Amid the din of departing and landing airplanes, about 300 bird species live in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Many birds lay eggs during the spring—and now we have these amazing young barn owls and ospreys.

The American Littoral Society and Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy are partners in caring for the raptors that live in the refuge. Over the past few weeks, both groups, along with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, NY State Department of Conservation, and National Parks Service, have been banding the new additions.

"There were no ospreys until 1990," Don Riepe, the Littoral Society's Jamaica Bay Program Director, told Gothamist. That's because the pesticide DDT was in use until 1972. "It took about 10 years for [DDT] to work itself out, and then ospreys starting laying viable eggs."

Now, with 25 nesting pairs, Riepe, who has been working in Jamaica Bay for 30 years, said "the osprey population is fully restored in Jamaica Bay."

"Before nesting seasons, we go out to islands and repair nests and install new ones where needed," Alex Zablocki, executive director of the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, explained. (The JBRPC funds the ALS' raptor program and helps with repairs to nests.)

The nests are scattered around the bay, and recently they've gone to islands like Little Egg Marsh, Canarsie Pol, and Ruffle bar, as well as Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, to check out the birds. The ospreys have platforms, where there are also swallow nests, and the barn owls' nests resemble boxes.

So far this season, they have banded nine young owls and Riepe estimates there are about 15 total. While there are six nesting pairs of barn owls, "we're still concerned about the barn owl [population]," Riepe said. (A couple of fun facts about these guys: "Their calls sound like a harsh, raspy scream," and the baby barn owls look like aliens.)

The birds are monitored throughout the year, and the banding helps the groups know where the birds are going. For instance, the ospreys will later migrate to South America.

Also, shorebird migration is coming up, and the American Littoral Society is having a festival on August 17th to celebrate. "About 35 species of shorebird migrate through Jamaica Bay," Riepe told us. "They go to the arctic tundra and lay eggs, and then the adults come back." The red knot goes from the Arctic to Chile or Argentina!