• Local time
  • Location: Oyster bay, New York, United States
  • Source: PSEG Long Island - Osprey Project
  • Info: Live streaming webcam showing ospreys in New York. The webcam is located at a nest in Oyster Bay, Nassau County. The Town of Oyster Bay extends from the north to south shores on central Long Island.

More info: It is estimated that there are around 2,000 osprey pairs (active nests) on Long Island. The densest population of ospreys is on eastern Long Island, which is known for its shallow bays, creeks, and private islands allowing for protected nesting sites and an ample food source.

Ospreys are a migratory bird that start to arrive on Long Island in early to mid March after over wintering in South America. Satellite tracking of individual Long Island ospreys shows that they head to Venezuela and northern Brazil, with all departing the region by late October. The osprey’s arrival to Long Island, coincides with winter melting away and the “running” of menhaden, or bunker fish, swimming from the ocean to the shallow bays and creeks to breed. These fish make up the main part of the ospreys diet when they arrive in early spring.

Between 1950 and 1975, osprey populations declined precipitously due to the use of the persistent pesticide DDT which causes egg shell thinning. As a result, ospreys were nearly extinct in New York State. After DDT was banned in 1972, the species began to recover and it became obvious that sufficient and viable nest sites did not exist. Once prone to nesting in dead trees or on remote islands, ospreys began to use telephone poles, utility poles, towers and other man-made structures, incurring plenty of hazards. Conservation groups began erecting specially designed poles and platforms, which eventually led to the successful recovery of the birds on Long Island.

Large osprey nests can exist for decades and over time are used by several different pairs and generations. Several nest platforms placed by conservation groups in the late 1980’s still exist on parts of eastern Long Island today.