056-A-004 (Curtis Specialty Papers Super Fund Site)
Decommissioned Electric Pylon
This nest is located on the second level of an electric pylon at the northwest corner of what is now a super fund site. The paper factory is completely demolished. The pylon appears to be decommissioned, the wires do not continue across NJ route 29 that I could see.
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.
11:30 a.m. On my way to do one final check north of Frenchtown, I stopped and was shocked to see the normally locked gate was open and the tower was completely cleaned off! No nest! My first reaction was to think that the workmen removed it, but that made no sense even if they planned to remove the metal tower. I heard that a tornado tore through this area though, and even a strong wind could have taken down the nest which was already sagging. Thankfully the chicks had fledged. If the tower is not removed, the adults would likely rebuild next season.
8:45 a.m. Two of the three fledglings were on the nest tower, one in the nest and one perched above. Both were calling persistently (no doubt for the parents to bring fish!). The one perched above the nest flew off and down toward the river at 8:52.
11:00 a.m. When I arrived I noticed one fledgling was perched on the top rung of the tower, above the nest. The second was perched one rung below the nest. I did not see the third fledgling nor either adult. I did not stay long. While I watched, one of the fledglings flew off and towards the river.
3:00 P.M. When I arrived, I saw the adult on the top bar of the tower. The three big, mature chicks sat in the nest. If they haven't fledged, they soon will. They moved around the nest and called some but did not see too restless or hungry. They were there for the entire 30 minutes while I watched.
2:50 p.m. By the time I got to this tower, it was 88 degrees! Mom was sitting up with her three chicks hunkered down in front of her in the shade she created with her body. Only the chick on the left as I viewed, sat up fairly tall. The others were only visible when they moved.
11:10 a.m. The male was perched on the top of the nest tower. The female sat high at the edge of the nest, so I suspected there were hatchlings. As I watched I saw two for sure and got photos of them. They looked very young -- younger than I can usually see chicks.
8:20 a.m. There was only one adult in the area and it had its back to me. It did not move the entire time I watched so I assumed it was the female, but could not say for sure. The mate and the two fledglings were not seen. The nest was empty. I am quite sure these chicks were not just laying low because I did not see any wing stretches or signs of movement and I know these two have fledged already.
7:10 a.m. When I arrived, the nest was empty. Dad was perched on the top bar of the nest tower. Mom was perched on the adjacent tower. I suspect both chicks have fledged and were away from the nest. There is a slim possibility that they were lying very low in the nest, but I watched for quite awhile without seeing a wing stretch or a head lifting up so I believe they were off flying somewhere.
3:20 p.m. Mom was on top of the nest tower. One of the big chicks was sitting up tall on the nest, facing away from me, looking toward Pennsylvania. I watched for more than a half hour without seeing any signs of the second chick. I suspect it has fledged. The chick on the nest walked around, picked at the bottom of the nest, and did some considerable wing-lapping. It looks old enough and big enough to fly and no doubt will do so soon if it hasn't already.
9:50a.m. An adult was on top of the nest tower and flew off soon after I pulled up. I thought it was the female. I saw movement through the nest rails, but the chicks were down. 9:53 one chick sat up. I saw a wing stretch of a second chick.These chicks look to be about 4-5 weeks old. 10:00 a.m. One chick was much more active and was vigorously wing-flapping. Neither parent returned the entire time I watched.
9:45 a.m. The male was on top of the nest tower eating a fish. The female was on the nest and I saw 2 chicks. The female flew off at 9:50 after constant vocals. The male continued to eat. The nestlings were down and mostly hidden while the mother was away. At 10:00 a.m. the mother flew back into the nest which woke the chicks, they sat up, and I saw three! It appeared the mother had taken a bath. She kept rousing and preening and shaking her feathers. She might have gone after a fish and got soaked. When she flew back into the nest, she could have possibly had something small in her talons.
I did not see anything for sure, but maybe a small tidbit when she returned. The nestlings were also more active wing flapping, stretching and showing the start of pin feathers. I did not see the female begin feeding if she did bring something with her.
10:45 a.m. The male was on the adjacent tower with a nice big fish. It was being harassed by a raven, but the male did not move. The female was on the nest. I couldn't see chicks. The female was picking around at the bottom of the nest, looking down a lot. At 11:06 the female stood and behaved as though there were nestlings there! At 11:10 the male was still standing on the fish and still hadn't begun to eat.
2:40 p.m. When I arrived the female was perched on the defunct wooden power pole which is closer to the road than the metal tower that the nest is on. She just sat there not doing anything the entire time I was watching. The male was on the nest sitting, flapping wings, and arranging sticks. This is an active pair and an interesting nest. At 2:45 the male flew off to the river perhaps to fish. The female was still just sitting perched near the nest tower.
1:42 p.m. I was heading north on PA route 32 when I spotted this nest clearly visible from the PA side. The parking there is non-existent, but I managed to pull off along someone's driveway entrance. I saw first the two chicks, then the female flew in and sat between them. It was not long before all three looked up, and I saw another osprey circling, which I assumed was the male. He came down flying fast and very quickly "buzzed" the nest, seeming to knock the female off. They then soared and circled above the nest while the chicks vocalized excitedly. Photos reveal that the male was maybe trying to pin down one of the chicks and Mom intercepted him and both careened off into the air.
I drove to the NJ side. The two were still in the same perches on the nest. No sign of the adults. Then I heard more vocals, and saw an adult fly right at the nest. I was shooting a video which showed he tried to pin one of the chicks down by standing on it, but it stood and the adult flew off. I heard lots of vocals and after this adult flew off, I saw two adults soaring and circling high above. These fledglings were not alarmed or they would have flown off to get away had they believed they were in danger. I believe this was the adult male and he tried two more times always aiming for the same chick. The third time he succeeded in pinning his off-spring to the nest! The chick flattened itself on the nest bottom and the adult male then stood on top of the chick for at least 5 minutes!! Neither moved much. I had never seen anything like it! I got the entire "show" on video!! Otherwise, how would anyone believe that this happened!
When the adult finally took off the "pinned" fledgling stood and appeared to take something first in its beak then in its talon, and fly off the nest with it. Less than a minute later, the second chick flew off. So...what was going on? No doubt some sort of survival lesson by the parent? If the chick had a fish and was mantling it, perhaps the parent was showing it how to protect its food from another bird who would steal it? Or perhaps it was the parents trying to encourage the chicks to fly....but they already had fledged so that did not make much sense. In any case, very interesting day at this nest!!
12:00 p.m. There was one chick alone on the nest. Apparently its sibling has fledged. I also saw a bird flying above the nest, circling in the wind. I couldn't tell if this was an adult or the fledgling. It is possible both chicks have taken their first flights, but I did not observe this yet. 2 days ago, both were on the nest.
10:55 a.m. The adult, probably the female, was on the edge of the nest. Two big, healthy looking chicks were in the nest. I didn't see a third. There were three here last year. Unfortunately, I did not get to this nest during May and June to see if there was ever a third chick. I watched for about a half hour, but nothing much changed and not much was happening.
12:15 p.m. I drove by so I stopped to check on this nest. I saw only one of the three fledglings, perched alone on the wooden structure that is east of the nest tower. I saw no other osprey today, but didn't stay long.
4:00 p.m. I stopped by this nest tower area hoping to see the two fledglings that I had discovered very late in the season (on 8/5), or better still, to see that there were THREE! I was rewarded by the THREE fledglings all perched together on another decommissioned tower standing in front of the nest tower. THREE FLEDGLINGS CONFIRMED!! It is a good thing that I discovered these when I did as they will surely be leaving the area soon.
12:15 p.m. I decided to take another, closer look at the tower in the northwest corner of this super fund site which I mention in the entry from July 17. I had looked on a very zoomed in Google Earth, satellite view, and there was definitely a tower! Sure enough! It is a good thing I looked more closely today, with different lighting because I not only spotted a nest, but TWO FLEDGLINGS! It is possible these two were both branching, but I assume they have fledged. If there is a third sibling, it was off somewhere. I will try to check again but it is good I spotted these two as they won't be around the nest much longer! I can't believe I missed this entirely on July 17, but in my defense, the lighting on the tower was poor as it was 7:30 p.m. and quite in shadow. The tower appears to be decommissioned. The wires drape down to the ground and do not cross the road (I had looked for wires when trying to find this "electric pylon" the first time). In addition, the tower is covered with green, growing vines--camouflaged rather effectively--making the tower blend in well with the green background! It is difficult to get very close as the entire site is surrounded by chain-link fence and off-limits. In any case, two beautiful chicks were present thus boosting our successful Delaware/Northwest Jersey nest success and chick count!
The Crown Paper factory no longer exists; it has been completely razed. The entire area is fenced in and is a super fund site. There is no electric pylon here. There is a tower visible on satellite view which sits at the northwest corner of what is now the super fund site. I did not see any nest in this tower. There is no evidence of nesting on a smaller transmission tower to the south where last year, on that line to the south (the one listed as nest #3530), the ospreys nested on the PA side, right along route 32 (nest/tower #7408/Red Cliff Village). This nest in PA was not active this year either.
There is a cell tower in the town of Milford a half mile to the north which bears watching, but as of July 17, there was no evidence of nesting on this cell tower, just a flock of vultures. Should an osprey pair decide to nest on the cell tower in town, a new listing can be added. I will keep an eye on this cell tower next season.