Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) this week unveiled the Official Nassau County Bird sign that will be posted in the appropriate Nassau’s parks where the bird, the osprey, may be spotted. In addition, Jacobs honored students from Frank Carey High School who participated with gusto in the Nassau County Bird Contest last year.
In addition to the students from Cary High School, Jacobs was joined by Rob Alvey, president of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary; John Izzarone, graphic artist from Nassau County DPW; Ray Ribeiro, Commissioner of DPW; Thomas W. Murphy, Highway Maintenance Supervisor; AND The CAREY HIGH SCHOOL MASCOT-an osprey.
The contest to select an official Nassau County bird began in August 2006 and by October the winner was announced. More than 11,000 votes were cast! The osprey was declared the winner with 5,547 votes, 49%. The Tree Swallow was second with 3,864 and the American Oystercatcher gathered 1,833.
“The osprey is a noble, determined and fitting symbol for our County,” said Jacobs, who spearheaded the contest.
Jacobs then asked the Parks, Recreation & Museums Department to design signs that could be posted throughout the county, notifying people to “Be on the lookout” for Nassau’s official bird. The signs, designed by Parks Department graphic artists John Izzarone, will be posted in areas where one might spot an osprey.
These locations include: Parks and Preserves on the South or North Shores of Nassau County and areas with large lakes. Cow Meadow Preserve; Massapequa Preserve; Atlantic Beach; Bay Park; Garvies Point Preserve; Welwyn; Hempstead Harbor Park; Inwood Park and Sands Point Preserve.
“I believe that this contest put a spotlight on the birds of Nassau County, educated residents regarding the variety of species we have here in the County and also generated an interest in protecting the birds and their habitats,” said Jacobs. “In addition, many of our local schools got very involved in the race, and used this contest as a learning tool to teach students about the voting process.”