06/05/15 12:00pm
06/05/2015 12:00 PM

An osprey couple is preparing for the birth of its three babies in a nest on the North Fork.

Best of all, you can be there to watch it. The hatchlings’ arrival — expected any day now — is being filmed and shown via a live video stream online.

Tax Reduction Services (TRS) is sponsoring Osprey Zone, a website that allows people to watch the osprey couple, affectionately named George and Gracie, in their nest with a view of the Peconic Bay.

The exact location of the nest hasn’t been revealed since the company doesn’t want people spooking the birds, said TRS president Paul Henry.

The feed has been live on the site since June 1. The osprey family has been seen nesting in that location since April, according to comments on the site.

Mr. Henry, who set up the streaming software, said he plans on making the website a permanent installation. He’ll use clips from the footage filmed this summer to make a documentary that will run on the site during the winter.

“We have footage from last year when they started building the nest and we’re getting footage of the babies being born and fed and learning to fly,” he said. “Hopefully during next spring, they come back and do it all again.”

Osprey Zone also features saved videos. The one- to two-minute long clips feature the birds returning to the nest with a fish, guarding the eggs, communicating with each other and more.

Mr. Henry said that while the hatching of the babies is exciting, there’s more to the birds’s story than that.

“There’s a wonderful story about how [the osprey] came back from near extinction,” he said. “That’s a very big part of story and my interest as well.”

He said that while he has a personal interest in both the osprey and filming, TRS is sponsoring the livestream for the community and Long Island as a whole to enjoy.

“I really think this is a really valuable thing here,” said Mr. Henry. “We have people contacting us who are bedridden, students, or disabled who are just watching it and enjoying it. It’s kind of calming. I think there’s a certain medicinal value to it in the way it affects people.”



06/04/15 4:06pm
Some dead fish from last week's kill still lined the beach at Indian Island. (Credit: Nicole Smith)

Some dead fish from last week’s kill still lined the beach at Indian Island. (Credit: Nicole Smith)

The high tide went out Wednesday night, and with it went hundreds of dead fish. That’s exactly the news Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller wanted to hear.

Chief Hegermiller — who has been put in charge of cleanup in the wake of last week’s massive fish kill in the Peconic Estuary — said the tides cleared most of the town properties of carcasses.

The fortunate tide will spare town employees the hassle of disposing of thousands of dead bunker.

“It’s getting better all the time,” he said. “We’re watching what’s going on every day.”

The bait fish began washing ashore around Flanders Bay and in the creeks in Aquebogue and Jamesport last week. Experts said the kill was caused by a bloom of red tide algae in the creeks, which have also been blamed for an unprecedented die-off of diamondback terrapin turtles last month.

Though Southampton Town’s Board of Trustees began removing the fish earlier this week, Mr. Walter said Riverhead Town was waiting for the full moon tide Wednesday before making a decision.

That patience appears to have paid off. At South Jamesport Beach Thursday afternoon the coast was fish-free, with the exception of a lone dead fish that had washed ashore.

But county property at Indian Island still had dozens of remains buried in the sand. Swarmed by flies, the fish continued to form a long line a few feet out from the shoreline.

That county land will be cleaned by county parks employees, said Legislator Al Krupski, though it was unclear when the cleanup would begin.

Residents who have dead fish on their private property will have to bag the fish themselves; Riverhead Town will coordinate pickup of the bags.

Some environmentalists have warned that allowing the tide to take the remains back out to sea to rot may cause further issues for the ecosystem.

“Having the bottom buried in rotting fish can’t be a good thing for the survival of other marine life,” Defend H20 founder Kevin McAllister told the News-Review this week. “Things are going to be stressed from this … You’re talking an enormous amount of biomass just rotting on the bottom of the bays or the creeks.”


What Causes a  Fish Kill- (3)

06/02/15 12:00pm
06/02/2015 12:00 PM
Rainfall on Monday and Tuesday came as a welcome change of pace for local crops. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Rainfall on Monday and Tuesday came as a welcome change of pace for local crops. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

It might seem like a distant memory now, but last month proved to be the driest May on record, according to the National Weather Service, making the steady rainfall of June 1 and June 2 a relief to some farmers in the area.

The meteorological agency reported that a scant 0.42 inches fell throughout the month, as measured in Islip — the official NWS station on Long Island.

That’s the least rainfall ever recorded in May since records started being kept in 1984. (more…)