Log in Subscribe
Susan Brown Otto

Kenoza Lake

August 4, 2023

Posted 8/4/23

Greetings faithful readers of the Kenoza Lake News. The Sullivan County farmers who make hay have been delighted with the glorious hay weather that we have had since Sunday. It has been a challenging …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
Susan Brown Otto

Kenoza Lake

August 4, 2023


Greetings faithful readers of the Kenoza Lake News. The Sullivan County farmers who make hay have been delighted with the glorious hay weather that we have had since Sunday. It has been a challenging year to make hay due to the wet weather we have had since mid-May.

I have been advised that a Great Egret has returned to the Kenoza Lake area. A Great Egret is all white and looks like a heron.  Please let me know if you have spotted a Great Egret. They are a sight to be seen. Hey, what about that super, full moon of August 1st?  Wow! I watched it rise on the horizon Tuesday evening. Huge, awesome, amazing. 

Prayers for Pastor Bridgette LeConey who has been experiencing some health challenges these past few weeks. 

I have always said that it is not easy to be a Mets fan and after the euphoria of Billionaire Steve Cohen buying the Mets a few years ago and then signing two ace pitchers of Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, the reality of being a Mets fan started to set in during this year’s preseason with Mets closer Edwin Diaz injuring himself this year in a World Baseball Classic celebration. Today, NY Post columnist Mike Vaccaro wrote a column about the Mets, and he asked about remembering what Michael Douglas said in the movie Wall Street.  About not being emotional about stock? Steve Cohen didn’t’ get emotional about unloading Verlander and Scherzer. Such is the life of being a Mets fan. 

The challenges of Fledging

So, the highlight of this week has to do with a type of raptor known as an osprey.  Back in the early 1970s, the eagles and ospreys of the United States almost got wiped out due to the use of DDT. DDT was sprayed on the trees to kill gypsy moths.  I can still remember as a little girl, seeing a plane flying over Brown Farms, spraying gypsy moths. The DDT spray weakened the eggshells and almost completely wiped-out eagles and ospreys. DDT was banned in NYS beginning in 1971 Slowly but surely, the eagle and osprey populations stabilized and started to rebound. These days, it is a common sight to see an eagle in Sullivan County, however it is not as common to see an osprey.

So last Tuesday evening, I was contacted by someone from Sullivan County who asked me about contacting the DEC and/or the local Raptor Center. A baby osprey had landed in the person’s garden. It was believed that the youngster had been blown out of its nest during a recent rainstorm. (I have received authorization from this person to share this story, however there are two conditions, I cannot disclose who contacted me and I cannot disclose where in Sullivan County the osprey nest is located.) I was astonished to learn that there was an osprey nest that was located on one top of Sullivan County’s cell phone towers. If you google Ospreys and cell phone nests, you will see numerous photos of ospreys with nests on cellphone towers. 

So, what to do with the downed baby osprey in the garden? The DEC didn’t call back. My birder friend, retired DEC Wildlife Biologist Carl Lindsley was out of town. The Raptor Center couldn’t help.  Apparently, there was a fox that liked to trot through the garden. I suggested putting up some step ladders for the osprey to use, as her wings strengthen. The baby raptor, now named Olivia found a cucumber pole to spend the night on, away from any foxes. The next day, a friend stopped by and built a box and fastened it to the top of a fence post. Some twigs were put on the platform and then guess what! Olivia was able to fly up to the perch. The mother osprey flew down by Olivia a few times. Some fish were caught and given to Olivia. Unlike eagles, 99.5% of an osprey’s diet consists of fish.  

So, Olivia’s flying skills improved and within a few days, she was able to fly up to a nearby tree and, I assume by now, back up to the cellphone tower nest. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, another baby osprey appeared in the garden.  The person that originally called me put welding gloves on and was able to pick up the baby osprey and put it in the perch that was built.  AMAZING! That is the osprey in the above photo. What a photo of baby osprey number two!

I asked permission to stop by the person’s garden and I was fortunate to be able to see Olivia sitting in the middle of the person’s garden. Wow! A sight I will never forget. 

Ospreys are amazing.  Unlike eagles, ospreys are migratory birds. They mate for life and return to the same nest every year. They are almost as big as an eagle. The measure between 22 – 25 inches tall and have a wingspan of between 4 – 6 feet. The female osprey is bigger than the male. The NYS DEC website has some interesting information about ospreys. In fact, the DEC website has a map of NYS where ospreys nest and Sullivan County appears on the map. The closest location to Sullivan County is Long Island. Amazing. The migrating ospreys return to the same nest each year and add to the prior year nest. Some get as large as 10 feet tall. Ospreys have between three and four eggs and the young fledge at about eight weeks of age. They remain in the area for about two months.

There is a local photographer by the name of Kevin Kreischer who is on Instagram and takes amazing photos of wildlife in the Bashakill. I asked Kevin if there are ospreys in the Basha Kill and he said indeed, there are ospreys in the Bashakill. 

Maybe some folks can build some osprey platforms on some of our lakes and maybe we will get more ospreys.  

Anyway, a truly amazing story. I feel honored that I was contacted by this anonymous person and that I was able to see Olivia in person.  


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here