Osprey Nestlings’ Head Count for 2019

Click Here For the Full-Size Illustration

During the other day, I took count of osprey nestlings along my usual stretch of the Delaware River from the New Jersey side. Four of the thirteen nests are either hard to see closeup, or not at all from Pennsylvania.

Riverton Yacht Club – Founded in 1865

Starting at the southwestern portion of my study area, the first survey was of the Riverton South nest, seen from Riverton Yacht Club, the oldest such organization on the Delaware River and one of the oldest in the country.

As noted above, only one Riverton South chick was visible from the yacht club (left); and two chicks were visible from the Riverton North site (right), determined upstream at my second stop along Cinnaminson Township’s shoreline, where I ran into a small, shipwrecked sailboat, covered with graffiti and called, “The Minnow, Home of the Three Hour Tour.”

The Minnow
The Riverton North ospreys’ nest is atop the range marker in the distance.
Riverton North Ospreys

The count for Riverton North is recorded as two nestlings, barely seen. This is only a preliminary count, as the final tally will be made in about a month when the chicks are much larger and easier to see.

Below are a couple of photos showing downstream from Cinnaminson Township, looking at the Philadelphia skyline and Tacony-Palmyra Bridge.

While I was photographing, some guy had appeared out of nowhere and was seated on a log behind me, startling me for a second upon my discovering him when I turned around. He was looking at his smartphone. Ah, another smartphone zombie, I realized.

“Taking pictures?” he said.

Now how does one answer that without being a smart-ass? “No, just pretending,” I felt like saying, but instead said, “Yes,” and walked away, looking back to make sure he wasn’t following me with zombie-like intentions. He remained on the log like the zombie bump that he was, gazing at his infernal smartphone.

I left abruptly before taking a shot of the Pennypack Creek ospreys. However, I had photographed them on June 1st from Pennypack Park in Philadelphia. Two or possibly three chicks have hatched. Only two were added to the preliminary census. Again we’ll have to wait until the young are close to fledging before making the final determination.

Pennypack Creek Range Marker
The old Pavilion Hotel, later known as the Keystone Watch Case Company in Riverside, NJ, now vacant.

Traveling toward Delanco, I passed the old landmark seen above before crossing Rancocas Creek. Too bad such an elegant building is decaying and falling apart with age. It’s haunted allegedly.

Full-size shots and a photo-journal of this year’s ospreys can be found by clicking here.

Once in Delanco, I was curious about the nest on the nearby range marker, which wasn’t actually that close. Noticing what appeared to be a boatload of little, white heads, I estimated conservatively that three chicks had hatched. By next month we’ll know for sure.

Delanco Nest

Sadly, the Andalusia ospreys had a failed nest this year with no young at all. Strange, as that had never happened during my observations of them for the past six years.

Andalusian Ospreys on the former Mud Island Range Marker

The raptors who had taken over the functional Mud Island range marker are believed to be offspring of the Andalusian birds from a few years back:

I really don’t know what’s happening on the operational Mud Island range marker as seen above. From Delanco, a double-decker nest with occupants in both is evident. One osprey is down below on the railing visiting with a cormorant. No chicks had hatched here. The young birds are just becoming established. Next season will be interesting to see how all these ospreys in such close proximity will interact.

The above illustration shows the close proximity of the four nest sites in Andalusia, Pa.
Biddle’s Andalusia Mansion, dating back to 1794, the namesake of the village that surrounds it.
Pen Ryn Osprey Nest: the resident raptor is perched atop on the railing.

Past Mud Island and the Andalusia Mansion is the Pen Ryn nest atop the yellow range marker, as seen above from Andalusia. It’s 1.2 miles-1.9 kilometers away. That nest also wasn’t viable this year, as was the same for last season.

Approximately 1/4-mile away from Pen Ryn’s raptor sits the Herringbone nest in Bensalem Township, which, as seen from Delanco, appears to have two nestlings this year:

Herringbone-Station Avenue Nest

The next osprey nest resides in Beverly, across from Neshaminy State Park:

Beverly’s nest – Logan’s Point and Neshaminy State Park in Eddington, NJ, are in the background.

Only one nestling was spotted from the NJ side of the river:

Beverly Ospreys
The Croydon nest as seen from Beverly
Burlington-Bristol Bridge nest, as seen from Beverly.

The Croydon nest showed two, maybe three, possibly four chicks; but I doubt it. To be safe, I tabulated two nestlings for this pair. We’ll find out exactly at the forthcoming survey.

Croydon Nest

Next in line are the Burlington-Bristol Bridge ospreys:

Burlington-Bristol Bridge Nest

Only one offspring was present.

Radcliffe South in Bristol, PA, the original pair at that vicinity, have three chicks:

Radcliffe South Nest

Lastly, the Radcliffe North pair on the channel buoy have two nestlings:

Radcliffe North – Channel Buoy Nest

That wraps up the preliminary nestling census, during which 20 young are cited; and 13, perhaps 14 nesting pairs (counting the second two at Mud Island’s duplex nest), were found. Watch for the final tally, which will occur around the middle of July.

Thanks for stopping by, and for your continued support.

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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