A Travellerspoint blog

The Central Park Effect

Central Park, NYC

semi-overcast 72 °F

Today, I realized why this park is so incredibly famous for birding. I may dare say that this morning I experienced one of my first-ever fallouts, where birds were literally dripping off the trees. I birded the Ramble, the most famous and typically most productive area for birding in the park, and I was not disappointed. Warblers, vireos, thrushes, finches, tanagers, even a cuckoo — sixty-seven spieces in total — graced my presence this morning, literally dripping off the trees. It was spellbinding, jaw-dropping, ALL the superlatives: birding Central Park in early May should be on any birder’s bucket-list!

One of my first birds upon entering the Ramble was this WOOD THRUSH, always a nice species to see:

HERMIT THRUSH like this one were everywhere — there were at least twenty-five of them in the Ramble:

Then, I heard about a Yellow-billed Cuckoo that had been seen near the weather station in the Ramble. I raced up there and the cuckoo, of course, was gone — I did; however, come upon a group of friendly birders who showed me this YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER. An uncommon species, this would be one of twenty-one warbler species that I would identify today!

Immediately after, as if on cue, a brilliant male SCARLET TANAGER flew in to show off his namesake colors:

Later in the morning I also spotted the relatively-drab female:

Another “eye-candy” bird, an INDIGO BUNTING, also put on a show for us birders:

Then, a little while later, I spotted a long-tailed bird fly through the canopy and land a hundred feet away. I raced over to a position that would give the bird better light and was delighted to find the YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO I had missed earlier! I also managed to get a couple from Denmark, who had never seen this species before, on the bird.

Next, I climbed up to the top of a large boulder to get a better view of the treetops in the Ramble, and boy was I glad I did, for a male BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER put on a show for me not just three feet away from my head!!! This was paradise!

A very different warbler species, the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH:

And mouth-watering looks by a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, one of many seen foraging and singing this morning!


This female HOODED WARBLER, my favorite warbler, evaded decent photos but put on quite a dancing show for me!

Only trumped by YELLOW-RUMPED, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS were the second-most common warbler this morning: I counted over twenty-five of these beautiful creatures!

Another beautiful warbler species, this AMERICAN REDSTART, was my first of the year:

Female BALTIMORE ORIOLE, one of quite a few around this morning:

One highlight of the morning was tracking down this GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, which is a rarity for the park, by ear. It stayed in the treetops and would not keep still, as evidenced by these photos:

Quick look at an OVENBIRD before it disappeared:

One of many BLUE-HEADED VIREOS again present this morning:

My FOY sighting of SWAINSON’S THRUSH was nice to see:


And then, in quick succession, multiple more nice warbler species. Here is a male BLUE-WINGED, my friend Isoo’s favorite bird!!

And a WORM-EATING WARBLER, continuing the unprecedented number of these guys I have been seeing:


And yet another bird I had been hoping to see, a PRAIRIE WARBLER!

A MAGNOLIA WARBLER fluttered in for some nice, close looks:

And a BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, a little early for this beautiful species, was a great surprise!

Its close cousin the CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER was another FOY for me:

And finally, a NORTHERN PARULA to end the morning. There were dozens of these, singing everywhere! Unbelievable.

It is hard to choose a bird-of-the-day but for the sake of its sheer rarity in Manhattan, I must choose Golden-winged Warbler. Runners-up to the uber-cooperative Yellow-billed Cuckoo & Black-throated Blue Warbler for their great photogenic quality today. I will end the day with a list of all of the warblers positively identified this morning — they are the crown jewels of spring migration, and seeing over twenty in any day is AWESOME!

1. Ovenbird
2. Worm-eating
3. N Waterthrush
4. Golden-winged
5. Blue-winged
6. Black-and-White
7. Nashville
8. Yellowthroat
9. Hooded
10. Redstart
11. Parula
12. Magnolia
13. Bay-breasted
14. Blackburnian
15. Yellow
16. Chestnut-sided
17. Black-throated Blue
18. Palm
19. Yellow-rumped
20. Prairie
21. Black-throated Green
22. Yellow-throated


Good birding,
World Life List: 970 Species

Posted by skwclar 19:26 Archived in USA

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Sounds like a crazy day especially for warblers! Montrose was also crazy today producing 70 species after school for me, highlights being Hooded Warbler, Yellow Biller Cuckoo and a pair of Piping Plovers. However we still haven’t gotten anywhere near that many warblers!

by Isoo

Holy Guacamole Henry! Not just massive warbler numbers but thrushes too!!! HEAVEN!????

by Poo

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