Endangered Nestlngs

A pair of osprey with a nest midway up the MacKay Radio Tower on Napeague have been apparently disturbed by a dangling cable. Russell Drum

    A pair of ospreys that live high above the salt flats of Napeague State Park have been keeping a wary eye for about a week now on a loop of loose cable that swings only a few feet above their hatchlings.
    The fish hawks live midway up the 300-foot-tall Mackay Radio Tower, originally erected in 1927 to transmit messages to ships at sea.
    A section of heavy wire has fallen, a loop of it  catching up three or four feet above the osprey nest. When the wind blows, the loop swings, like a threatening pendulum.
    The wire was first noticed by Gordon and Dianne Ryan, who live at Lazy Point. Their calls last week to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the State Parks Department did not prompt a direct response, but the message got through.
    On Tuesday, Bill Taylor, East Hampton Town’s waterways management specialist, said he had called the D.E.C. and spoken with Liza Bobseine, an enforcement officer. According to Mr. Taylor, Ms. Bobseine had been observing the lofty drama. Based on her observations — which included the parent birds entering and exiting the nest — the agency’s decision, she said, was to leave the situation as is until the end of the season, when the ospreys head south on their annual migration.
    Mr. Ryan said on Tuesday that he wasn’t sure the nest would survive the season, especially given the dramatic swings of the wire in high winds. However, a spokesman for the Nature Conservancy, which oversees other osprey rookeries, said the D.E.C.’s strategy seemed the least disruptive.