BAYVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A pair of ospreys will return to Long Island in spring to find their nest a little safer.
Long Island utility crew took great care to relocate the nest Thursday.
CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff was there as the three-man PSEG team moved an osprey nest that was dangerously close to electric wires.
The delicate operation in Bayville took a PSEG Long Island crew six hours, proving wires and wildlife can coexist.
Their mission? To clear the cross arm atop an electrical pole of a nest, while keeping it intact for the ospreys, who will soon come looking for it.
"It's built on our energized conductors. We are trying to give the birds a safer place to inhabit, and get the nest of our wires so we can ensure safe, reliable service," said Rich Henderson of PSEG Long Island.
First, a new platform had to be installed above a pole extender to lift it six feet higher. Then the bundle of bark, vines and twigs had to be gingerly lifted.
Ospreys are no longer endangered, so why go through all the trouble?
Jim Jones, with Volunteers for Wildlife, explained to CBS2's Gusoff why we have to do our part to make sure wild animals live uninterrupted lives.
"They are a natural part of the ecosystem," Jones said. "They're part of the web of life... If you start tinkering with that web of life, just like with a spider's web, eventually something bad is going to happen. And remember, even though we have a tendency to forget it, we're part of that web of life."
The birds endangered the wires, and the wires endangered the birds. Osprey wings can get entangled, and the nest could catch fire. The move enables the same pair to return. Amazingly, ospreys come back to the same nest every year, after wintering as far south as Florida.
"Their kids will come back first and try to find the nest, it won't work. Mom and dad will come and say 'You're otta here,'" Jones said. "These birds have built-in ways of recognizing landscapes and the Earth's magnetic field."
With onlookers holding their collective breath, the nest was ever-so-carefully shifted to its new perch.
Beloved for their size, majesty and intelligence, the pair that made these digs will come home to a better view.
"Who wouldn't come back to Bayville? I've been in Bayville, I've been coming back to Bayville for fifty years," said Bayville Mayor Bob De Natale.
Osprey mate for life, so this couple's home for the next 20 years will be in Bayville.
A spokesperson for PSEG Long Island say they often encounter osprey nests atop power poles, and this one was in contact with energized wires.
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