Saturday, July 29, 2006

Businessman Discovers Central Park

The New York Times today has an article on the business of birding and the varied avifauna of Central Park.

According to Mr. Mott, Central Park ranks as a premier bird-watching site since it stands as a verdant oasis of food and water in a desert of concrete and asphalt. Although birds can be observed year-round, the best and most prolific bird-watching is during the spring and fall migratory seasons. Of the estimated 700 different species of birds that regularly can be found in the United States, over 275 species have been observed in the park, and 32 species breed there annually.

As Mr. Mott proceeded to lead me across the Ramble, the man-made wilderness conceived by the park architect Frederick Law Olmstead, he introduced me to an avian universe I had never seen before, even though it had literally passed right in front of my eyes thousands of times. Along with pigeons, Central Park’s plumage includes cardinals, catbirds, wrens, robins, sparrows, starlings, grackles, mourning doves, woodpeckers, red-wing blackbirds, ducks, geese, swans, warblers, osprey, peregrine falcons and bald eagles.
Central Park is a highly-celebrated location for urban birding because of its location in Manhattan, but it is hardly the only one worth the attention. Even in New York City, the outer boroughs have parks that are just as good for birding, if not better.