seen here this year. Hope for better things next year.
8:45 a.m. I watched from Spring Valley Rd where there is a gap in the foliage and I can better see this high nest. I then moved to the municipal building and drove into the back maintenance lot. I saw no osprey adults or chicks from either place.
8:35a.m. From the gap in the trees along Spring Valley Rd, I saw an adult fly off the nest. There was no sun so the photos are dark but this is the first time I have seen any osprey on or near this tower! I then went to the Municipal Building and to the maintenance yard (gate was open, yard empty). From there I could not see any birds in the nest.
11:23 a.m. As I now approach from south on Spring Valley Rd after observing another osprey nest there, I found an open spot before the driveway to the Municipal Building where I could better see the nest, although it is quite far away. I saw no osprey on the tower or in the nest. I then found the maintenance gate open and the yard empty and set up my scope there. Still, no osprey seen and one looks straight up so it is difficult to see if there is a bird on the nest.
8:15 a.m. I stopped by the Municipal Building complex early. Nothing was open including the maintenance gate. It is impossible to see what is happening in the nest from so close up as one is looking straight up the tower! I saw no osprey flying or perched on the structure.
8:20 a.m. I arrived here before the maintenance gate was open. When it finally did open they had recycle bins taking up most of the area and did not want anyone to drive in there. From outside of the gate, I couldn't see inside of the nest nor did I see any osprey perched on the tower, nearby, nor in flight. As "ospreyBabs" has been watching and reporting on this nest regularly and thoroughly, I have not ventured up here. It is the farthest nest away from my home! I will check back occasionally to see if I can determine what is happening. According to the reports, there was possibly a partner exchange here. There were no chicks last season and that could have been a pair switch up or nest challenge. The nest failed for unknown reasons. What is actually happening at this nest and how many adults have been present is a mystery. After successfully producing three fledglings in 2020, failing to produce in 2021, it is now quite late if there are still no eggs in the nest!!
When I got here on the morning of April 30th at 10:00 a.m., I saw one osprey perched at the top of the tower. At 10:08 I heard an osprey alert call and looked up. I saw two osprey overhead, one flying behind the other, and I thought perhaps it was a chase. They flew out of the sight shortly, flying Northwest. At 10:10 I heard an osprey calling from the platform; could have been a third bird, or it could have been one of the others returned. At around 10:12 I then saw the two flying overhead again, circling. I thought I heard another one calling from the platform but am not sure.
At 10:18 I saw both osprey flying overhead again and both seem to land on the platform, one right after the other, so it's possible they are male and female. Possibly one or both of the pair that have been here in past years has not returned, and this is a new pair engaging in courtship. (From my distant pics I believe one to be male - white chest - and one to be female, with a slight necklace. But I am not 100% certain of the female.)
At 12:20, one male (no necklace) flew over the nest and hovered there for a couple of seconds before flying away. He did not appear to land. I heard no calling from the nest, either warnings or alerts.
Then a few minutes later, I could see and hear an osprey. Could have been the same one or could be a different one flying east of the nest over Ferla's pond. It was circling very high.
Went to the nest area today at around 9:30am. Did not see an osprey perched until about 10:40am, when one flew off the tower. This osprey returned at around 11am, perched on a pylon on the far side of the tower (hidden from view from the lot below), and then flew to perch on another pylon. It was there when I left at around 12:40pm.
There is clearly no nesting activity here at the moment; I hear no female chatter or fish-calling. I am not sure which osprey is here looking after the nest, but there is certainly not a pair here right now. Perhaps this will change over the next few weeks; I will continue to monitor.
4/16/22: When I arrived at 10:10am today, I saw an osprey fly off the platform. Some time later I saw one osprey fly off and another fly up to the platform, so I have finally seen two at the same time. Still not seeing any real nesting activities, though, and haven't heard the female talking at all - just some occasional guard/alarm calls from a single osprey. Not really sure what's happening here this year.
Saw one osprey today, 4/9/22. Believe it was the female, who was at the nest at various times between 1:30 and 3pm. Still haven't seen two at the same time.
Arrived at the nest at 10am EDT. No osprey were perched on the tower or anywhere in the area that I could see. At 10:07am an osprey arrived, and flew up to the tower; it might have had a fish. The osprey did not stay in the nest; today it was very windy and cold, and possibly unpleasant at that height. (It was clear, anyway, that the osprey was having trouble flying in to the nest, having to circle around to head into the wind.) I could hear some scolding while I was in the woods, but could not locate the osprey.
At 11:35, a female returned to the nest with a stick - photo attached. I did not see two at the same time today, but they both might be in the area (since I have been assuming the first sighting was a male). Today's osprey definitely had a necklace.
Left the area at 12:20pm and there was no osprey on the nest or tower.
Arrived at the nest at 9:22am EDT, to see one osprey perched on a pylon on the cell tower. S/he remained there, preening, for about half an hour, but left once it began to rain harder. At around 10:45 I saw the osprey come flying in with a fish. S/he perched in a tree to eat, then flew off to another tree and finally up to the cell tower again to finish the fish.
I went to the nest on Saturday, March 19, at around 1 pm and saw that an osprey had arrived. I believe it was one of the males from last year, possibly the new one. He was perched on the platform when I arrived, and stayed at or near the nest for most of the rest of the time I was there. He left at least once and returned with a stick shortly afterwards; he spent a little time calling alerts as well.
He was gone from the platform when I left the area at around 4 pm.
I saw one osprey at the nest on August 28, 2021. This was again the male (I'm assuming) with a couple of spots on his chest (see photo), not the resident male who's been here for the past few years, and not the female. He perched there for about an hour until two Black Vultures and Common Raven flew up and perched on the top of the tower where the nest is. A few minutes after that the osprey flew off the pylon, flew in a couple of large circles to the east of the tower, and then flew east over the pond and out of sight. I did not see him again. The fact that he did not defend the nest against these interlopers makes me think he is not yet the owner of this nest, whatever happened this season.
I was at the nest on August 21 for two and a half hours, beginning at around 11 am. I did not see or hear any osprey, so it seems they may have left the area on migration by now. Not surprising, since there are no chicks; they normally leave early in September anyway. So, 8/14/21 is my "last seen" date for the adults here (unless I should see them again, in which case I'll say so in another entry).
Was at the nest for a couple of hours on August 14. I saw a male (I'm assuming) osprey perched on a pylon with a fish; he began alerting and I looked up and saw him fly off in one direction. Then another (?) osprey came flying in from another direction, and a few minutes later I could hear a female calling from above on the nest. As far as I can tell, this male was not the same as the male who's been here for the past several years; this male has some brown spots on the breast feathers, while the resident male's breast is clean white. I am not really certain what is going on at the nest; it's quite difficult to see who's who and what's happening because the nest is 200 feet up - and I don't have a spotting scope. (At one point today I could barely see one osprey through the space in the center of the tower; this osprey was not calling, but I could still hear the female call. So I'm assuming there were two osprey on the tower at once.) There has definitely been at least one intruder, since I've seen the female chase him away several times. I will post a photo of the male I saw today; there is an earlier photo from this year of the resident male for comparison. It's clear there are no chicks this year.
8:35 a.m. It is a weekday and the gate to the rear maintenance lot is open so I am able to drive behind the tower and set up my scope and camera closer to the southwest corner of the tower where the nest is located. At first I don't notice, but when I zoom in I see an adult sitting at the very edge of the nest at the southwest peak of the triangular top platform structure. It did not move the entire time I watched. I did not see any other osprey in the area and I could not tell from the photos or from on-site observations whether this was a male or female. It does seem pretty clear that this nest produced no chicks this season. I wonder if the cause was the intruder observed by ospreyBabs and reported here on 4/10, 6/5, and 7/3?
Was at the nest 6/26 and 7/3 and still have not heard or seen any evidence of chicks this year. On 7/3 I saw two adults leave the nest around the same time and fly in opposite directions, so am assuming there aren't any chicks in the nest.
I continue to see an intruder approach the nest and hover over it, occasionally landing - only to be chased away, usually by Mom.
Will post again if I see evidence of chicks, or anything unusual. I imagine the adults will not stay as much at the nest after this, but will report anything I see.
I observed this nest for about 30 minutes and saw no sign of adults or chicks. The nest appeared empty. This nest is being regularly watched and reported by "Ospreybabs" who has reported the same findings and provided excellent photos. Because this nest is the farthest from my home and even quite far from my northern most eagles nests, I am happy to see another person regularly monitoring this pair. If this nest is not productive this year after producing 3 chicks last year, it is joining a trend in northwest osprey nests during the 2021 season. I have found quite a few which were productive last year and have failed to produce chicks this year.
Was at the nest on Monday, 5/31/21 and today, 06/05/21. Still not able to hear any chicks, but am assuming they have hatched by now. (Probably it's just too early to hear their little voices.)
There was an intruder in the area on both days; Mom has been alerting against him (believe it's a male) frequently, and way before I can see him, so I am always able to get some photos. He often hovers above the nest for about 10 seconds at a time, and on Monday landed on the platform, too. That day Mom left the nest and chased him away. Dad has been around, and I believe he brought a fish on Monday but did not see him bring one today. He perched on the edge of the platform for about 10 minutes before flying off, presumably to go fishing. I did not see him after that before I left.
I saw both the male and female today, May 22, 2021. I could not hear any chicks, but I do suspect there may be hatches; Dad was very busy bringing in sticks today. He went out every few minutes and brought back large sticks almost every time he returned. And, it is just about time for hatches now - about two months after these parents have returned.
I saw both parents on May 15, 2021. The female was off the nest, perched on a pylon next to it, and the male was perched on a pylon below. I don't believe there are hatches yet, because the female would not have left newly-hatched chicks in the hot sun for any length of time; she was off the nest for about a half hour at 1pm, when the sun was bright.
It is Saturday and the gate is closed so I can't easily drive into the back lot to set my scope up either on a tripod or on the car window. I can see the nest, and one adult perched on one of the posts of the tower. I don't see any nest building. While I watched, I saw what was probably the mate soaring way up above the nest, but too far to be sure.
Today (April 10, 2021) I saw the pair at the nest again. When I arrived, the male had a fish and was on one of the pylons eating it; the female was flying around the area and bringing in nesting materials. I saw the two of them (I believe) flying in large circles, as if they were dancing in the sky; have never seen this behavior before. They seemed to be moving together towards the east/southeast, in large concentric circles, and returned some time later. They were very high in the sky. Later I did see one of them - the female, I think - chase what must have been an intruder osprey out of the area. She dove after the intruder, fast, so it was not the resident male. I could not tell if the intruder was male or female. Most of my pics from today are from too far away.
The male has arrived at the nest as of today, April 3, 2021. (Another watcher on premises said he saw the male 5 days ago.)
They were busy today bringing in sticks and working on the nest, which had taken a beating over the winter in the winds. The male had caught a fish and was eating on a nearby tree, then took it up to finish on one of the pylons. In the photo, you can see both perched on the tower.
I saw one adult today, March 27, 2021. (I was here last Saturday, March 20, and saw no osprey, so it seems almost certain that this is the week they arrive.)
I believe today's osprey was the female from this nest; the male does not have a necklace. She was bringing nesting material in (see cropped photos); she also spent some time calling alerts, and chasing some black vultures out of the area.
Last time I observed Dad and at least one juvenile (possibly 2) was on September 5, starting around 1:30pm. One youngster was atop the tower, calling and occasionally circling the area - and eventually left, flying generally west. Dad showed up fresh from fishing (still wet!) about 15 minutes later, with a fish; he perched there for about an hour and ate. Then he was gone.
Visited the nest today, August 25, 2020. Dad arrived around 11:30am with a fish, and stayed perched on a pylon for over an hour, without eating, while I was there. A juvenile arrived a little later, flew to the nest at the top of the tower, and fish-begged, but Dad did not fly up to the nest with the fish. It could be because it appeared that the juvie also had a fish in her talons (I am not sure, but I think so).
It could also be, I guess, that the juvie was not his chick, and that is why he didn't take the fish to her! I have seen other osprey (intruders) around the nest during this season, so there are definitely others in the area.
Dad was still there when I left around 12:40, and so, I think, was the juvie (I could not see her, and she wasn't calling at that point). So Dad is still around, and (probably) at least one of his chicks.
Saw one fledgling on the afternoon of August 15, 2020; s/he was perched at the top of the cell tower. I saw Dad arrive during the time I was watching, and saw him leave as well; I assume he brought a fish but did not actually see it being delivered.
Saw two fledglings on the afternoon of August 8, 2020. One was perched at the top of the cell tower; the other flew down from the tower and perched in a nearby tree with a fish. S/he ate it there on a branch and then returned to the tower, perching on a lower level. Did not see either parent on this day.
The two fledglings both have prominent necklaces and could both be females?
11:00 a.m. Since I was in the area, I went to check this nest. All have fledged and I expect it was not long after my last visit. I am estimating it as 7/17. Already on 7/15 I saw 2 of the chicks flying up to the top of the tower, above the nest. Today, there was no sign of the three chicks nor the parents. They are all off flying/hunting.
10:00 a.m. Today is a week day so the gate to the highway/maintenance yard is open. I drive in and am able to position my car to see the nest although I must look up very steeply. I am long overdue to check this nest and it is good I did so today because there are THREE BIG CHICKS, and they are soon to fledge. After seeing what I thought were much younger chicks on nests not far south of here, I am surprised these three are so advanced. One is even "branching" on the tower struts above the nest. At first I thought it was the adult, until I got a good look at its youth plumage through my scope. I heard vocals/calling though, and it was not coming from the chick I saw sitting on the nest, but from the one above! The chick on the nest is preening and partially obscured by the mesh platform of the tower that I have to look through.
As I am watching these two, I am really surprised to see a third chick, also on the nest, come out from behind the main tower center post wing flapping energetically. It then actually "flies" to the very top of the tower and perches along the top edge just as is its sibling.
At around 10:30 a.m. I see an osprey circling above the nest and it comes to perch on the far right corner, so that three of the family are now along that top edge, and the fourth (the chick) is in the nest. I haven't seen the male. At 10:40 a.m. the adult (female?) flies off the right corner, and I move outside the gate, down the driveway some, for another perspective. I heard a lot of vocals all the while I watched. An adult flies back in as I watched from out the driveway, but I don't know if it is the female or the male. I presume it is the female. I left at 10:50 a.m.
12:27 p.m. An adult was perched on a tower post. I could not see into the nest. When I walked around behind the building to an area where there is a swamp and nature trail, the adult was obviously agitated by my presence, flying over the tower and around the nesting area and vocalizing. I did not stay long in order not to disturb the nest. It would appear from its behavior that there are eggs/chicks in the nest even though it is difficult to see into the high nest.
May have seen a pair on 3/30/19, but am not totally sure; they were not together in the same place at the same time. Definitely saw both together perched atop the tower on 4/6/19.