This nesting platform overlooks Keyport Harbor from Matawan Point in Cliffwood Beach. Take Cliffwood Avenue to South Concourse, make a right onto Beach Drive. Continue straight on unpaved surface into Aberdeen Twp mulch center until you reach a grassy meadow. The platform is straight ahead across the field. A stand of trees blocks your view of the harbor on your left. You can also get a view of the nesting platform from the end of Broadway in Keyport. Proceed through the light at Broadway and Amboy Avenue/West Front Street to a treed dead end. Park on the right at the end of the road. The nest is across the harbor, roughly in line with Broadway. Residential street, so be considerate.
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.
We had two adult osprey hovering, diving and fishing in Treasure Lake today around 6 pm (1800 hrs) behind our house in Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey. Quite a show. Since I've not seen a nesting pair at the Whale Creek platform, I am left to assume these birds are from the platform on the point near Keyport.
I visited this nest today around 5:45 pm and found two birds, one sitting low on the nest, head only in view, and the other sitting high, chest in view. The one sitting high flew off after a few minutes. We had an osprey high atop a white oak behind our house on Treasure Lake in Cliffwood a couple of weeks ago. It could ahve been one of this pair or one from the Whale Creek platform. Be advised that the Amboy Avenue bridge between Keyport and Cliffwood Beach will be closed soon and remain under construction until November. To view this nest from Broadway in Keyport, take the Route 35 exit for Keyport at Town & Country Restaurant. To view it from Beach Drive, take Route 35 to Cliffwood Avenue exit and follow the instructions in the nest description.
Observed a pair on the platform nest this morning at 9:40 am ET. I checked last weekend on 21 March at 3:37 pm ET and there were no osprey. The arrival date is an estimate and actually occurred between 21-28 March. Access to the area is difficult because Aberdeen Township is using the area between the access road and the nest to store piles of mulched leaves. The lot is quite muddy and nearly impassable. Best vantage points are from the slope to the right of the access road with a distant view across the mounds of mulch, or from across Keyport harbor from the dead end of Broadway.
One osprey spotted at the nest today about 7 pm. I stayed for about fiver minutes. Like on the 27th, the bird stood on the pole above the platform. Keyport harbor is nearby and very noisy with loud music due to Labor Day weekend activity.
Two osprey remained at the nest this evening. I visited around 8:15 pm, nearly dark, and I saw one bird standing on the short pole over the platform and the other laying on the nest. I'm assuming they are both fledglings who can fly but have not yet left the nest. It is interesting to note that a small boat channel runs alongside the nest, between Keyport Marina and Keyport harbor.
There was one bird standing atop the nest post this evening about 8:15 pm. I took photos of Matawan Point from the end of Broadway in Keyport on Monday afternoon. The nest is visible in the pictures. (I noticed this evening that the traffic light at Broadway and West Front Street can be seen from Matawan Point in a line of sight from Beach Drive through the nest, across the channel and through some trees. The traffic light can assist in placing yourself on a map. The point is not accurately shaped on the current map, seemingly longer into the bay and wider.)
I visited the nesting platform this evening around 8 pm. There were four large osprey on the nest. When I approached, two of them flew and hollered at my presence, then a third flew. There was a bit of a traffic jam when they all tried to land at once. The nest seems strong and the chicks quite healthy. I couldn't determine if both chicks flew. Note that Aberdeen Township authorized Keyport to launch fireworks from Matawan Point this summer. It doesn't seem to have negatively affected the nest's success overall.
I visited the nest this evening around 7:45 pm and saw the adult pair on the nesting platform, one on the pole and the other on the nest. The nest is rather thick and I couldn't get close enough to discern whether any chicks were in the nest. I was able to go halfway across the field, stop, and use my binoculars and camera before the sweat bees found me. Again I beat a hasty retreat to the car, sweat bees in hot pursuit.
I made an effort to visit this nest around 6:30 pm today, but I was harassed by a group of sweat bees less than halfway there and had to abandon the effort at a quick retreat. I recommend some bug spray and proper attire. The adult was there, apparently in the grass or trees in front of me. She sounded some calls then flew to her nest. I noticed that the nesting materials are much deeper on the platform than at Whale Creek - maybe a foot deep. I got a few pics from the car. No word on little ones yet. My visit lasted no more than ten min.
I visited this nesting platform and confirm it exists and is occupied by at least one adult. I took a photograph of the bird in flight, another of the bird perched on the platform, and distant shots towards and away from the nest. The bird was very jumpy, so I was only able to cross half of the long meadow towards the nest. There might be a better view from a boat out of Keyport? A few locals confirmed that this nest is typically active.