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Welcome

Posted in General

Welcome to the Birds of Central Park Web site

Follow the Twitter feeds on the right for the latest sightings in Central Park. You can also check the more extensive feeds in the forums for area birding and ecology news. If you have questions or comments post them there.

View the map for information on birding "hotspots" and follow the bird reports in the forum for the latest sightings in the park.

We have also launched new Forums and Photo Gallery that focus on Central Park birds and birding. If you were formerly a member you must reregister on the new site.

Questions or comments? Send us an e-mail via the contact button in the main menu.

Consider supporting the Wild Bird Fund and practice your bird IDs with the image on the right (press the "Refresh" button on your browser to load a different image).

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New York State's Swan Killing Plan

Posted in News

Small CRW 2157LThe DEC recently released its proposed ten-year management plan for the Mute Swan in New York state. This outline for management seeks complete and total decimation of the species by the year 2025.

One of the reasons the agency gives for this policy proposal is the Mute Swans “exhibiting aggressive behavior towards people.” Swan attacks resulting in serious injury to humans are so rare and near physically impossible that the government insults the public's intelligence by presenting this as a major justification for extermination. If you approach a swan nest they might get aggressive and hiss and flap their wings to protect their young, or approach if you have food, but this is a greatly exaggerated threat. the DEC is using to try and spin public opinion against swans, and wildlife in general.

The agency gives further justification for eradication by stating that the “mute swan is a non-native, invasive species brought to North America from Eurasia for ornamental purposes in the late 1800s.”  According to the NYSDEC, the state’s population of Mute Swans peaked at more than 2,800 birds in 2002 and is currently estimated at about 2,200 swans statewide, at a relatively stable population. By way of comparison, the DEC states that in Long Island alone there are tens of thousands of wintering waterfowl. Of course, millions of human beings live in New York and our impact on the environment dwarfs the harm that wildlife may cause.

What does it say about our "environmental conservation" priorities when we know that the highest threats to water quality comes from human activities such as agriculture, extraction, and industrial practices, but the DEC chooses to target wildlife?

Read the rest of the article and sign the petition.

For more information, please visit http://bit.do/swans

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The Ethical Flap Over Birdsong Apps

Posted in News

birding apps

I have been fooled many times by birders/photographers playing birdsongs on their smartphones in Central Park. I imagine, for those who bird by ear, this can be frustrating. National Geographic's Mel White explores both sides of the subject in this article on the National Geographic Web site.  You can express your opinion on the subject in our forums.

Mel White

for National Geographic

Published June 14, 2013

Last April I was leading a group of beginning birders along a trail beside the Arkansas River, helping them learn to spot and identify some of the dozens of species present on this beautiful spring morning. At one point I heard a distinctive song coming from a thicket: the wichity-wichity-wichity of a male common yellowthroat.

Now, common yellowthroats are indeed common where I live, not to say abundant—but that doesn't mean they're easy to see. These little wood-warblers prefer to stay hidden in dense vegetation, and if they perch within view it's usually for only a couple of seconds before disappearing again.

I pulled out my mobile phone, told the group to gather around, and played a recording of the common yellowthroat song from a bird-watching application I'd downloaded. The male almost immediately hopped up to the limb of a shrub and posed for us, to the accompaniment of oohs and aahs from viewers admiring its bright-yellow breast and black "bandit" mask. Most of the people in the group had never seen a common yellowthroat before, and in fact didn't even know the species existed.

Read the rest of the article.

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NYNYBIRD Texting

Posted in News

NYNYBIRD is a text alert system for disseminating unusual bird sightings in New York County (Manhattan).

Birds reportable to NYNYBIRD should simply include any wild bird species that are unusual in Manhattan. The purpose of NYNYBIRD is to alert birders so that anyone interested in seeing an unusual bird can get the information as soon as possible. As it is unlikely that most observers have a list of New York County bird records memorized, good judgment is requested.

For more information or to sign-up for the service go to: http://nynybird.wordpress.com/

NYNYBirds runs on TextMark and is paid for by the creator of the service. To donate go to the site and click on the donation button.

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A Place for Healing Broken Wings

Posted in News

Animals and Wildlife

New York Times

A patient at the Wild Bird Fund Center, this wild turkey from Staten Island has a splint on his broken leg. He will spend Thanksgiving eating, not being eaten.
 
A patient at the Wild Bird Fund Center, this wild turkey from Staten Island has a splint on his broken leg. He will spend Thanksgiving eating, not being eaten.

“He didn’t mean to hurt it; he just didn’t see it sitting there,” a little girl said. It was late September on a ball field in Riverdale in the Bronx at my daughter’s lacrosse practice. I winced, picturing the bug or frog that the girl’s brother had squished.

Instead, the girl’s father walked up carrying something in his outstretched brown baseball cap: a stunned ruby-throated hummingbird, a long-beaked iridescent thing of unbearable beauty.

We ended up wrapping the creature in a towel and driving it to the Wild Bird Fund Center on the Upper West Side, the city’s only licensed wildlife rehabilitation center.

Read the rest of the article on the New York Times Web site.

Photo by Fred Cohen.