Home Community Community News Osprey couple George and Gracie have done it again

Osprey couple George and Gracie have done it again

Gracie feeds her babies as the sun rises over the bay. Photo: ospreyzone.com

Local avian celebrities George and Gracie have welcomed two baby ospreys to their family.

The chicks appear to be a few days old as seen on the live-streaming osprey video feed at ospreyzone.com.

Early this morning the osprey mom and dad could be seen feeding the chicks bits of fish as the sun rose over the bay.

The nest is located on the East Marion property of Tommy Aprea, a retired commercial fisherman. Aprea built the 4×4 platform on top of his unused radio tower in 2014. Tax Reduction Services developed and sponsors the website where high-definition video is live-streamed from a webcam focused on the nest 80 feet above ground, 24 hours a day.

In 2015 thousands of people watched as a baby osprey hatched on live video. The pair has returned each year since the platform was installed.

Only half a century ago, ospreys were on the brink of extinction. Insecticides like DDT were poisoning osprey eggs, making them infertile or thin-shelled. After DDT was banned in 1972, however, osprey populations began to slowly climb to a stable level. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation downgraded them from “Endangered” to “Threatened” in 1983, and in 1999 to a species of “Special Concern,” which is their current status.

Visit ospreyzone.com to watch the live feed and see highlights and past videos.

Katharine is a writer and photographer who has lived on the North Fork for nearly 40 years, except for three-plus years in Hong Kong a decade ago, working for the actor Jackie Chan. She lives in Cutchogue. Email Katharine