Spring Birding in Central Park with Spencer Galen

 Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

On Saturday, May 20, in the early morning hours, Spencer Galen, an evolutionary biologist from the American Museum of Natural History, led the MSNH on a guided bird walk through Central Park to see spring migrants. Using our eyes and ears, we saw 39 species during the walk. Some notable birds spotted include a Green Heron, a male Baltimore Oriole, and a Chestnut-sided Warbler. Below is a complete list of birds sighted or heard during the walk:

Canada Goose (4)

Mallard (3)

Double-Crested Cormorant (3)

Great Egret (1)

Green Heron (1)

Herring Gull (2)

Rock Pigeon (>10)

Mourning Dove (4)

Chimney Swift (2)

Red-bellied Woodpecker (1)

Downy Woodpecker (1)

Eastern Wood-Pewee (1)

Warbling Vireo (2)

Red-eyed Vireo (2)

Blue Jay (3)

Northern Rough-Winged Swallow (2)

White-Breasted Nuthatch (2)

Swainson's Thrush (1)

American Robin (12)

Gray Catbird (6)

European Starling (>10)

Cedar Waxwing (8)

Northern Waterthrush (10

Black-and-White Warbler (1)

Common Yellowthroat (2)

American Redstart (5)

Northern Parula (1)

Magnolia Warbler (2)

Bay-breasted Warbler (1)

Yellow Warbler (1)

Chestnut-Sided Warbler (1)

Blackpoll Warbler (8)

Canada Warbler (2)

White-throated Sparrow (2)

Northern Cardinal (4)

Red-winged Blackbird (1)

Common Grackle (10)

Baltimore Oriole (3)

House Sparrow (>10)

To view more photos from this event, visit here. All photo credit goes to Maurice Chen.

Spencer Galen is a Ph.D. candidate in the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History. He received his B.S. from the University of Delaware and an M.S. from the University of New Mexico where he studied the evolution of birds in the Peruvian Andes. Galen has spent time studying birds throughout North and South America, including Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and most recently Cuba. He is originally from New Jersey where he found a passion for studying birds as a child while observing the amazing spring migration that takes place across the eastern United States every year. To learn more about Galen and his research visit his website

For great guides and apps for birding, Galen recommends:

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America: Second Edition (good prices on Amazon)

The Sibley eGuide to Birds App