1 Riverview Drive, Hardwick Twp. visible from Spring Valley Rd. Only visible from quite far away after leaves are out. There appears on satellite view to be an access road to the tower from the cul de sac at the end of Riverview Drive but this is marked "private" and appears to now have homes on it.
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.
8:05 a.m. The female and her two chicks, now as large as she is, were sitting up tall on the nest. One of the chicks opened its wings and moved from one side of the nest to the other. At 8:20, Mom flew off and down to the north. I was writing notes and didn't see the female fly back in, but at 8:25 I noticed one of the birds was low and in the back, arranging sticks and the other two were still sitting up tall facing me. At 8:20, Mom flew off again and did not return while I was still watching.
8:05 a.m. Two big osprey that I assumed were the nestlings were sitting high on the nest. At 8:06 a.m. a third bird that I assumed was one of the parents flew in but did not seem to have anything in its talons. After the arrival of this third osprey all three appeared to be eating. It is possible that these chicks have fledged. I watch this nest from so far away that I couldn't be 100% sure that the osprey that flew in was a parent rather than one of the chicks. I couldn't see the plumage clearly.
7:50 a.m. After parking on the driveway on the hill where I can see the tower and setting up my scope, I saw that the female and one chick were sitting up tall on the nest. At 8:03 I saw a wing stretch of the 2nd chick which was still lying down low and not visible. Eventually, this second chick sat up.
At 8:20, Barbara, the home owner, drove up her very long driveway behind my car. I got out and we visited for awhile. I introduced her to my husband Rick who was with me. She wanted to be sure it was me (I had Rick's car this time). I brought her up to date on the nest status and let her look through my binoculars.
While I was out of my car talking to Barbara, the male flew in with a fish, dropped it, then stayed on the perch above his family. Unfortunately I missed photos of him flying in with breakfast! However, I did then watch the female feeding the two big chicks and got some reasonable photos of the entire osprey family of four. The light was pretty good and the chicks are now large enough that I could positively confirm that there are two at this nest. I expect these two chicks will fledge soon, if they haven't already.
2:00 p.m. The male was on one of the tower posts while the female was feeding two chicks. This nest is very far off so it is difficult to see details, but during a feeding it was quite clear that Mom was feeding two beaks. I can't tell for sure how old these two chicks might be since it is so far away. They look pretty big now. I was glad to confirm two.
12:15 p.m. From the usual viewing spot I saw the adult perched on the edge of the nest as usual. At first I saw no chicks. They were lying down low in the nest.
At 12:17 the homeowner drove up the very long driveway and stopped behind my car. I got out and showing her my credentials, explained what I was doing and offered to move. I gave her my card. Her name is Barbara! She was fine with my parking at the end of her driveway and said she would go out later! I explained I would be coming maybe once a week and only for a few more weeks!
At 12:28 p.m. I saw a big chick wing stretch. Soon after that, the chick stood and I could see its head and most of its body. It did some more wing stretching/flapping and looked to be at least 4 weeks old. I also saw motion and what I thought was most likely a second chick. It is very difficult to be sure I was watching 2 chicks because this tower is so far away. When the chicks are larger, I am hoping for a better view in order to confirm the number of chicks. There is no perch post/structure above this nest so the parent is usually on the edge and that blocks the view of the chicks especially until they are as large as the parent.
8:05a.m. An adult (probably the female) was sitting up tall on the edge of the nest. I couldn't see into the nest nor did I see any chicks pop up so I thought they were either down, or there were no hatchlings in this nest. It was sunny and morning light was good. At 8:25 nothing had changed. The adult had been sitting, preening. FINALLY! At 8:33 I saw a chick wing stretch up! How many? How old? At the distance from which I watch, they will have to be quite old before I can really see them to count and to get an idea of age.
8:20 a.m. From the end of the driveway at 79 Spring Valley Rd I had a clear view of this tower nest, but from very far away! One adult, probably the female, was sitting up high on the nest preening. At 8:27 she walked back to the side opposite from where I was watching and was then mostly hidden. I saw no chicks.
11:15 a.m. There is no good viewing spot for this nest that isn't a great distance away (1/4 to 1/2 mile) now that leaves are fully out. It will be impossible to see details and the chicks will have to be large before I can report an accurate count. I backed into the driveway of a house at 79 Spring Valley Rd. where the road rises. The house is set way back from the road. I saw an adult sitting on the nest. I then drove the area all around the nest searching for a better viewing spot, but couldn't find a better spot.
8:55 a.m. I was able to set up my scope and camera and get a mediocre shot of this nest and an apparently incubating adult sitting low on the nest while sitting in a private driveway. It is difficult to position oneself to sit and watch for long periods of time without getting permission of the property owner. It seemed as though no one was at home while I was parked there. I drove a big loop around this area but didn't find any place where there was a better view. I only saw one adult. I didn't stay long enough to see the mate return.