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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE 180's Amanda's Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program Participates in "Safe Homes Project"
Friday, 17 April 2015
Amanda’s Easel offers art, music and play therapy for children and families affected by Domestic Violence Hazlet, NJ - Amanda’s Easel of 180 Turning Lives Around Inc., participated in the Safe Home Project which will be on display in Trenton at... Read More...
IMAGE Investigators Continue to Probe Death of Newborn Found at Farmingdale Dump
Friday, 17 April 2015
State Police Release Composite Sketch of Baby “Emma Grace” West Trenton, N.J. – Detectives from the New Jersey State Police and Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office are hopeful a composite sketch of a full-term, newborn infant, whose remains... Read More...
Former Bergen County, New Jersey Democratic Chairman Convicted on Racketeering Charges
Friday, 17 April 2015
NEWARK, NJ—A jury today convicted Joseph A. Ferriero, the former chairman of the Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO), in connection with a racketeering scheme involving fraud and soliciting and accepting bribes as a party official, U.S.... Read More...
IMAGE Red Bank Police Report - April 17, 2015
Friday, 17 April 2015
Red Bank, NJ - The following police report is provided by the Red Bank Police Department.  All subjects are presumed innocent; unless, and until, proven guilty in a court of law. April 02, 2015 – April 09, 2015 CRIMES: Theft reported on... Read More...
IMAGE NJ Gold Star Family Monument Groundbreaking Ceremony May 3
Friday, 17 April 2015
Sunday, May 3, 2015, Vietnam Era Museum, 1 Memorial Lane, Holmdel, N.J., 2 p.m. PHOTO: SSG William Robert Neil, Jr. Army Special Forces. Holmdel, N.J. – On Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 2 p.m., the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Return of the Brownshirts
by Woody Zimmerman
Friday, 17 April 2015
In the 1930s, gangs of brown-shirted street thugs smashed Jewish shop-windows, terrorized voters at the polls, and generally raised hell all across... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - April 17, 2015
by Tom Brennan
Friday, 17 April 2015
The second thing should do before starting a carjacking business is learn how to drive a stick: http://bit.ly/1H2BdkM What's worse than losing your... Read More...
IMAGE Concluding the Gospel Twice
by George Hancock-Stefan
Thursday, 16 April 2015
On the classical music radio station, they had a program called False Conclusions.  The host presented a number of works that seem to end and... Read More...
IMAGE A Tire-Less Wetland in Union Beach
by Joe Reynolds
Monday, 13 April 2015
Each year, volunteers from three organizations, the Bayshore Watershed Council, the New York-New Jersey Baykeeper, and Monmouth County Clean... Read More...
IMAGE Hometown Benefits
by Daniel Murphy
Sunday, 12 April 2015
HOME TOWN BENEFITS...by Daniel Murphy Jr.   There are times when I sit back and realize how fortunate I am to have lived most of my seventy... Read More...

Upcoming Events

joe_reynoldsOkay, I will admit that more people welcome the return of the baseball season this time of year than the arrival of the Osprey breeding season, but I am not sure why. You don't need an expensive ticket to view the action at a local Osprey nest and it occurs rain or shine.

Just look for a large nest of sticks constructed at the top of a dead tree or on an artificial nesting platform or other structures, like a cell phone tower or buoy, in or near a large body of water and this will be the best place to watch out the Osprey breeding season from April through September.

Along the shores of Lower New York Bay and within it vast tidal wetlands, over 50 Ospreys, otherwise known as Fish Hawks, have gathered on their breeding grounds to raise a family. The female lays one to four eggs, but usually three.

Soon after St. Patrick's Day, the first Ospreys arrived to our urban tidal waters to ready their nests. These large gawky birds were tired and weary from the long flight back from their tropical wintering locations. While we don't necessarily think of Osprey's has having a long, intense winged migration, they are certainly capable of it. For example, a 2008 study by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology revealed that during 13 days in a fall migration period, an Osprey flew over 2,700 miles from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, to French Guiana, South America to spend the winter. Ospreys have been known to fly long distances to locate the perfect place to endure.

osprey_nesting

In March and early April around Lower New York Bay, the Ospreys will reunite with their partners, usually at the same nest site they have used year after year. An Osprey's nest can often become quite large (up to 10 feet high) as more branches, sticks, and other nesting material is added before the beginning of each breeding season. Some Ospreys pairs have been together for years, others for life. Ospreys are generally monogamous and birds three years or older usually mate for life.

Now mating Ospreys will busy themselves day and night around the bay for the next 6 to 7 weeks during the incubation period of their fragile cream-colored spotted eggs. The adult birds have turned into parents and will spend time to make sure everything is just right for the hatching of their babies.

osprey_nesting_2

Once hatched, nearly 2-ounce helpless chicks that can barely call for food will need to be taken care of. Incredibly, with a plentiful supply of fish, these tiny balls of feathers will become as tall as their parents in just eight weeks.

The life of a baby Osprey, however, is more complex than this and is not always pleasant. Osprey eggs do not hatch all at once. Rather, the first chick emerges up to five days before the last one. The older hatchling dominates its younger siblings, and can monopolize the food brought by the parents. If food is abundant, chicks share meals in relative harmony; but in times of scarcity, younger ones may starve to death. It is survival of the fittest being played out every year downstream from Lower Manhattan.

Fortunately, the story of Ospreys in Lower New York Bay is one of general splendor and hope. The population is increasing and after decades of being an endangered species due largely to pollution, this Fish hawk is now a common sight around local waters.

osprey_flying

Although the Osprey is still listed as a threatened species in New Jersey and a species of special concern in New York State, if the human residents of the bay continue to take strong measures to restore and preserve our waterways and aquatic habitats, then the Osprey will remain a beautiful symbol of Lower New York Bay and its breeding season will persist as an important seasonal show for generations of people to enjoy. Just don't forget to bring a bag of crackerjacks or peanuts, and maybe some sushi for the Ospreys!

For more information, pictures and year-round sightings of wildlife in or near Sandy Hook Bay, please check out my blog entitled, Nature on the Edge of New York City at http://natureontheedgenyc.blogspot.com/