These isolated locations are powered by batteries maintained by solar panels and are only transmitting during daytime hours to conserve energy. For more history about these cams and the Marine Nature Study Area visit mnsa.info. Feel free to share your screenshots, questions and comments to the Marine Nature Study Area at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an effort to educate the Marine Nature Study Area visitors about osprey, we erected a mockup of an osprey platform. This platform would serve as an educational aid to visitors and students on the design and importance of such a structures and the role it played in the re-establishment of the osprey population. Due to the closeness to an active pathway, we did not expect it to attract a nesting pair... little did we know!
Once installed in December of 2001, our first osprey pair arrived and started nesting on March 30th, 2002. Since then, the osprey platform has been occupied by three separate families, with the current female holding the platform since 2012. This current female has had three husbands; her most recent husband was born locally, south of Hewlett, in 2015.
Ospreys produce an average of three chicks, with the very rare occasion of a fourth. They arrive back to Long Island from their annual migration in March, and begin nesting in the early part of April, with their chicks usually hatching the 1st half of May and allowing them to leave the nest in early to mid-July. Visit NYS DEC to learn more about Osprey.
Under the cloak of secrecy, a pair of peregrine falcons adopted an Osprey Platform as a nesting site in 2002. Since the late eighties' a pair of osprey has returned to this osprey platform to raise their young. Since the Spring of 2002, the osprey pair had been evicting wintering Peregrines that were using the platform as a vantage point and roost. Unfortunately, the Osprey pair did not return in 2002 for unknown reasons. The wintering Peregrine were not driven off and they made their timeshare a home. On 6/11/2004, two downy chicks were seen on the nest platform. This was the first record of Peregrine Falcons nesting in the marshes of the Town of Hempstead.
Since peregrines are an endangered species, certain protocols needed to be followed. The osprey platform was replaced with a roofed structure designated for this species in New York State, which better supports the typical habitat of a peregrine falcon, who prefer to nest in cavities on the sides of cliffs. Since then, this nest has been occupied by three different females. These peregrines are not migratory; they are year-round residents that live in our marshes feeding on the abundance of bird species throughout the year. They begin their nesting process in March, laying their first eggs usually by mid-March, with the eggs hatching by mid-April and the young birds eventually leaving the nest in the early part of June.
The female of 2021 is brand new after successfully defeating the previous matriarch, and claiming her husband. All the banded females from this nest have all been travelers from outside of the Town of Hempstead. The first one in 2004 originated from Virginia, the second from Pennsylvania in 2017, and our most recent one from New Jersey in 2021. Visit NYS DEC to learn more about Peregrine Falcons.