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 happened to spot one juvenile wing stretch as a parent was on a part of the tower! and it looked like they were tearing fish ! The staff at the recycling center there tell me there's been a lot of comings and goings plus chirping! I'm thinking there's one chick.
I happened to see Lois land in the nest with a fish just as I got to the plaza. I waited for a bit, decided to run into the store and watch again when I was done. Don't you know as soon as I put my camera in the car and locked it, she flew off! Clark sat on the tower and watched too. I am thinking there's chicks since he is not sitting on top of the nest. They or it may be too big now but not big enough to see from the ground.
Lately I have seen osprey flying around the tower when I am in the area. I stopped one morning with my camera and caught Lois (I think) fussing about in the nest so perhaps there's chicks! I will increase my checks.
Every time I stop at the plaza I haven't seen any sign of the osprey but the nest is huge! The guys at the recycling center though tell me they see one or the other flying in with fish. I am expecting to see an increase in activity because from my observations of other nests in the area the eggs are beginning to hatch.
I spotted someone on the tower last Wednesday, March 23rd. Today as I was checking it, I saw Clark heading onto the nest with a fish and Lois was flying wirh him. Suddenly another male appeared and tried to interfere but Lois chased him off and Clark went on the nest.
When I got to their nest, Lois was perched on a tower pole but I didn't see Clark. Lois flew off for a bit and returned with a branch. She placed it in the nest. I stayed for a little while. Lois remained in deep in the nest and I saw neither Clark or any hatchlings.
I went specifically to the shopping plaza to check the nest. I saw no one; I was a little concerned. Then I spotted a crow, craftily making his way up the tower. When he reached the level of the nest's location, I heard one of the osprey screaming its head off! That gave me relief. I can't wait to return to check on the nest this week.
I've visited Lois and Clark a few times at the shopping plaza. I hadn't seen anyone for a week (I just popped in for a few groceries) but yesterday I did see one of them on the nest so I am thinking there's eggs.
I had been visiting the nest site regularly for the first 2 weeks of April with no success. However yesterday, not only had Lois and Clark returned, there was another pair fighting with them over the nest site! They successfully defended their nest, and celebrated by making baby ospreys. An employee of the recycling center told me they had returned perhaps mid week, and have been fighting off other ospreys for the rights to that nest. One thing I have noticed this year is that in 2 out of 4 nests there has been vigorous disputes over nest sites.
A typical steamy summer day in NJ. I'm thrilled to say I saw a juvenile fly. Today the two adults were flying overhead, chirping while circling, and the fledgling took flight. Finally I was able to catch a clear photo of the juvenile perched on the tower, and a good shot of him taking off.
Before I went to observe the other 2 nests, I had to stop at the shopping plaza. As I went back to my car, I wondered if the nest on top of the cell phone tower was occupied this year (last year no but was the year before). Much to my delight, it was rebuilt. I waited for a bit to see if there was any activity ( I couldn't tell if there was anyone on the nest) and one came flying to the nest! I plan to check on this one first thing in the morning.