Bird is the Word

Even the birds know that winter in NYC is finally over and are joining the Spring fling that’s in full swing.  Bird migration season is here and Central Park is teeming with these incredible little animals!

This past Sunday alone (5/3) we saw 4 new birds we’ve never seen before just with a few hours of “casual” birding: Yellow Rumped Warbler, Blue Headed Vireo, Nashville Warbler, and the Prairie Warbler. Not to mention other visitors & favorite regulars: Black and White Warbler, American Goldfinch, Downy Woodpecker, House Finch, White-Throated Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, Titmouse, Brown Creeper, Pine Warbler, Red Winged Blackbird, Cowbird etc. etc etc.

nashville_warbler_F5R4796

Nashville Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Prairie Warbler

Yellow Rumped Warbler

Yellow Rumped Warbler

Blue Headed Vireo

Blue Headed Vireo

Black and White Warbler

Black and White Warbler

I never used to care about birds, a sparrow’s a sparrow and a pigeon’s just a flying rat, right? Well partially right, pigeons ARE indeed flying rats but a sparrow is definitely not just a sparrow.  In North America alone, there are at least 35 species of sparrows and now that I’ve been birding for a few years, being able to identify different kinds of sparrows have become somewhat of a holy grail.

Nerdy, I know, but bird watching truly brought about a whole new perspective on life for me.  It’s a great activity that will bring you outdoors, make you look up, and realize that NYC is not just about people and the latest restaurants.  It allows for the appreciation of the details in life that distinguish the “little dots” in the sky with incredible beauty.

Some tips for first time birders:

  • Get out there! Start with the birds that are easy to find in your area. In NYC those would be: Cardinals, Robins, Blue JaysEuropean Starlings, Grackles
  • Once you get the hang of identifying the more abundant birds and get familiar with their favorite hangouts, start listening to their songs!
  • When you’re ready to take your birding to the next level (bird nerds unite) get a pair of binoculars and check out this great video from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • Download the free Merlin Bird ID app to help identify birds and ask what birds birders around you are seeing. We’re nice peeps!

2 thoughts on “Bird is the Word

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s