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Apr 9, 2018 2:34 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Community To Rally For New Pole For Riverside Osprey Nest

This osprey pair sit atop an electrical pole when their nest used to be along Flanders Road in Riverside on Monday. DANA SHAW
Apr 10, 2018 5:15 PM

UPDATE: Tuesday, 3:40 p.m.

The community is expected to be rallying near the utility pole near the Tyre Masonic Lodge in Riverside on Saturday morning after a construction company contracted by PSEG took down a osprey nest.

Mr. Flanagan, who is organizing the rally, said on Tuesday that he thinks PSEG workers should be moving faster to build a new pole for the pair of ospreys to nest on. The former nest was removed from the utility pole by Elecnor Hawkeye, a Hauppauge-based construction company contracted by PSEG, because it was a fire hazard, according to Ms. Flagler.

"I dont believe PSEG is committed to doing the right thing," Mr. Flanagan said. "We want the pole up by close of business on Friday or we are marching on Saturday."

It appears that the community is already standing with Mr. Flanagan. He created a Facebook page, called "Homeless Ospreys," on Monday and it already garnered more than 300 followers. The Facebook page has several posts from users voicing concerns about the hawks and plans to rally over the weekend.

Ms. Flagler noted that PSEG is planning to erect a new pole once it secures DEC permissions.

"We are in the process of weighing our options to secure a new location and all necessary permissions to erect a pole for the osprey," Ms. Flagler said in an email. "PSEG Long Island is committed to delivering consistent, safe electric power for its customers while balancing our commitment to being a good environmental steward.

"PSEG Long Island will continue to collaborate with organizations to help protect the nesting areas of the osprey on Long Island."

UPDATE: 4:30 p.m.

PSEG Spokeswoman Elizabeth Flagler on Monday confirmed that her agency removed the nest on Monday.

“We had two reports of arcing wires at that location over the weekend, so we removed the nest today before the birds return and start nesting,” she said in an email. “It is safer for the birds and the electric system to remove the nest before it catches fire and causes an outage affecting a large area of customers. It would be worse if the birds laid their eggs, have chicks and the nest caught fire.”

UPDATE: 4 p.m.

Because of arcing power lines spotted by the nest this past weekend, the PSEG had asked for the removal of the nest, according to officials from DEC, noting that the situation could have potentially caused a transformer fire, power outages, and destruction of the osprey nest.

Although the ospreys could clearly be seen circling and perching on the utility pole on Monday after the nest was removed, the DEC officials said their information indicated that the osprey nest was inactive.

At this point in the season, osprey can and often do have the ability to re-nest if a nest is disturbed, according to the DEC.

In general, anyone wishing to remove an osprey nest after March 15 needs to contact DEC so the agency can verify the nest is non-active. If a nest is removed after March 15 without proper notification, an individual can face a DEC violation for destroying a nest of a protected bird species and potential federal violations based on the Federal Migratory Treaty Act.

Original Story:

What does one do when their home is bulldozed without notice?

That’s the conundrum a pair of stressed out ospreys found themselves in on Monday morning after a construction company apparently removed their nest, intricately crafted with sticks, moss, bark and grass, that was situated atop a utility pole on Flanders Road in Riverside.

When Terry Flanagan of Flanders heard from a family member that the nest was taken down, he raced over to see what was happening. “I was more than a little bit pissed off,” he recalled later that afternoon.

Mr. Flanagan said he cherished the presence of the nest in his neighborhood—after all, there was a decline of the species several decades ago when the insecticide DDT was causing osprey eggs to thin and lower the birth rate of the birds. He pointed to this decline when he explained his frustration with the nest being taken down.

Since the early 1970s, when New York banned the use of DDT, the species have been making a comeback in the state, according to an osprey fact sheet on the state Department of Environmental Conservation website. Ospreys are still listed as a special concern in the state.

Southampton Town Police Lieutenant Susan Ralph said her department received a complaint about the nest’s removal at 10:46 a.m. on Monday. She deferred all questions about the incident to the DEC, explaining that it is taking the lead on the investigation. The DEC report was not immediately available on Monday afternoon.

It was not clear if there were any eggs in the nest when it was removed from the pole.

Still, Mr. Flanagan described the removal of the osprey nest as “insane.”

“The bird’s nest is in pieces all over the side of the road,” Mr. Flanagan observed. “The two birds were flying around looking for the nest.”

At one point on Monday afternoon, the birds were perched on the utility pole where their nest once sat squealing with distress over their abrupt eviction.

Adult ospreys can grow to be nearly two feet in length, with a four to six foot wingspan, with females typically measuring slightly larger than its male counterparts, according to the DEC fact sheet. Ospreys—which are usually found on the coast—generally feed on live fish, which they snatch from the water with their long, hooked talons.

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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By mimoomi, lindenhurst on Apr 9, 18 3:29 PM
Their looking for it!!
By MelissaA (54), Sag Harbor on Apr 9, 18 4:33 PM
" . . . DEC officials said their information indicated that the osprey nest was inactive."

Why -- because the DEC could not see any ospreys from Albany?

You can't make this stuff up!

That nest has been one of the most active on the South Fork for years and years.

Another fine job by the myopic DEC.

Fiddle Fiddle Fiddle !!!
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Apr 9, 18 4:50 PM
The nest was active. What agency has a record of this report of wires arcing? Southampton Town PD, Riverhead FD? In addition to ripping this nest out, they left all the pieces in the road and on private property. It is not all organic material, the birds use cloth and plastic in their nests.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Apr 9, 18 5:06 PM
They were in their nest over the weekend. While waiting at the light to turn onto 24 I pointed out the pair To my grand children. Unoccupied my ***
By fish sticks (53), hampton bays on Apr 9, 18 6:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
They were in their nest over the weekend. While waiting at the light to turn onto 24 I pointed out the pair To my grand children. Unoccupied my ***
By fish sticks (53), hampton bays on Apr 9, 18 6:42 PM
So put in a plain pole with a platform!
By RUOK2 (15), Water Mill on Apr 9, 18 7:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
Absolutely no reason why a pole couldn't have been erected nearby and nest (or most of it) relocated. Of course it would have been more work than simply destroying what was there. DEC dropped the ball and PSEG was overzealous. No one wants to see them zapped but this eviction was pretty cruel and could have been handled better.
By dogtired (29), north sea on Apr 9, 18 8:45 PM
According to DEC officials, PSEG spotted these arcing power lines over the weekend. That was plenty of time to erect a plain pole with a platform before tearing down this important nest.

What if the female Osprey is ready to lay eggs? Now where does she go?

Ospreys not only mate for life but they raise their young in the same nest year after year
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Apr 10, 18 7:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
Who from DEC said it was inactive?
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Apr 10, 18 8:31 AM
Does this mean we can use DDT again?
By joeg (31), Hampton Bays on Apr 10, 18 8:40 AM
1 member liked this comment
I loved seeing them year after year. They should erect a stand for the nest
nearby and they should have tried to save the nest and place it on the new
stand. Shame on them. These osprey had a big following. I am going to miss them.
By localcitizen (110), Southampton on Apr 10, 18 8:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
There’s a great article on line , including video footage of utilitiy workers in NEw Jersey successfully relocating an Osprey Nest from the top of an electric pole in Feb 2017.
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Apr 10, 18 8:58 AM
I went into Riverhead well over a week ago and saw an osprey in the nest. Sunday four of us were in the car and remarked how wonderful to see the pair of ospreys in the nest sitting up high and proud.
Someone is lying. Either PSE&G or the contractor. But it's up to PSE&G to set it right NOW.
By baywoman (165), southampton on Apr 10, 18 9:07 AM
Disgusting and heartless. DEC should be ashamed of themselves. This pair nests here every year, and I'm sure you could tell by the state the nest was in that it was newly reconstructed. After all those storms there would be a wreck of a nest, not a nice neat circle of twigs and etc. They should have been more proactive by installing a platform in the immediate vicinity first.
By Melissabee (4), brookhaven on Apr 10, 18 10:36 AM
This is the same "insane" DEC that wants to kill all our Swans
By The Crow's Nest (65), Red Creek on Apr 10, 18 11:01 AM
You can thank Governor Cuomo for the continued existence of LIPA the leech and therefore PSEG the parasite. Why do we still have LIPA 36 years after Shoreham? Answer: so that Andrew Cuomo can fill the LIPA board with his crony campaign contributors.
Nixon for Governor!
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Apr 10, 18 11:37 AM
Cuomo also just oversaw cutting down 60 acres of pinebarrens in Mastic under the guise of being green for solar power. He is a disgusting hypocrite!!!
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Apr 10, 18 11:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
Where in riverside was the nest?
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Apr 10, 18 1:36 PM
And the homeless. The jobless veteran. The multi family immigrants Welfare recipients. Non insured resident that still pay taxes. FIGHT for a real cause. Animals are meant to fend for themselves. Really
By Scottjabo (1), Southampton on Apr 10, 18 10:06 PM
All very good causes for you to fight for (if you are so compelled). The fate of the osprey is worthy of the comments written. You might remember that humankind nearly wiped them out through the use of DDT. But people paid attention and gave these magnificent creatures the help they needed when they could not fend for themselves.
Every egg that hatches - every chick that fledges is a success. And should serve as a reminder that even when mistakes are made, there is action that can be taken to ...more
By dogtired (29), north sea on Apr 11, 18 9:19 AM
What have YOU done Mr. Quiote?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Apr 12, 18 1:40 PM
The osprey are welcome and beloved life-long residents of the East End. The unasked question, however, is why is PSEnG still installing wires overhead, rather than underground, like every other utility ? This is some of the most valuable real estate in the country, yet I have received a notice that outside my house they intend to install higher and stronger poles with thicker wiring ripping appalling gashes through the trees each year.
Yes, it would cost more to put the wires underground. But ...more
By kenmotor (3), Southampton on Apr 12, 18 12:06 PM
I regret mistakenly laying the blame for this intolerable situation on PSEnG -- no angels themselves ! Clearly it is Verizon who are the malefactors, and whose contractors, Aplundh, makes a fortune year after year ripping our trees to shreds. The French-owned parent company, Altice, would never get away with despoiling the French countryside in this manner.
Tuckahow homeowner.
By kenmotor (3), Southampton on Apr 12, 18 3:02 PM
Ken, you were right, it was a contractor, for PSE&G, electric has nothing to do with verizon.
The article was about Ospreys, not trimming trees, underground wiring and the golf clubs.
Subject Ospreys...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Apr 15, 18 9:24 PM
Ken, you were right, it was a contractor, for PSE&G, electric has nothing to do with verizon.
The article was about Ospreys, not trimming trees, underground wiring and the golf clubs.
Subject Ospreys...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Apr 15, 18 9:25 PM