Manhattan is thought of as a concrete jungle, not a natural sanctuary. And yet, New York City is one of the best places in the country for birdwatching. This is because of Central Park, an expanse of green amid the grey that is as appealing to the weary feathered migrants in the sky as it is to the beleaguered office workers on the ground. To date, 280 species of birds have been spotted in Central Park, about a third of the bird species found in the entire United States.
The birds have brought the MOB to Central Park. Before you start envisioning Al Capone in binoculars making guttural bird calls, know that the MOB in the Park stands for the Many Old Birders. The MOB has reported sightings of bald eagles, hawks, and 25+ species of Warblers. The MOB does not have full control of park birding. On a Sunday in May, as many as 500 birders can be seen decked out in beige, crouching around the best birding locations in the park: the Ramble, Belvedere Castle and Strawberry Fields.
If you are the type of New Yorker who prefers soaring buildings to green expanses, you can birdwatch to your heart’s delight on the deck of the Empire State Building. This deck offers a rare opportunity to see and hear migrating birds at night.
Happy National Bird Day Everyone!
(Pictured left: The Falconer statue in Central Park)