Here are some tips watching nests in a way that will not disturb the birds.
1. Always stay as far away as you can and use binoculars or a scope to get a closer view.
2. If you think a nest is somewhere, wait and watch to get more confirming behavior before going closer to look for it.
3. If you approach a nest, do so carefully and do not trample down vegetation to see it.
4. Stay as briefly as possible to see in it and then carefully leave.
5. If you visit a nest up close, only do so once and when both birds are away from the nest; do the rest of your looking from a distance.
6. Never disturb any vegetation around the nest simply so you can get a better view; leave the birds their protection.
7. If there are fairly large young in the nest, do not approach, for it might make them leave the nest prematurely.
8. If you see a parent bird unwilling to approach the nest or nest area directly, you are too close. Move farther away from the nest to observe.
9. Do not show others a nest unless you are sure that they understand nest etiquette.
Central NJ/Raritan Bay/Sandy Hook