Tag Archive | "north fork ospreys"

The Real World: East Marion

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Gracie fed her three babies fish retrieved by George on Wednesday morning. Photo courtesy ospreyzone.com

One new family on the North Fork have gotten a lot of attention so far this month. George and Gracie, a pair of ospreys who spend their summers on top of an 80-foot radio antenna in East Marion, watched their three eggs hatch this week—and so did thousands of people over the internet.

Just a few weeks ago, ospreyzone.com, a website offering a live, 24-hour video feed of the nest, was launched. Paul Henry, the president of Tax Reduction Services (TRS), which sponsored the website, described the footage as “addictive and hypnotic.”

As the story goes, Mr. Henry’s friend and neighbor, Tommy Aprea, a retired commercial fisherman, saw ospreys landing on the top of an antenna on his property. He had a stand built at a local welder’s, but once it was placed 80 feet up in the air, he realized that he couldn’t see what was going on. And that’s when he decided to put a camera up in the nest.

According to Mr. Henry, Mr. Aprea was giving out the camera address to his friends, so they too could get a glimpse into the secret lives of ospreys. The address could only handle five or 10 people watching at one time before it would crash, and that’s when TRS decided to sponsor a website to allow people all over the world to watch the George and Gracie (plus three) show. “We thought it was a good match,” Mr. Henry said. “This is really Long Island.”

When the website launched two and a half weeks ago, there were three eggs in the nest, as viewers watched Gracie keeping them warm. By the end of last week, the first baby raptor had hatched. Viewers from all over tuned in on Monday when the last of the three eggs hatched, and have been able to witness George flying back up to the nest with a freshly caught fish in his beak.

“It’s pretty cool,” Mr. Henry said. The current website, he explained, is just the beginning of their plans. They are collecting their footage and have plans to hire interns to help them edit down the story of George and Gracie’s new babies: growing up, learning to fly, and eventually, leaving the nest. They also have plans to give the feed to hospitals to use in their waiting rooms. “We’re getting a lot of feedback about it being therapeutic,” he said. Some ambitious plans involve editing the footage together to have ornithologists narrate and explain some of the behavior the birds.

Interested birders can check in on the raptors live by visiting ospreyzone.com. You can also view highlights of the past few days including “First Love,” “Dinner is Served,” and “Little Brother.”


Whalers Strike Out

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By Michael Pintauro

As the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball season nears its end, so do playoff hopes for the Sag Harbor Whalers. The team is 9.5 games back from first place North Fork Ospreys with only three games left to finish this week meaning there is no way for Sag Harbor to make it into the post season.

This week was particularly difficult for the Whalers. The two games the Whalers’ played happened to be against the Ospreys, who crushed Sag Harbor in two painful defeats.

On Saturday, July 21, the Whalers travelled to the North Fork to take on the Ospreys at home in Peconic’s Cochran Park, where ultimately they lost the game 10-1. The Ospreys took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, after Ospreys pitcher Vaughn Hayward made easy work of the Whalers with a one-two-three first inning. Hayward threw a solid eight strikeouts against the flailing Whalers, going six innings and giving up only three hits. The Whalers would strikeout 13 times in the game — almost half their at-bats.

Whalers starting pitcher Jim Duff had a game almost as good as his opponent, throwing five strong innings, striking out eight and recording two earned runs on six hits. After giving up two runs early in the first, Duff was solid on the mound. But as the relievers came in during the middle innings, the floodgates opened, and the Osprey runs began pouring in.

Reliever Kevin Korkate gave up four earned runs in one inning of pitching, striking out two, but walked away with a 36.00 Earned Run Average (ERA). Out of the 10 runs recorded by the Ospreys on the day, six were homers. Ospreys’ hitters Kyle Adie, Robert Paller, Ryan Burns, and Daniel Kerr each smacked homers. Paller hit two of them.

On Sunday, July 22 – the Whalers’ would returned to Mashashimuet Park to host the Ospreys at home, in hopes of at least defeating the first place team. However, victory was not in the cards for Sag Harbor. The Whalers struggled to get on offense, losing control of the game in the ninth inning with a final score of 10-3.

Most of the game unwound like a pitcher’s duel, with a score of 2-1 until the ninth inning. Whalers’ starting pitcher David Rowan pitched well through five innings, giving up four hits, striking out three with one earned run. Ospreys’ pitcher, David St. Lawrence, however, was a wrecking ball on the mound, mercilessly striking out 11 Whalers in eight innings, letting up only one earned run on two hits.

As both teams struggled to string together hits and form runs, the game appeared destined for extra innings, but North Fork had other plans when they stepped up to the plate in the top of the ninth.

After a tough play in right field cost John Hennessey an error, the Ospreys’ secured a man on second and third with no outs. With a hard hit ground ball to third base on the next play, Stuart Levy displayed great poise for the tag out at the plate. The Whalers’, looking at runners on second and third again with one out, decided to intentionally walk Ospreys power-hitter Dan Kerr. With bases loaded, the Whalers looked to force a ground ball to turn a double play, but instead, Whalers pitcher Thomas Cardona threw two wild pitches and walked a batter before getting the next out on a ground ball.

With two out, the Ospreys tacked on six more runs in the inning, most of them unearned due to playing errors by the Whalers infield. North Fork continued to be aggressive around the bases, forcing bad throws and capitalizing on whatever play they could as their runners advanced.

The Whalers’ attempted to fight back in the bottom of the ninth. Sure enough, they got runners on the corners with no outs. With slugger Dennis Mitchell at bat, it appeared a rally could be in the works.

Mitchell, however, smacked a hard hit ground ball, leading to the first out, scoring Grant Shambley from third. Hennessey, who would advance to second on the play, would later score off a playing error. Ultimately, the runs did not come, and the two scored by Shambley and Hennessey were all the Whalers could muster in the final inning of the game.