Like the Bald Eagle, Osprey populations plummeted due to the use of the pesticide DDT. In 1981 there were fewer than 8,000 breeding pairs remaining in the United States. After use of this pesticide was ban their numbers jumped to 14,246 pairs by 1994. Today they breed throughout the coastal areas of New York City. A pair that nested next to Gerritsen Creek in Marine Park, just South of Avenue U successfully raised 3 offspring this year. Ospreys are unique among raptors in that they can reverse the position of one of their toes, so they can hold their prey with two toes in front and two toes behind.