On Tuesday morning, while driving to work on a bright sunny day, I saw a marvelous natural event. My first sight this year of a migrating osprey, also known as a fish hawk.
It was perched on a tree limb out in the middle of large wetland, not far from the mouth of Comptons Creek, located on the southern shore of New York Harbor. I’m wasn't sure at the time if the osprey was briefly visiting the area to rest before moving on or if it was a summer resident. Time will tell, but I have not seen the osprey in the last few days, which suggests the bird was a migrant.
Either way, it’s very exciting news. Many ospreys are now in the middle of their marathon migration from South America or the Caribbean to North America, including New York Harbor. With their return in March and April begins another breeding season and the growth of new life.
The osprey is an iconic bird of New York Harbor. More ospreys generally means a healthier bay. In order to thrive, the hawk requires a clean environment and abundant food sources of fish. It arrives often exhausted after a strenuous winged migration. It seeks quick nourishment from eating winter flounder or menhaden, two fish which are also iconic species of the bay. Everything is connected.
Despite the storms and snow of last week, migrants are on the move again. Marking the beginning of another spring season to the estuary.
For more information about migrating ospreys, check out this fabulous website about ospreys in Jamaica Bay, NYC - http://www.jamaicabayosprey.org/faq-about-ospreys