Ospreys are sometimes considered as majestic as the mighty eagle. They can grow up to two feet and have wingspans as long as five feet. They are fish eaters who usually settle near water sources in secluded forested areas.
The ospreys that live near the PSEG’s Hudson Generating Station in Jersey City overlooking the Hackensack River are no different.
Well, a little different, since they have settled near a power station.
But for the past three years, they have maintained a nest at top of a light pole in a section of the power station property that is blocked off to most humans by PSEG during the spring and summer when the ospreys, a family of five, make their home in the area. The initial nest in 2007 was the first in the Meadowlands District in over 75 years for the once-threatened species.
Three young ospreys that live in Jersey City were banded on July 6.
The band is a silver tag with a barcode that serves as an ID for the birds in case they are found lost or even dead in another location, so that those finding the osprey will know where it came from. It lists a phone number followed by a unique 8 or 9 digit number. Bands are placed on ospreys 6 to 8 weeks old, when their talons are fully grown.
Ospreys are considered one of the few bird species that are found worldwide. Most migrate to South America for the winter.
Ben Wurst of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation did the banding, with the help of a man-lift courtesy of PSEG that took him up to the nest. The banding took about 20 minutes as the mother osprey circled over the nest as a natural show of protection.
The banding was part of the New Jersey Osprey Project, which is carried out by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey in collaboration with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. The Osprey Project is geared toward the preservation of the osprey and learning such things as where they travel and why.
Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.