Osprey Nest moved from Huntington Lighthouse entrance wharf
HUNTINGTON, NY – A nest made by two ospreys on the Huntington waterfront has been successfully moved after experts feared for the safety of the birds due to the nest’s previous location.
The osprey nest was discovered on the entrance wharf of the Huntington Lighthouse in early May, according to a press release. Ospreys will often seek the highest location to build a nest, but this pair settled on a lower – and very vulnerable – spot on the walkway to the lighthouse offshore.
The ospreys were likely young and built what was believed to be a starting nest, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
“This could be their first nest,” DEC wildlife biologist Chip Hamilton said in a press release. “They’re just trying to figure out life and thought this could be as good a place as any other.”
Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society officials called the Hamilton office when the nest was discovered as lighthouse officials feared the nest location would expose the pair – and their potential offspring – to curious boaters and to animal predators.
Lighthouse officials acted quickly after DEC determined the nest needed to be moved.
Frank Scobbo of Scobbo Contractors donated his time and resources to build an 8 foot high metal pole supporting a large wooden platform on the open water side of the lighthouse. Paul Kaiser of Kaiser Marine was also instrumental in the rapid construction of the new house. The post and platform were drilled into granite boulders for the old nest under the direction of DEC.
“It was important that the new nest was in the line of sight of the old location,” Hamilton said. Additionally, the ospreys build their nests in roughly the same location every year, which makes it even more important to provide a safer alternative for the young couple. Once the new structure was approved, a plan was made to relocate them. birds, and their Egg. “
Lighthouse President Pam Setchell worked closely with DEC throughout the process.
“The safety of the breeding pair was our priority,” she said. “A plan was put in place quickly, thanks to the DEC and the generosity of Scobbo Construction and Kaiser Marine. They literally dropped everything to have the platform built, ensuring the successful relocation of the nest.
On moving day, a small team, including Hamilton and DEC partner Sean Wiedemann, visited the lighthouse. The parent ospreys circled and watched Hamilton and Wiedemann scoop up the egg and skillfully move the sticks and twigs that make up an osprey nest. Using a ladder, the nest was raised and the egg carefully turned. The whole process took less than 15 minutes.
“Almost two weeks of planning, and it all happened really quickly,” Setchell said.
The crew retired, and mom and dad returned to their new penthouse location.
“We are watching the new nest from afar and are delighted to announce that the ospreys are in residence,” Setchell said. “This is certainly the exact and rewarding result we were hoping for when we began this mission.”
Osprey nests have become common sightings around the swampy shores of Long Island, a testament to the bird’s rebound after near extinction in the 1960s.
Better protection of ospreys, as well as the elimination of DDT as a pesticide, has led to their success. Ospreys are still protected under the Migratory Birds Treaty Act, and disturbing an active nest is a federal and state offense. Each March, ospreys return to Long Island from their winter destinations, and in April, up to four eggs are laid and incubated. The summer months are spent rearing newborns, and the new family migrates south to Long Island, usually in August.
It remains to be seen whether the new lighthouse residents will welcome a young chick this season. The presence of a single egg is not a positive sign, officials say.
“But we won’t know for sure for about a week,” said Hamilton.
Lucky for fans of the lighthouse, summer tours, and venerable ones Lighthouse Music Festival have both been approved for the season.
“We are working to ensure that the summer tours can continue safely for the birds and our guests,” Setchell said. “And we are delighted that our popular music festival is also a departure, because the birds will be gone by then.”