A pair of ospreys has been spotted building a nest atop the Suffolk County National Bank tower in downtown Riverhead. Photos: Peter Blasl

Suffolk County National Bank has a new tenant.

A pair of ospreys was spotted building a nest on top of the 45-foot-tall tower at Suffolk County National Bank headquarters in downtown Riverhead today.

One osprey was seen flying back and forth carrying branches and sticks as the other worked diligently to arrange the materials into the shape of a nest.

One of the ospreys carries a small branch back to its new home. Photo: Peter Blasl
One of the ospreys carries a small branch back to its new home. Photo: Peter Blasl

“It’s a good spot for them because it’s right near the Peconic River,” said Sally Newbert, a spokesperson for the Eastern Long Island Audubon Society.

Osprey eat almost exclusively fish, diving down to the water from up to 100 feet above to snatch their prey. With a wing span of up to six feet, they are a majestic sight to behold.

“They nest all over Long Island,” Newbert said. “They’ve really made an incredible comeback over the last 20 or so years.”

Only 50 years ago, the national osprey population was teetering on the brink of extinction due to insecticides that were poisoning their eggs, causing them to become infertile or thin-shelled. But in the past four decades, after the insecticide DDT was banned in 1972, ospreys have gradually made a comeback.

Today, their conservation status has been downgraded from “Endangered” to a species of “Special Concern” by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. Pairs of nesting ospreys can be seen across Long Island and beyond.

And this week, a new pair has decided to make its home in downtown Riverhead atop Suffolk County National Bank.

Their neighbors downstairs say they are thrilled to have them.

“We are pleased to know that even the ospreys realize that Suffolk County National Bank has always been a safe place to build your nest egg,” said Brenda Sujecki, vice president of marketing at SCNB.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Peter Blasl


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