Spring Migration in New York City 2018
New York City, with its 578 miles of shoreline, more than 1,700 parks, and hundreds of visiting bird species, is a great place to watch the annual spring migration of birds crossing eastern North America. And you can get to these fantastic parks on public transportation – for a fare of just $5.50 round trip. Sometimes getting to a park is an adventure of its own. On some adventures, I have traveled by subway, ferry, light rail, and bus to arrive at my destination!
Central Park Birding
This year I spent most of our great spring migration in Central Park, the great New York City jewel designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1858 on 778 acres in the heart of Manhattan. (In 1873 the park was expanded to it's current size of 843 acres.) It is not unusual during migration to spot 75 to 100 species of birds in a single day. During this spring migration, I saw 107 bird species, including 27 warblers. (I should also mention that the park is home to numerous raccoons, grey squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, and even an occasional opossum.)
Unique Birds This Year
There were so many bird species this spring, and I was able to photograph some unusual ones in Central Park, including the Cerulean Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, Kirtland's Warbler, and Seaside Sparrow. The Kirtland's Warbler was our rarest bird, having never visited Central Park before (these endangered warblers nest in the jack pine forests of northern Michigan and winter in the Bahamas).
The Advantages of Birding in NYC
The big advantage of birding and taking part in the migrations in New York City, and especially in Central Park, is the birding community. It is like having thousands of extra eyes and feet on the ground to share the info on what birds can be seen and where. There is nothing quite like sharing the joys and heartaches of the birding adventure with such a passionate group of people!
The NYC Birding Community
There are several ways to keep in touch with birding and birding photography groups in New York City. From the Cornell Ornithology Lab eBird alerts to the Twitter feeds of the latest sightings to clubs and birding tours, there are so many ways to begin your migration adventure in the Big Apple. Not only do I depend on these methods, but more important, I also have been lucky to develop a close circle of friends who share in the excitement of documenting the wildlife in New York City. As a group, we text all the latest news to each other (and even resort to a phone call if the news is exciting enough!).
Sharing the Love of Photography
Over time, my passions have evolved so that I now can combine my love of wildlife, photography, and New York. I hope this passion to photograph these beautiful animals and New York will help future generations enjoy the city I have come to love and the wildlife we share it with.
My Instagram feed:
My Facebook Wildlife Page:
New York City Parks:
The latest rare Bird Alerts:
Responsible wildlife tourism :
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