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DSM Plant - 034-A-001
Osprey Nest Platform
Nest Location Description:
DSM Plant, in back, farthest away from entrance gate, close to Delaware River.
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
9:15 a.m. We were in Belvidere to begin a bike ride so I stopped by to see the nest. Rick checked in with Josh while I set up my scope and camera. However, I could see immediately that no one was home! All three chicks have been fledged for almost 3 weeks and the family was probably out fishing for breakfast!
10:45a.m. I arrived and checked in with Josh, the security officer in the office. Then I set up my scope and camera on my window mounts. 3 Big Chicks and an adult (probably Mom) were on the nest! While I watched I took both still photos and videos. At 11:00 a.m. the adult flew off. This nest is at the limits of my equipment! Today, it is very hot and humid. The heat waves are quite noticeable in the photos and when I look through my scope! 11:03 the adult flies back to the nest and perches on the stick perch above and in back of the nest, then steps into the nest and sits on the left edge from my perspective.The chick to the far right is especially active. It flaps its wings vigorously and only rests for a moment before it flaps again! The breeze has picked up, that encourages the chick to get some big air over the nest. The two chicks to the right of Mom and to the left of the active sibling, are sitting and watching. The high jumps and fast and furious wing flaps increase. Oh! A slice! I am positive now that this chick is about to fledge! 11:24 a.m. Sure enough! It jumps/flies so high above the nest that the wind carries it off and over the edge and away it goes! Beautiful! At 11:27 a.m. I believe it is Mom who flies off, probably to keep an eye on her fledgling. Dad (I am pretty sure this is a different adult) then flies in and doesn't stay long. At 11:30 the fledgling flies back in and clumsily perches, or tries to, on the stick perch but is a bit wobbly doing so and steps back into the nest. It stays for a minute before it flies off again for some more fun. This continues for the entire time I am watching. When I leave, Mom has returned and is sitting with the two that haven't moved, the fledgling is off enjoying its new freedom maybe watching Dad fish! Such fun to see them get up the courage to make this first big leap (which at this nest is a HUGE leap of a very HIGH tower!)
12:40 p.m. I parked in the visitor lot, across from the security office and within sight of the nest tower which was, nevertheless, very, very far off!! I checked in with security this time, in advance, with Josh, the security guard I had met on 6/21. This time (a regular work day rather than a weekend) he offered to contact "Andy", their environmental person and apparently the person who was authorized to give me permission to enter the property. I obtained that permission, but in fact, explained that the ground area of the plant was lower than the parking lot or the entrance road and I wasn't sure it would afford me a better view until the chicks were much larger. I then went back and set up my scope and camera at my place in the Visitor Parking. Immediately I saw two nestlings and Mom on the nest. After watching about 30 minutes I was very excited to confirm THREE BIG NESTLINGS! One was wing flapping and jumping aggressively! At around 1:10 p.m. Dad flew in with a huge fish (missed the photo!). Mom and Dad were eating in back of the nest, behind the nestlings who were taking turns wing flapping. After about 5 minutes of peace to eat some prey, Dad flew off and Mom started feeding the nestlings. I got some great videos of this active, healthy family! Josh and the other security guard showed me a map of the site and where the nest is located between some trees lines, on a grassy spot, very close to the river. It is good to know in case one of the nestlings fledges accidentally off this pretty small platform which is very high!! One would not use a ladder to look in this nest! I showed them a photo of the three nestlings and Mom.
5:00 p.m. This is a terrible time to view this nest. Morning sun would be preferable as the nest is very far from the entrance road to the DSM plant, on the public side of the security gate. Again, the security guard approached my car and I explained what I was doing. Next time I will have to come on a weekday and check in at the gate first. Maybe I can get inside and to a better position. In any case, I was able to see and photograph at least 3 birds on the nest. In a short video, it looked like there might have been 4 birds, but these photos are not clear enough to determine how many of the birds I saw were chicks. It could have been one parent on the nest, and 2 or 3 chicks, or both parents and one or two chicks.
10:00 a.m. It took me awhile to locate the nest tower! This DSM site, which used to be Hoffman-LaRoche (a drug and vitamin company) is completely gated. Since it was Sunday, I didn't attempt to approach the gate house. I drove through the parking lot and access roads and then was leaving when I spotted a very, very tall pole with the nest atop! I was able to set up my scope and saw an adult sitting on the nest. As I was observing, the security guard approached. I gave him my card and explained what I was doing. He said if I returned mid-week, to the gate house, he would call to get permission for me to enter. However, with such a tall tower, I expect the best views are from a distance in any case!