Ospreys will find a new home at Poquott beach

Ospreys will find a new home at Poquott beach

A pole that once hosted a dead wire was transformed into a place for ospreys to nest. Photo by Jeff Koppelson

Village of Poquott trustee Jeff Koppelson knew he wanted to get one more thing done before he stepped down from office.

A former leaning pole on Walnut Beach, left, in Poquott has been replaced. Photo by Jeff Koppelson

Koppelson, who decided not to run this year after six years in office, said since he began his first term as trustee, he has wanted to do some work at Walnut Beach. The task is almost completed and now ospreys have a potential new home at the top of a utility pole that once hosted a dead wire.

At the location, Koppelson said rising water levels were breaching the beach where a utility pole is located and leaning tremendously. He added that the pole has several wires on top for lights for the street and to face the water for boaters. There’s also a dead wire that is connected to a second pole in a marsh.

At first, when the trustee called PSEG Long Island two years ago, he said he was quoted $15,000 for the removal of the precarious pole because he was told it wasn’t leaning enough to be removed free of charge. This year when PSEGLI reassessed the pole, he was told it was leaning enough to be removed and replaced for free. While working with a representative, he mentioned how the pole in the marsh could be used as an osprey platform. The utility company has a program set up to install specifically made platforms for the birds to nest. 

After working with PSEGLI, the leaning pole has been replaced, and the second one now has a platform for ospreys to nest.

The trustee said they are still waiting for the dead wire to be cut and the leaning pole to be removed.

“I know that there are always construction delays, especially when there are multiple companies and contractors involved, so I’m just glad that, after two years of trying, the project has been started and will be completed shortly,” Koppelson said. “That part is rewarding to me in itself.”

He added he hasn’t seen any ospreys settle in yet, even though they can be seen flying in the vicinity of the beach.

“They are seasonal, so it’s likely that one of them has spotted it and has decided to settle there for next year’s summer residence,” he said. “It is really spectacular to see those birds flying over the beach with a fish in their claws as they head back to their nest, so I’m eager to see them return to the new platform someday to feed their young right there.”

According to the PSEGLI website, ospreys gravitate toward high utility poles and creating the platforms away from wires creates a safer nesting place for the birds.

In a statement, a PSEGLI representative said if an osprey is building a nest on electrical equipment, residents should contact PSEGLI by visiting www.psegliny.com/contactcustomerservice.

“PSEG Long Island is committed to our customers and the communities we serve,” the statement read.

“We invest in the economy, environment and infrastructure to make the places where we operate better places to live and work. This commitment includes protecting our equipment, wildlife and birds like
the osprey.”