Migration may happen twice a year – but that doesn’t make it any less spectacular!  This post is about a 3-hour tour of Central Park on Friday, October 13th, starting at 8am, with Dr. Robert DeCandido – otherwise known as “Birding Bob” or the “Birdman of Central Park” – who for over the last 20 years has been hosting birding walks in the park.  Our date (and time – an hour earlier than the Spring walk!) has been chosen with  the idea of hitting the peak of the FALL migration season.  When you sign up, you will be asked if you need binoculars – which you’re really going to want to have with you  – and which you may be able to rent for the day.  Members, please go to the SIGN-UP! tab on the menu ribbon to secure your spot  ($35 each) and to get meet-up instructions.  Can’t think of a better, more beautiful or more interesting way to spend several hours during the peak of Fall in Central Park.  We will come up with a raindate if needed.  This is a walking tour and you can leave at any point during it.

CELEBRATING FALL:  Birding Bob is in Central Park virtually every day of every season – and there are birds to be seen every day!  But the big migrations of birds during the Spring and Fall offer more birds overall, more varieties and, often, quite rare birds to see.  And we’ve chosen a day which should be at the peak of the Fall migration season. If you want to get a feel for what a bird walk with Birding Bob is like CLICK HERE for a video of one of his winter walks in Central Park.

One of the most interesting, active, artifacts in the middle of our City is the Birding Book kept at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park where generations of birders have recorded their sitings of various species of birds in Central Park.  While  this has been supplanted by more techno-, immediate, ways of conveying information – it’s a historic artifact and reminder that Central Park has always been one of the best birding spots in the United States.  There is a huge flyway right over it!  Birders from all over the world make pilgrimages here because Central Park is a favorite stopping spot for birds migrating along the East Coast.  According to Birding Bob, “On a good day, it’s possible to see about 125 different kinds of birds in the park.”

One of the most popular birding spots in the Park is THE RAMBLE, a 36-acre heavily wooded spot right in the middle of the Park where, over the years, over 230 species have been spotted – including 40 which live there all year. “The diversity of birds there rivals, and in some cases is better than, some forests,” according to Tom Guida of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.

Virtually no one thinks of Manhattan as much of a nature center – but at this particular time of year, in this very specific spot – it certainly is.  Please join us for a great day, and if you want to prepare yourself CLICK HERE for the NYC Audubon Society’s Central Park Bird Checklist … and take a look below at Birding Bob’s Central Park Birding tips:

  • Stay warm – or cool. Between morning and mid-morning temperatures change quite a bit.  So dress in layers and add or subtract them as you go along.  If the forecast is chilly – think about a scarf, hat and gloves and extra socks!
  • Don’t get frustrated if you can’t identify the birds right away. Don’t worry about putting names on the birds, just enjoy the experience of the energy, flashing colors and Fall in Central Park.”
  • Practice makes perfect. As with everything in life, the more you do it the better you get at it.  Over time if you choose to do this with some regularity, you’ll start to see differences between the species, male and female birds and young and old.
  • Location is the most important element of a good birdwatching experience. Birding Bob recommends heading to The Ramble (which is where we will spend all or part of the day) which is Central Park’s largest wooded area. Its meadows and lake draw tons of migrating birds.

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