The Sound of Spring

My friends warned me that birding had been slow in Central Park for the last week, but we were not disappointed. The north winds of the last few days have limited northward migration, and my recent walks in New Jersey have produced few birds. But Central Park is an amazing place for migrants. The park is the only patch of green in a sea of development so it is a magnet for migratory birds.

We found lots of Black-and-white Warblers, Northern Parulas, and Warbling Vireos, right in the middle of New York City. A few Black-and-white Warblers showed off just in front of us, at eye level, demonstrating their peculiar strategy of creeping along branches in search of insects, much like a nuthatch or woodpecker. We also found a stunning Red-bellied Woodpecker who seemed to enjoy soaking up the sun, with his ruby crown gleaming. Non-avian highlights included a nice toadshade trillium, several groups of huge red-eared sliders, and hordes of friendly kindred spirits: the birders of Central Park.

Visit our gallery to see more pictures from this event!

Here’s our species count:

Canada Goose Branta canadensis (2)

Mallard Anas platyhynchos (5)

Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus (1)

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis (1)

Rock Pigeon Columba livia (10)

Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus (3)

Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens (2)

Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus (1)

Warbling Vireo Vireo olivaceus (1)

Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata (5)

Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus (2)

Tufted Titmouse Baeolophus bicolor (1)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula (1)

American Robin Turdus migratorius (20)

Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis (1)

Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum (1)

Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla (1)

Northern Waterthrush Parkesia noveboracensis (1)

Black-and-White Warbler Mniotilta varia (5)

Northern Parula Setophaga americana (6)

Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia (1)

Palm Warbler Setophaga palmarum (2)

Yellow-rumped Warbler Setophaga coronata (1)

Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina (3)

White-throated Sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis (4)

Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis (8)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus (1)

Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus (1)

Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula (10)

Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater (2)

Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula (1)

House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus (1)

American Goldfinch Spinus tristis (15)

House Sparrow Passer domesticus (25)


Bert Harris