Photo of the Day: Osprey Catches Fish, Plastic Bag

Raptor observed flying with bag near nest in Hampton Bays.

Shinnecock Hills birdwatcher Lorelei Galardi has been keeping an eye on a pair of ospreys since late March, when they nested on Dune Road in Hampton Bays near the Ponquogue Bridge.

"I've been following the nesting pair for Osprey Watch, a site set up by the Center For Conservation Biology," she said. "They enlist people from all over the world to log activity at osprey nests, i.e. arrival of the adults, when eggs are laid, hatching, fledge, etc."

When she went to photograph the nest on April 10 around noon, she saw a surprising sight — in addition to a fish, one of the ospreys caught a plastic bag.

Galardi said when she cropped the photo on her computer, she saw a treble hook in the fish's gills as well. "I couldn't tell if the plastic bag was stuck to the fish or the bird," she said. "I went back to the nest at around 5:00 to check on the pair and they were both fine. Thank goodness the bag was gone."

The image illustrates why a plastic bag ban is important for Southampton Town, Galardi said.

Fred 'n Freeda April 12, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Great photo. Even better message from Mr. Blaugh. What "on earth" is holding up the plastic bag ban from becoming reality...that's it...REALITY. Well, here it is boys and girls...the REALITY of this situation is staring you right in the face...and it's looking back at your from your dinner plate, too. Enjoy your fish fry!
kay April 13, 2012 at 10:05 AM
Great photo! Sad but great! That actually looks like a mylar balloon with the color washed off. I find so many of these on the beach when I am walking. Especially this time of year with graduation, fathers day, weddings.... I have seen little kids and adults letting them go to watch them fly away. I try to pick some up when I am walking but there are just so many! One day I picked up enough to fill a large garbage bag which I also found on the beach. They blow over the water when the wind is from the south. I have heard they are extremely dangerous to our marine and wildlife. The turtles choke on them because they think they are jellyfish. Shouldn't there be a push to ban these? or make them biodegradable? I have not heard anything about cutting down on helium balloons and they are in every supermarket!
T818 April 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Good point Kay! I can not believe all the garbage that people leave behind and that wash up on shore. Plastic bags, balloons, bottles, glass bottles, chip and pretzel bags, dog feces, cigarette buts, the shells they spit out ( sunflower, pistachio pumpkin etc ) on the beach- ever have your kid step in a pile of them ?, banana peels, orange peels etc ( I don't care it it's biodegradable it's disgusting ) Well it is too early in the AM for me to get started about litter on our beaches. I am the crazy person yelling at people as they leave the beach after having enjoyed a beautiful day and thank the beach by leaving their garbage behind. Everyone should leave with more garbage than they made. Also why does the town take the garbage pails away from the Road beaches the day after the season is over???? This drives me to despair. People just throw their garbage where the garbage pails were and the garbage is ravaged by wildlife and/or blown all over the place. Does the town think people would actually take their own garbage back to their houses for disposal? If you see me yelling at some on the beach stop and say hi. Enjoy the warm weather.
Roger Blaugh April 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Maybe we can all help out in this weekend's Big Town Clean-up. You just need a stick with a nail in the end and a garbage bag. Ticks are out early, they say, so please tuck your pants into a pair of big socks (we'll all look like circus clowns, so we may as well wear BIG COLORFUL socks, have fun and make a point of it). Spray down your leggings to keep the ticks off. I'll see you out there and if you see a neighbor in BIG SOCKS...honk your horn! Thanks.
T818 April 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I only see info for East End Clean Up for the weekend of the 21st and 22nd. Is there a specific location or time for this weekend? Thanks!


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