CTDEEP Wildlife Division and NYSDEC
|Osprey (Nesting Pairs)|
One of the largest birds of prey in North America, the osprey eats fish almost exclusively. The osprey dives feet-first into water to grab fish from near the surface. Barbed pads on the soles of its feet help it grip slippery fish. It is one of the most widespread birds in the world, found on all continents except Antarctica. The Osprey readily builds its nest on manmade structures, such as telephone poles, channel markers, duck blinds, and nest platforms designed especially for it. Such platforms have become an important tool in reestablishing Ospreys in areas where they had disappeared. Ospreys breed in a variety of habitats with shallow water and large fish, including boreal forest ponds, desert salt-flat lagoons, temperate lakes, and tropical coasts. They winter along large bodies of water containing fish.
Osprey abundance reflects the impacts of management and regulatory actions.
The osprey population around Long Island Sound fell sharply during the 1950s and 1960s due to the effects of pesticides, particularly DDT. Since the ban on DDT, which occurred during the 1970s, and the placement of nesting platforms in wetlands all along the Sound, the osprey population has been making a recovery. Since it is no longer an endangered species, state conservationists have stopped tracking the bird’s numbers.
Data is no longer being collected and this is now considered a historical indicator.