New York City is a concrete jungle, a thriving birding paradise with diverse bird species, and a bustling bird hospital.
According to Catherine Quayle, spokesperson for the Wild Bird Fund, an animal clinic on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that attends to almost 10,000 birds annually, encompassing over 100 species, New York City is an extraordinary haven for birdwatching.
“New York City is this incredible birding paradise.”
Quayle, originally from southern Virginia, revealed that her relocation to New York City sparked her newfound passion for birds.
“[I] discovered my love of birds when I moved to New York City.”
Its unique combination of geography, topography, and migratory patterns make it one of the world’s best birdwatching destinations.
During his travels, the famous birdwatcher John James Audubon resided in New York City and ultimately passed away in Manhattan, where he was laid to rest in Harlem.
His acclaimed illustrations from “Birds of America” are currently showcased in the Polonsky Treasures Exhibition at the main branch of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue.
“Incongruous as it may seem … birding enthusiasts come to New York City from all over the world to watch birds,” states the New York City Audubon Society.
The city’s waterfront and location along the Atlantic Flyway attract a high concentration of waterbirds and migratory species.
With over 450 bird species, including nesting peregrine falcons and various owls, parks like Central Park, Pelham Bay Park, and Forest Park offer excellent birdwatching hotspots.
New York City is home to abundant bird species, including one of the country’s largest populations of nesting pairs of peregrine falcons.
Although peregrine falcons were once nationally endangered, they are thriving in New York City, even though they remain on the state’s endangered birds list, according to Quayle.
“But [they] are doing very well in New York City.”
Flaco, an Eurasian eagle owl, won the affection of New Yorkers when he escaped from Central Park Zoo and made the park his home, as the New York Post reported.
The recovery efforts by zoo officials were eventually halted when Flaco demonstrated remarkable hunting skills and self-sufficiency.
However, the city’s tall buildings pose a threat to birds, resulting in numerous window strikes. The Wild Bird Fund clinic cares for injured birds, treating around 1,200 window strike victims annually.
Despite the urban environment, New York City remains a haven for bird enthusiasts worldwide, offering a unique blend of urban and natural birding opportunities.
“If you are lucky, you might spot a bald eagle!” says the New York City Parks Department (Staten Island’s Greenbelt).