Osprey Nest Relocation

The Majestic Osprey

The osprey, or more specifically the western osprey — also called sea hawk, river hawk, and fish hawk — is fish-eating bird of prey. This large raptor, can reach more than 60 cm in length and 180 cm across the wings.

History

Historically nesting sites were located in tress adjacent to wetlands, ponds, lakes and bays as well as on the ground of islands that lacked predators like raccoons. Osprey are not currently a threatened or endangered species, however they are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Act and regulated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is charged with regulatory enforcement of the Act. Due to the impacts associated with exposure to the pesticide DDT, osprey numbers on Long Island tragically plummeted in the 1960’s and 1970’s. As a result, osprey nearly became extinct in New York State.

Conservation and Recovery

After DDT was banned in 1972, the species began to recover and it became apparent that sufficient and viable nest sites did not exist. Once prone to nesting in dead trees or on remote islands, osprey began to use telephone poles, utility poles and towers, abandoned buildings and other structures that offered increased nesting opportunities but also came with increased risks and hazards. Conservation groups began erecting specially designed poles and platforms, which eventually led to the successful recovery of the birds on Long Island.

Safety, Reliability and Stewardship

As the osprey have made their comeback on Long Island they often choose to build nests on utility structures and power lines that can harm them as well as create safety and reliability concerns to our electric system. PSEG Long Island is committed not only to our customers but to the communities where we serve. We invest in the economy, environment and infrastructure to make the places where we operate better places to live and work. This commitment includes not only protecting our equipment, but also protecting birds like the Osprey, that live along with us here on Long Island.

Our Approach

PSEG Long Island has developed strategies in order to apply a consistent approach that is not merely a short-term fix. This approach is intended to provide nesting habitat for Osprey that is more attractive for nest construction while reducing the likelihood of nest construction at a hazardous location. We have built an Island-wide team of local municipalities, grassroots environmental organizations and caring individuals to work together to create a network of “eyes” to identify locations of Osprey nesting activities and report that activity to our team at PSEG Long Island.

Success!

This year PSEG Long Island has successfully relocated and encouraged over twenty- five osprey pairs to build their nests away from our facilities and wires. Our osprey platforms are visible in many communities including Southold, Sag Harbor and Bayville. See pictures and read the stories of these conservation locations on the Osprey Map.

How You Can Help

Help us to identify new locations or nests that may need attention. If you see an Osprey attempting to build on our utility structures and wires, please let us know. If you see something that needs attention please contact us. Our reps are available through email, live chat, Facebook and Twitter.  Our crews will inspect the site and work with our experts and partners to come up with the best solution for the osprey while maintaining your best in class reliable electric service. 

For immediate emergencies, such as a nest on fire, call 911 and then us at 1-800-490-0075.