Great Cormorant, North End

Great Cormorant

Great Cormorant (Photo credit: 0ystercatcher)

Alex Hale’s walk in the Central Park North End today added one new species for both the season and the year (#154), a Great Cormorant seen flying over. This bird is rare in Central Park though it is common all along the central and northern Atlantic coast of North America. It prefers a coastal habitat, where it breeds. The New York harbor area reliably hosts Great Cormorants during winter, and they can also be seen occasionally on the East River.

There was a male Wood Duck on the Meer.

Winter Wren, Ramble

Eastern Winter Wren Troglodytes hiemalis, Cent...

Winter Wren

Lenore Swenson’s walk in the Central Park Ramble had 46 species including 8 warblers. Temperatures were in the mid-60s with cloudy skies and the threat of rain that did not arrive during the walk.

We added two new birds for the season, Winter Wren and Wood Duck.

A Winter Wren briefly appeared south of Azalea before hiding in a log. We also had Carolina Wren (as we usually do), including a good visual north of and across the path from the Humming Tombstone area. Since we had Marsh Wren in Tupelo on Monday, all four of the wrens that occur in Central Park (House Wren being the other) have been noted in last few days.

The drake Wood Duck was found in reeds just off the southern shore of Turtle Pond, well-hidden.

The male Hooded Warbler that we saw on Monday seems to like the area just SW of the ringed Tupelo tree that has a large log, as we saw it in the same spot today.

We saw an American Kestrel hunting the Turtle Pond area. Lenore briefly spotted a Belted Kingfisher there by the island.

Thoughts from Starr on the Week

This past week was fairly ordinary in Central Park, and by ordinary I mean wonderful! Several new arrivals (in small numbers) delighted those who experienced them. For me the highlight was an American Bittern found by Tom Perlman in the North Woods on Tuesday. It remained there all day. On Wednesday Karen spotted a female Wood Duck as she flew into a large tree (the duck, not Karen!). Some participants of my walk learned that Wood Ducks roost in trees and nest in tree cavities.

By creating this website, webmaster extraordinaire David Barrett has single-handedly brought me into the 21st century, something my own children have been unable to achieve. David does 90% of the work on this website and I am deeply grateful. Thank you, David!

Every day brings new surprises in Central Park. Hope to see you there!

Good birding,


18 April 2012: Red-eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Starr had a first-of-season Red-eyed Vireo in an oak tree at the northern end of Maintenance Meadow, directly across from the restrooms.

One of our regular group members, Karen, spotted a female Wood Duck perched high in a tree in the  Ramble south of Azalea Pond. Though most people see this duck while it is swimming (a pair of them was seen throughout the winter and early spring on the 59th Street Pond), the Wood Duck, as its name implies, prefers to nest in tree cavities or nest boxes in wooded areas near water. It also has an unusual feature for a duck: sharp claws that help it perch in trees.

We had 41 species today. The only warbler seen in large numbers was the Yellow-rumped Warbler, though there were also scattered Palm Warblers.