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Central Park

New York

   The Lake & Manhattan Skyline

21 October 2002

Observers: F. Simpson




On returning from working in the field in Peru in late October 2002 I had a stopover of several hours at Newark Airport in New Jersey. Not content with seeing loads of good birds in the Neotropics I could not miss the opportunity for a few hours birding in one of the most famous parks in the world. Transport to Manhattan is quick and easy - I took the train for $11 return to NY Penn Station on 31st Street. From here it was a short walk to the south end of Central Park on 59th Street and, in the next four hours, birded about a third of the whole area getting as far as the hawk watch point at Belveder Castle. Here, there was a small gathering of helpful and friendly regulars and they put me on to a few good birds. One thing that struck me, in comparison to say Hyde Park in London, was both the abundance of birds and how much more approachable they were. The list below indicates the species found either from the train (mainly around the Hudson River) or in the park itself. Most notable were the huge numbers of Wood Thrush, the presence of five woodpecker species and, of course, the Red-tailed Hawks.



List of Species recorded in and around New York City:






     Great Egret  

     Ardea alba



     Great Blue Heron  

     Ardea herodias



     Double-crested Cormorant

     Phalacrocorax auritus



     Mute Swan  

     Cygnus olor



     Canada Goose  

     Branta canadensis




     Anas platyrhynchos



     Green-winged Teal  

     Anas crecca carolinensis



     Turkey Vulture  

     Cathartes aura



     Cooper's Hawk  

     Accipiter cooperii



     Sharp-shinned Hawk  

     Accipiter striatus



     Red-tailed Hawk  

     Buteo jamaicensis



     American Kestrel  

     Falco sparverius



     American Herring Gull

     Larus argentatus smithsonianus



     Ring-billed Gull  

     Larus delawarensis



     Feral Rock Dove  

     Columba livia domest.



     Mourning Dove  

     Zenaida macroura



     Northern Flicker 'Yellow-shafted'

     Colaptes auratus



     Red-bellied Woodpecker  

     Melanerpes carolinus



     Red-headed Woodpecker

     Melanerpes erythrocephalus



     Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

     Sphyrapicus varius



     Downy Woodpecker  

     Picoides pubescens



     Blue Jay  

     Cyanocitta cristata



     American Crow  

     Corvus brachyrhynchos



     Black-capped Chickadee  

     Parus atricapillus



     Tufted Titmouse  

     Parus bicolor



     Brown Creeper  

     Certhia americana



     House Wren  

     Troglodytes aedon



     Winter Wren  

     Troglodytes hiemalis



     Gray Catbird  

     Dumetella carolinensis



     Brown Thrasher  

     Toxostoma rufum



     American Robin  

     Turdus migratorius



     Wood Thrush  

     Hylocichla mustelina



     Hermit Thrush  

     Catharus guttatus



     Swainson's Thrush  

     Catharus ustulatus



     Golden-crowned Kinglet  

     Regulus satrapa



     Ruby-crowned Kinglet  

     Regulus calendula




     Sturnus vulgarus



     Myrtle Warbler  

     Dendroica coronata



     American Redstart  

     Setophaga ruticilla



     House Sparrow  

     Passer domesticus



     Red-winged Blackbird  

     Agelaius phoeniceus



     Purple Finch  

     Carpodacus purpureus



     House Finch  

     Carpodacus mexicanus



     Dark-eyed Junco  

     Junco hyemalis



     Chipping Sparrow  

     Spizella passerina



     White-throated Sparrow  

     Zonotrichia albicollis



     Fox Sparrow  

     Passerell ailiaca



     Song Sparrow  

     Melospiza melodia



     CP = Central Park, T = from the train


    Belveder Castle  Literary Walk, The Mall



All photographs 2002  F. S. Simpson

Fraser's Birding Website

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