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Visiting NYC in February

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Old Friday 9th January 2015, 10:59   #1
Mono
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Visiting NYC in February

I'll be visiting New York City (from the UK) in mid Feb this year. It will primarily be a site seeing and visiting friends trip but it would be nice to fit in some birds. We are staying in Manhattan , just north of the park, I've heard Central Park is good for birds but is that the case in February?

Any other suggestions for half a day out?

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Old Friday 9th January 2015, 12:41   #2
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I think February is still likely to be quite wintery, so mostly residents and winter visitors. However, Central Park is always brilliant and the local birder there are likely to find any unusual birds around. In fact, American birders are really friendly and helpful and only too willing to show a visitor what might be there - there are nearly always birders going around Central Park !.

I would also suggest that you call the Rare Bird Alert, which will have current information on what you might expect to see:

http://www.newyorkbirding.com/hotlines.php

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Old Friday 9th January 2015, 12:54   #3
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You might want to get in touch with our member Pinewood. He knows Central Park
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Old Friday 9th January 2015, 14:06   #4
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There is a feeding station in the the Ramble section of the park - always a good selection of 'usual' birds there and elsewhere in the park, always a good chance of Cedar Waxwing, a sapsucker, et al.

The obvious other destination for a half day or longer is Jamaica Bay - out near JFK, could be a bit bitter in February, but wildfowl selection can be good and other odds and end possible. Think there are feeders there too, attracting a slightly different mix.
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Old Saturday 10th January 2015, 13:17   #5
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Thanks for the information. There does seem to be an organised bird walk on Sunday morning, I will have to try to get that on the itinerary. If the weather is looking good a run out to Jamaica bay may be good later in the week when we are sick of the museums and art galleries.
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Old Tuesday 10th February 2015, 23:42   #6
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Hey - if visiting Central Park in spring/autumn I do bird walks there:


I am the only bird guide in that park who has a PhD; who has a bunch of publications on the birds/plants of New York City (scientific and popular articles) - and have been leading walks in that park since the early 1990s. However, my partner (Deborah Allen) is the better birder - she is completing a book on the identification and history of the birds of Central Park (Columbia University Press 2016). She is on most walks with me (and leads many of the autumn walks while I am away doing bird migration research in Thailand and Nepal).

If you want, send me a message with your email and I will send some publications on our NYC research including the Owls of NYC; the American Kestrels of NYC; Night Migration Research from the top of the Empire State Building...the Flora of Central Park, etc etc. We have had articles written by us or about us in the New York Times; National Wildlife; Birder's World; Birdwatcher's Digest (upcoming article on Baltimore Orioles in winter)

That's enough horn-blowing on my part...do see our web site. By going on walks with us you are supporting local and international research by independent scientists. And you will have fun while learning - an important combo. Thank You!

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Old Wednesday 11th February 2015, 11:51   #7
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Robert

I am thinking of coming on your walk this Sunday! It depends on the jet lag, (we get in late Saturday evening), and the wishes of my non-birding companions!
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Old Saturday 14th February 2015, 10:43   #8
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ok but on Sunday morning at 9am, the temperature is forecast to be about 5F (that is much much colder than 0C!) - with very very strong winds...if these temps (and winds) are as forecast, your non-birding companions will be miserable...so I would advise to skip the bird walk...anyway, do keep an eye on the weather. And also, there is supposed to be 3-5 in (7-12.5 cm) of snow on Saturday...overall Sunday will not be a nice day for a walk in the park.

Last edited by rdcny : Saturday 14th February 2015 at 10:46.
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Old Sunday 15th February 2015, 22:28   #9
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Robert,

We did go through Central Park, we are staying on 115th and walked down to the Frick. It was a purposeful walk rather than a birding stroll but I did see tufted titmouse, black capped chickadees, chipping sparrow, blue jay and an overflight by a woodpecker but didn't mangage a good look. Plus lots of house sparrows, starlings and some feral pigeons. When the wind drops it will afford the opportunity to linger and I'll hopefully see a bit more.

Hope you didn't get too cold on your walk.

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Old Tuesday 17th February 2015, 10:24   #10
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Hello Mono,

You have arrived in New York for bitter winter weather. If you get a chance, visit the bird feeders in the Ramble, not far from the Loeb Boathouse. Yesterday, at -15ēC, I saw
northern cardinals
blue jays
tufted titmice
red bellied woodpecker
downy woodpecker
yellow bellied sapsucker
grackles
American goldfinches
fox sparrows
an American tree sparrow
a chipping sparrow
a Cooper hawk
an immature red-tailed hawk looking for breakfast
nuthatches
and black capped chickadee

If I had waited, I might have seen a common redpoll and house finches.

The Lake is frozen, but if there is any open water on the Reservoir, you should see gulls and maybe hooded mergansers.

Happy bird watching,
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Old Friday 27th February 2015, 11:38   #11
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A very cold and snowy landscape with most fresh water frozen over, we visited Central Park for birding purposes and incidental walkthroughs, plus brushing past some of the smaller parks, a trip on the Staten Island ferry and a run out to a very frozen Jamaica Bay.

The final list:

Common Grackle
American Robin
White Throated Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
White Breasted Nuthatch
Dark-eyed junco
Mallard
Northern Shoveller
American Coot
Canada Goose
American Goldfinch
Pine Siskin
Common Redpoll
Northern Cardinal
Downy Woodpecker
Tufted Titmouse
Black Capped Chickadee
House Finch
Blue Jay
Red Tailed Hawk
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker
Peregrine Falcon
Ring billed Gull
Great Black Backed Gull
American Herring Gull
Mourning Dove
American Black Duck
Brant Goose
Northern Mockingbird
For completeness:
House Sparrow
Common Starling
Feral Pigeon

Plus some distant Buteos at Jamaica Bay that weren't Red tails but couldn't decided otherwise.

A brief list of mammals
Gray Squirrel
Raccoon
White footed Mouse
Brown Rat
Feral Cat

Thanks must to the local birders of Central Park for showing us the complexities of The Ramble in bitter cold.
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