NYC Facts: Birding in Central Park and other NYC Parks (free)

oscar's looking for birds. might be better if he was in central park. 
The other day Rob was in the kid's bedroom shouting, "Hey, there's a toy that won't shut up in here. I can't figure it out." As soon as I walked in, I listened for a minute and went straight to the window. "It's just a pigeon cooing on the window sill." "Oh, right. Whoops." And then he pounded on the window so the bird would fly away and stop annoying him with it's sounds. I can't blame Rob, pigeons are the worst birds ever. They are always in the way on the sidewalks. Mmmove! And besides Canada Geese (grosser?), they are the only birds I've noticed in the city until I watched HBO's documentary Birders: The Central Park Effect . . .

I learned millions of birds stop through our park during their spring and fall migrations. Now until June is the best time to check out spring migrates. According to the film, today is specifically when birder Chris Cooper starts his annual obsession with birding in Central Park. It was amazing to see how he and the others spotted birds that have gone completely unnoticed from me for years. Just knowing these birds exist changed my morning as I took my kids to school today. The leaves haven't come back yet, so we could get a good look at all the birds flying in the treetops. I had no idea what the hell I was looking at, but it was fun to notice the birds anyway.

The movie has me itching to get into the bird watching action in Central Park. It wouldn't take much. All I would have to do is rent free binoculars from Belvedere Castle, print these 2 Central Park birding brochures to take with us, and stop hating on pigeons. As veteran birder Lloyd Spitalnik notes, "If you get tired of looking at the common birds, you might as well just pack it in." Well in that case, just as long as they aren't driving any buses, I could learn to be ok with them.
f it. no birds here. i'm collecting sticks and rocks and bottle caps. 


  1. My college roommate and her husband got into bird watching a few years ago! Here is a blog of their sightings :)


    1. thanks so much for the tip. love their website!!

  2. Really interesting! Is it crazy that the leaves aren't there yet??

  3. My husband laughs at me but I am totally into birds, and get so excited to watch them migrate and even try to take pictures but they tend to get spooked before I get a shot!

  4. i loved the mo willems reference.

  5. enjoying all your photos lately, sharon. the boys look so much older all of a sudden!


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