Visitors gathered on Sunday, May 14th, at the Salt Marsh Nature Center at Avenue U and East 33rd Street for a hike along the Salt Marsh Nature Trail to observe, from a safe distance, ospreys in their habitat.
Urban Park Rangers Melo and Chow guided the group throughout the trail. The rangers shared many details and facts about the ospreys, such as their diet, wingspan, migration and other characteristics.
The first stop was the Tidal Marsh Bridge Lookout, a metallic bridge with a circular viewing platform where it is possible to see poles where ospreys build their nests.
At the lookout, Chow told the group that there are two pairs of adult ospreys in Marine Park with possible chicks. He explained that ospreys are raptors, carnivorous birds identified by their traits of strong eyesight, sharp talons and a hooked beak. Their height is up to 25 inches tall, with a four- to six-foot wingspan. Ospreys hunt for fish and can dive from large heights, up to 150 feet high, using their talons to capture fish when low enough and even submerging in water to catch their prey. Ospreys are usually in the area from April to September, heading south in the winter for warmer weather.
Onwards from the lookout, the group continued to the Osprey Nest Lookout, where another nest is located. Chow stressed the importance of a clean environment for ospreys to flourish and thrive.
“This was a lovely way to spend a Mother’s Day, said Karen Eichel. “I couldn’t think of a nicer way than in Marine Park with such a lovely group of talented Urban Park Rangers to lead us.”