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Mt Hermon - 023-A-003
Nest Location Description:
Mt. Herman Rd. Cell tower.
Nest Cam URL:
New Jersey Osprey Project
Show reports, diaries, and photos from:
2020 Nest Activity Report by
First chick fledging
Chicks last observed
Reason for nest failure
Photos of this nest
12:00-12:40 p.m. I stop briefly at mile marker 9.4 on route 80, but the chicks are hidden by the pillars so I exit and drive back to Frontage Rd. I can see a parent (probably the female) on a pillar, and two big chicks sitting side by side on the nest. As usual, I have to maneuver to find a hole through the foliage! I then drive out of Frontage Rd, cross the bridge over route 80, and turn into the dirt tower access road. The chicks are big enough now that I can see them from this view point and I watch for at least 30 minutes. There is lots of action. The adult is partially hidden because she is still on the pillar on the opposite side of the tower from where I watch. The chicks are both on the far left and wing-flapping and calling vigorously! I also see an adult fly in and around the tower (probably the male), but he doesn't land, instead the female leaves her perch joins him flying, but returns almost immediately and perched on a pillar on my side of the tower. The chicks continuously call. I also hear and then see, a hawk perched about 100 yards from the nest tower in a tree across the meadow. It is also calling regularly. Perhaps the hawk's proximity is what is causing the adult osprey to seem a bit agitated. In one photo the entire family appears: male flying, female still perched high, and two chicks to the left on the nest. These chicks should be fledging in the next couple days if they haven't already done so.
8:10 a.m. From mile marker 9.4 on route 80 I have a clear view of two large, active, wing-flapping chicks on the nest. It is quite foggy though so no photos today!
8:30 a.m. From the grass adjacent to the I-80 shoulder between mile markers 9.6 and 9.4 I have a view of the nest clear of foliage. It is annoying because every time a truck rolls by, it blocks the view. Furthermore, this tower has high, wide pillars spaced closely together. The nest is mostly hidden by the pillars. Now that the two chicks are quite large and nearly ready to fledge, they were easier to see as they sat up a lot. It is possible, but not probable, that a third chick may have been further back away from the edge and thus not seen, but I can only confirm 2. An adult flew in not long after I first arrived. It appeared to be the female. It flew off again after five minutes, and then back to the nest shortly. For the rest of the time the adult sat at the nest with the chicks. No wing flapping or feeding was seen. After I had watched for awhile, I drove to Frontage Rd for another view. It is quieter with no traffic. I rarely see a resident of this dead end road, but I have to find a tiny space between leaves in order to focus my camera and scope. I was able to get photos of Mom and the two chicks.
8:45a.m. From the dirt tower access road I could see an adult on a pillar but nothing else. I then drove to Frontage Rd where the view would be excellent if not for the now-dense-foliage! I do manage to find two spots where there are small gaps in the leaves and I set up my scope and camera. I am excited to see and photograph first one and then TWO CHICKS! While I am watching, Mom steps off the perch into the nest. I don't see any feeding. She is just sitting. The chick is to her left and there is a big pillar in the middle of my view. I wonder if there are more chicks hidden by the hardware of the tower! These chicks do not look as young as the one I have just seen a couple miles west of here on Linaberry Rd, but they do seem somewhat younger than the nests I watch south of here. That said, from this distance, fully zoomed, it is difficult to get an accurate idea of age.
11:15 a.m. After visiting a nest further north, I again drove west on I-80. This nest is visible from the westbound shoulder and it is possible to park way over on the grass and to move along slowly until one finds a good, unobstructed view. Pull off between milepost 9.6 and 9.4. When I set up my camera and scope I see that the male (probably) is perched on a pillar, and the female is feeding one of the chicks which is hidden behind a post. The second chick is to the left of the post.
2:45 p.m. I thought the last time I was at this nest tower that the view from I-80 might be less obscured. Traveling west bound on I-80, I pulled way onto the grass at the far side of the shoulder and could see one adult on the west edge of the nest. As I watched I saw the head of one chick moving to the left of the parent which I believe was the female. I can only confirm one today, although there could be others. I also found a different angle on this nest could be seen from the shoulder of Mt Hermon Rd, just east of Centerville Rd. Finally, I drove partway down the dirt access road for the tower. I saw the adult on the nest and the mate perched on the tower structure nearby, but I couldn't see the one chick or determine if there were others. This chick seems a couple weeks younger than those I watch in Hunterdon County. The rather large, rectangular parts of this tower do a good job hiding the contents of the nest!
10:40a.m. I drove down a dirt lane off of Mt Hermon Rd that ended at the base of the tower. I saw an adult fly off the tower and heard vocals as I was about halfway to the tower. From part way down the dirt road, I could see the nest on the northwest corner of the tower, but could see no bird on the nest. From the base of the tower looking up, I got a different perspective on the nest and also realized that the tower was very close to route 80. As I was driving back out the dirt road, I saw the adult land on the tower again. According to the map, Frontage Rd parallels route I-80 to the north so I drove there and through very dense foliage, could see the tower and the adult perched on it, but could not really see the nest or its occupants any better. From the behavior of the perched adult, it would seem that this nest has a pair and maybe they have eggs/chicks. I will check again soon.