Never mind the snow. Spring is here. And it’s not just the vernal equinox that marks the season’s arrival.
On the North Fork, it’s the osprey.
And they’re back, right on schedule. We watched two osprey this afternoon near the Paul Stoutenburgh Preserve on Arshamomaque Pond in Greenport. They flew from pole to pole, spent some time on the electric towers and at one point were both sitting on a nest atop a platform on the south side of the pond.
The majestic raptors, which winter in Central and South America, typically return to the East End, their breeding area, in the days around St. Patrick’s Day.
Male osprey always return first and they return to the same nest each year.
There are more than 200 osprey platforms in use and at least that many pair of osprey summer on the East End to breed. A pair will have three eggs each spring.
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, an adult osprey usually measures about 22 to 25 inches, with a wingspan of four to six feet.
SoutholdLOCAL photos by Peter Blasl