Twelve feet above wetlands on a point of land behind 615 Little Silver Point Road, about 10' from Little Silver Creek, a tributary of the Shrewsbury River. No public access via land but visible from the water.
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.
Today I saw behavior we never seen before. I saw something fall from a tall tree near the nest and heard it hit the ground. A few moments later one of the birds flew down to the ground, picked up an eel, and flew to the nest, In the past we never saw a bird pick up a meal dropped on the ground.
Behavior changed today. Instead of sitting low in the nest the osprey is now sitting up on the side of the nest and appears to be leaning over into the nest as if feeding a young. We suspect one hatched!
It appears we may have lost one of the young. Tropical storm Elsa passed through New Jersey on 9 July 2021 with some wind and lots of rain. We don't know for sure if the storm is responsible but we are pretty sure there were two before the storm and one afterwards.
It's been an exciting week. First one bird, then two, now today we saw five competing for the nest complete with dive bombing. Earlier this week there was another competition but not as violent as today. Must be a desirable location. Very little nest building observed but we did see mating a couple of days ago and again today. Estimated seven osprey soaring overhead yesterday but not near the nest.
Today a third young one visited, sitting on the perch for a while. We suspect it was from a nearby nest and got confused on one of its first flights.The nearest nest that we are aware of is about 900' south of ours, on the other side of Little Silver Point.
Observed some nest remodeling. Are the parents teaching the kids how to build a nest?
Yesterday observed the young flapping their wings a a lot. Looks like it won't be long now until they are flying.
One flew up higher than the perches, remaining above the nest.
Best view of the little ones we have had. One is slightly larger and grayer, the other a little smaller and lighter. I assume the larger one hatched first. When parents left the nest unattended I could see the larger one flapping its wings and climbing out of the nest pit high onto the side of the nest followed by the smaller one though the smaller one was not flapping as much. I also saw the larger one preening.
Visual confirmation of at least one young! This morning I could clearly see one little head popping up for food. As the adult is making feeding movements at other places in the nest I suspect there are others.
Over the past few days we have seen what looks like feeding behavior. One of the adults is alternating between sitting high on the nest with some visible chewing and then leaning down into the bottom of the nest as if feeding a young. We don't have a sight line into the bottom so we don't have visual confirmation of hatchlings yet.
Right on schedule we may have hatchlings. While I have not seen the young yet the parents are sitting higher in the nest than over the past month+ and both are frequently present. Switched to a longer lens on the nest camera to better observe activity just in the nest.
Not much to report for the past couple of weeks. We did see more redecorating with the deposit of new nest material. Birds sometimes on nest, sometimes on perch. One bird often eating fish in a tall, nearby tree. Ground under the tree littered with dead fish parts. We do not see continuous nest occupancy yet.
Things still quiet today. Observed one standing on the back of the other, who was standing on the perch. Appears to be mating activity.
Spoke to Ben Wurst today. He said the fighting of two days ago was territorial. The aggressors could have been a new pair trying to take over the nest from the original pair from last year who returned a couple of weeks ago. Or, it could have the original pair trying to reclaim it from a new pair, who arrived earlier. No way to know without some close-up photography. Ben also said that the bird in the pond was likely tired from the fighting and too wet to get airborne.
Lots of activity today with three (sometimes four) birds flying about the nest and perching in a nearby tree. We were unable to determine the identity of the aggressor(s), whether they were new to the area or the ones who had been in the nest for the past two weeks. There were a lot of aerial dogfights and some swooping on the nest. While we saw nothing extremely aggressive our neighbor reported such and later indicated that two osprey were fluttering on the ground in the wetlands near the nest. While neither our neighbor or we saw the incident that lead to them on the ground we both suspect it was due to an injury from the aggression. On inspection we saw two birds in a small tidal pond in the wetlands. As we approached, one flew away but the other appeared unable to. We saw no obvious injuries on the one bird in the pond (from a distance of five to ten feet) though the wings appeared to be quite wet. We also heard no vocalizing when near the birds, quite surprising as they normally vocalize anytime we are are within a couple of hundred feet of the nest. We returned a couple of hours later and the bird was gone. We never provided any assistance. We have never seen an osprey this close before and so are uncertain if wet wings are normal for a diving bird. If not, the wet wings could explain the inability to fly.
They're back! Two days ago we saw one in the Cottonwood tree in the backyard for the first sighting of the season. Yesterday there were three flying around the nest with some nest building. Today, March 22, there are two in the nest guarding their territory.
For the past month the presence of the birds has diminished. We still see one or both on the nest but less and less frequently. Likewise, we may see one on the perch but that, too, is infrequent.
We have pretty much given up hope of seeing the young.
We don't know what happened. We have no sight line into the nest and still don't want to bring a ladder nearby for a direct inspection. There was strong behavioral evidence of eggs in early June. Did they fail to hatch? Did a raccoon or other surface predator (despite a predator shield) intrude? Did another bird attack the nest? Was our assessment of the presence of eggs faulty? We don't know. But we are disappointed.
Now back to the prior behavior. Osprey sitting on nest most of time though perhaps not as low. Appeared to be eating at one point. Perhaps wishful thinking but it also appeared to be making gestures suggesting that it was feeding a young, that is, head bobbing down into the nest from time to time.
Right at the 38 day mark from the time the nest was always occupied (27 Apr 2019) another abrupt change occurred. Now one of the pair is standing up at the side of the nest, no longer sitting down in the middle. Does this mean a fledgling has hatched? We don't know. Our line of sight is too low to see down into the nest, even with a telescope in the attic. We hope to see feeding activity in the next few days, which will confirm the presence of young.
No change in behavior for past two+ weeks, one of pair always sitting on nest. Other rarely on perch except just before hand-off of nest duty. Nest and pair survived rain and 20+ Kt sustained winds on Sunday, 12 May 2019. Observed hand-off a couple of times including one where duty period lasted only a few minutes.
Behavior described on 27 Apr continues. Registered at Osprey Watch, posted photo, link to osprey camera, and diary entries retroactively. Angle of osprey camera is too low to observe inside of nest - cannot report on presence of eggs.
From 14 Apr 2019 to present the pair divided their time between building the nest, sitting on the nesting-box perch, fishing, and sitting in a tall, nearby tree. They appeared to vacate the nest before dark and return in morning. We observed one giving the other a back rub on several occasions - one on top of the other, claws touching back feathers. Perhaps this is part of mating activity?
It looks like the parents and all the three chicks have finally left. The last we saw one was yesterday, Monday, 19 Sept 2022, two was 6 Sept 2022, and, three was 29 Aug 2022. We didn't record the last sighting of four and five.
We look forward to their return next spring.