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.
I have stopped and looked at this nest every time I am in the area checking the Bloomsbury and Asbury Farms nests. The nest remains large and intact, but I haven't seen any osprey on or near it since April.
4:40 p.m. There was no sign of either of the pair or any other osprey at the tower when I watched today. The nest is huge, but it is in a terrible location, immediately over the interstate highway which is very busy and full of long-haul trucks. It would be a risky situation for new fledglings.
10:15 a.m. I found an empty nest again. This nest was never "active" having been declared "failed" last year. I never saw the pair of osprey here this year, only a single bird, and that was early in the season.
I pulled off on route I-78 to take a quick look, but saw no evidence of osprey. I wonder why, when apparently there was at least one adult present in April, that this nest appears to be unproductive again this year?
4:00 p.m. As I watched from the pull off on route 173, I could see one adult on the nest. I thought I saw another flying overhead, but it was too far away to be sure it was an osprey. Unfortunately, the structure blocked the view of the bird's breast so I couldn't see if it had a "necklace" so don't know if this was male or female.
8:15 p.m. I passed this nest while eastbound on route 78. I have already concluded that the nesting attempt failed, and did not see the pair the last time I checked. I did not stop, but as I passed I noted there was an adult on one of the pillars. I will keep an eye on this nest next season to see if the pair returns to try again.
I looked at this nest from 3 different locations and saw no sign of the pair of adults. Upon reviewing my photos, the last day that I saw the pair on the nest (male on a pillar and female sitting down in the nest), was June 28. There are two photos from that date, showing the pair. After that, I observed and searched on 7/7, 7/9, 7/14 and today and saw no sign of either adult. I am going to estimate that the nest failed on 7/6.
7:45p.m. I decided to try to view this nest from the shoulder of eastbound I-78 again as on June 28. This time, however, I saw nothing at the nest. It is the third time I have looked at the nest and seen no sign of the osprey pair. I thought I saw a chick at one point, but further scrutiny of the photo showed it to be a piece of something in the nest, not a chick. I now suspect that if there were any eggs laid, that hatching has failed, and thus the parents have abandoned the nest. It does overlook this horribly busy interstate highway! In fact, observing from the shoulder is not very pleasant as trucks are rushing by at 80mph! I will keep trying to determine the fate of the osprey here.
12:45 p.m. I drove past this nest and observed from several view points. I could see nothing at the nest from the shoulder of I-78 westbound. There were no adults perched on the pillars and it is difficult to see the nest itself from there. I then exited and could see nothing from route 173.
I could see nothing from I-78 westbound, and traffic was very heavy so I exited to route 173 east, but couldn't see anything from there either! I will have to go back early some a.m. and check from I-78 eastbound since the nest faces that side.
NOTE ABOUT NEST LOCATION AND NUMBER: I am adding this note at home as I write the report for 06/28/20. As I mentioned earlier, there were two nests listed and shown at Bloomsbury Park. There is only one tower and one nest at the park and I assumed the other nest (#7672) listed was the one at this location at Fuel Ox on route 173, as the description was "at the Bethlehem-Bloomsbury line" and that is more or less correct. However, tonight I noticed that the ENSP had listed this new nest (#7880) in a more precise location (assuming Fuel Ox-the business--remains at this location and in business!) Thus, I am reporting to this nest number. The #7672 should be eliminated.
5:15 p.m. After observing six other nests in the area, I got back on I-78 eastbound to head home. I stopped on the shoulder across from the tower. This paid off, although there was a lot of speeding traffic! I snapped off some shots from my car using my window mount and my camera zoomed. When I downloaded, I could see the adult peering over the rim of the nest, looking south across the interstate highway, right at me! This adult appears to be incubating, but it is rather late for unhatched eggs.
1:35 p.m. I pulled over to the shoulder of I-78 westbound and looked at this nest through my binoculars. I could see an adult perched on one of the tower posts and it appeared that there was a bird on the nest, sitting low, as well. I exited the highway and drove the mile back up route 173, viewing the nest from the large parking area at Nelson Enterprises, the next business west of Fuel Ox. The adult was still perched, but I could not see anything in the nest from this parking lot, or anywhere along route 173.
3:30 pm. I wanted to check on this nest again to see if there was any sign of osprey. The photos I took showed what I believe is the head of the adult sitting on the nest. It is difficult to see from the highway as the tower is very high and there is no surrounding land that isn't lower than the road or parking near the road. I might try next time to view from the shoulder of the interstate highway!
8:30 a.m. I am planning to locate all the nests I can north of Riegelsville which are not being "followed" or reported here. Two towers were listed in Bloomsbury Park, but traveling on I-79 south, we spotted this tower. We back tracked on route 173 and saw a nest, but did not see any adults or chicks. I will check back soon. There is only one tower at Bloomsbury Park.