Chautauquan Jeanne Wiebenga has traveled the world in search of birds and other wildlife. In the summer of 2020, she discovered a pair of ospreys right here in Chautauqua County – nesting for the first time on a man-made platform along State Route 394 in Ashville. She spent the season watching and photographing the parents raise and fledge a healthy chick.
Jeanne’s photos reveal the beauty of ospreys, with their striking facial markings and fierce golden eyes (or orange eyes, if you’re a young osprey.)
The photos remind us what we nearly lost when DDT threatened ospreys – along with bald eagles and a host of other birds – with extinction.
The photos remind us, too, that there is hope. Fifty years following the banning of DDT (in the United States, anyway), ospreys have made a steady recovery. They’re off the Endangered Species List thanks to bold action by Roger, Rachel Carson and many other individuals, organizations and government agencies. Ospreys are returning to Chautauqua County in encouraging numbers. But there remains more work to do in light of new and emerging threats. What will our generation do to help?
This exhibition is made possible by the Roger Tory Peterson Institute and Jeanne Wiebenga, with support from Jane Johnson.