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.
Now that the park is re-opened post Covid-19 shutdown, access to the nest shows it is empty. Still being used as a staging area but no apparent nesting activity there. Shame- it is a great spot and a solid nest. Will keep an eye.
It seems the nesting pair from the nest over by the Sandy Hook Visitor's center is using this new nest as a staging area. I've observed both the banded male and the female alternately eating fish here and preening as well. I wonder if they will occupy this nest next year instead of the overbuilt one they are currently incubating on. They have moved a lot over the last couple of years due to their nest being blown down by a storm last spring. Makes for a great story!!
This platform nest fell over during a storm April 2018 about 2 weeks after the nesting pair returned. They relocated to a nest platform about a half mile south and were there for another 2 weeks but then they abandoned the relocated nest. I don't know where they ended up.
This nesting platform is no longer in place. Last season it was very crooked and appeared some what unstable. The platform disappeared after all the ice & snow this winter.
Today I observed one osprey sitting on the telephone pole near the site of the former platform. I later observed what I believe to be the same osprey in the tree near the platform site that the pair always used for eating & resting when not in the nest.
This nesting site usually had the first birds return to it in March. I feel this osprey had recently arrived today.
I am unsure if more than one Osprey hatched from this nest. I was able to view them on eggs in May and was unable to get back down to this nest until July. On July 24, I observed one immature Osprey going in and out of the nest, doing quite a bit of flying, considering that the chics in the other nests of Gateway National Park are mostly still in the nests. As a result, I am posting this as producing one chic.