Hyannis Harbor Hawks


Since the days of the Roman writer Pliny the Elder who reported that parent osprey make their young fly up to the sun and dispatched any that failed to complete the task to references in Shakespeare's Coriolanus "I think he'll be to Rome/As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it/By sovereignty of nature," osprey have captured the public imagination. Today, these prehistoric birds can be found at Judy Walden Scarafile Field at McKeon Park atop their very own viewing platform.

The osprey first landed at the field in 1992 and made their home on top of the lights in centerfield. Due to their tendency to reproduce near coastal brackish water, ospreys' diet consists almost exclusively of fish, and the occasional Cracker Jack found at the ballpark.

The birds are now making a population comeback on the Northeast Coast after years of having their breeding patterns disrupted by the use of insecticides. DDT interfered with the birds' calcium metabolism which resulted in thin-shelled, easily broken or infertile eggs.

Pairs of osprey usually mate for life and winter separately in the Caribbean and South America before returning the following year to the same nest. Often made of sticks, driftwood, turf, and seaweed, osprey nests can be wider than 6 feet and weigh over 300 lbs.

When lights were installed in the Park in 2008, the osprey returned with a fervor establishing themselves as part of the charm and character of the Cape Cod Baseball League. The birds were so popular that the team even changed its name in 2010 from the Hyannis Mets to the Harbor Hawks since another name for an osprey as a fish hawk. A new mascot was also introduced named Ozzie Osprey.

Prior to the start of the 2017 season, the ospreys' platform blew down and had to quickly be reconstructed. Thanks to the work of Jay Coteau, Dan Johnson, and Baxter Crane, the ospreys' perch was amended just in time for spring, a signal of the end of winter and the approaching summer baseball games that were only a few short months away.

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7/31/19 vs. YD