Bird Week

This is Bird Week at the New York Times’ City Room. If you’ve found my blog by way of their recommendation, welcome! Please consider subscribing for the freshly baked, ad-free, posts of tomorrow and the days ahead.

In the meantime, get out there and watch the birds. You can start on the streets, where house sparrows, starlings, and rock doves (an ornithologically correct way of saying “pigeon”) present fairly easy case-studies of bird life. Less commonly seen around our streets and neighborhoods are Northern cardinals, Mourning doves, Blue jays, Northern mockingbirds, and overhead, Tree swallows, Ring-billed gulls, Herring gulls, American crows, and several species of herons and raptors, including Red-tailed hawks and the small swift falcons called Kestrels. Sure, raptors present an identification challenge, although the big, bold Red-tailed generally stand out. Like any pursuit, you get better at it the more you do it. By the way, you haven’t even entered a park yet, where spring migration means a fall-out of dozens of species…

In this blog, I cover a wide-range of natural history topics, but things I’ve posted about birds and birding are here. I do most of my bird-watching via public transportation in New York City. Like many birders, I list the birds I see: these are the birds I’ve seen so far this year; again, most of these are within the bounds of New York City, many in Brooklyn itself.

A phrase I hear and see occasionally from fellow bird-watchers is “Good birding!” There’s more than one way to define that, obviously, but all the definitions are good.

1 Response to “Bird Week”


  1. 1 Nora charters June 29, 2011 at 6:14 am

    This is so great!! So helpful since I’m not to familiar with anything beyond the main birds, altho two mourning doves nested in our backyard this spring and were so incredible.
    And the sparrows I love that live on my street, I just found out that every sparrow in America comes from a batch of 200 that were brought from europe and released in Brooklyn in 1851. I think I’ll call my blog about them “blue bloods on remsen st” since they would be connected perhaps so closely to the original 200.
    Nice!!


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