Friday, June 27, 2008

Seen last Wednesday in Central Park

Bee and Day Lily, 72nd and Central Park West, behind Early Birders’ gathering bench-

Fiery Skipper in garden on path north of “Poland” statue
Two photos by Eleanor Tauber

Photo by Beth Bergman

Barn swallow --
Photo by David Speiser -

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Old Nester

The Carolina Wren is nesting in the park again, writes photographer David Speiser. This bird has nested in the park before, but hasn't been around during breeding season for quite a few years. Now it's nesting again.
Carolina Wren -- photo by David Speiser

PS You can find many other great photos on David's website:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Central Park in the Dark

[Many is the time I've borrowed hawk and owl photos from Bruce Yolton's excellent blog -- httpt:// . Now, to avoid having to blow my own trumpet too conspicuously, I'm copying his entire post of today.

Thanks, Bruce!

Marie Winn's Central Park In The Dark On Sale Today! - June 24, 2008

Marie Winn's Central Park in the Dark is on sale today. Congratulations to Marie, whose new book is getting excellent reviews. If you enjoyed Red-tails in Love, you're sure to enjoy this new book.


I'm also excited that book is on sale for personal reasons. The jacket photographs are mine and I'm included as a character in a number of chapters.

The book is a fun, easy read and is available online at a number of online resellers including:
Barnes & Noble
or your local bookstore

Don't just take my work for it. Here is some early praise for the book:

"New York City never sleeps, as Marie Winn proves in this delightful blend of natural history and human obsession. With her usual grace and humor, Winn weaves stories of tiny owls, exotic moths - even slug sex - into a captivating tapestry depicting the nocturnal wonders of America's most famous park." —Scott Weidensaul, author of "Of a Feather" and "Living on the Wind"

"How great is New York? Right in the middle of all that finance and culture and diplomacy, there’s a great reservoir of wildness—and people crazy-wonderful enough to explore it day and night. Marie Winn’s account will make you want to grab your headlamp and head for the park, wherever you live." —Bill McKibben, author of The Bill McKibben Reader: Pieces from an Active Life

"Marie Winn’s new book is another gem. You pick it up and immediately have fun, learning a lot as you read about what goes on at night in the city." —Bernd Heinrich, author of Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival

"Marie Winn lights up Central Park at night with wit, intelligence and a warm humanity that makes this book a love song to the natural world, an elegy for a lost friend, and an invitation to the unknown reader to follow her into the inviting dark." —Jonathan Rosen, author of The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature

Monday, June 23, 2008

Turkey in the park

Friday's visitor, seen again on Saturday: a wild turkey.
On Sunday [yesterday] Jack Meyer wrote:

The turkey was seen again this morning, by a non-birder who told me about it. He saw it in the Ramble, between Bow Bridge & Azalea Pond. I was unable to find it, shortly after he told me about it (~8:30 AM).

photo by Trudy Wodinsky- 6/20/08

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More on Central Park's newest confirmed nester and book news

Chipping Sparrow, photographed in April, 2007 by LLOYD SPITALNIK

Tom Fiore [many of you know him from Red-tails in Love] writes about Alice Deutsch's discovery of a juvenile chipping sparrow in the park last week. This confirmed that the species nests in Central Park, The bird was subsequently photographed by Ardith Bondi. [See my posting yesterday.]

Tom writes:

A very nice discovery by Alice, and photos by Ardith of the Chipping Sparrows with juvenile. This may be the first breeding survey (& photo-documented) record for the park. The species has almost certainly bred there successfully before in the past 2 decades, and there may be older records too, but not as well-documented (as far as I'm aware).

I've seen a juvenile-plumaged Chipping in the park before, in July but in that summer I was a little skeptical (of my own "discovery":) as I assumed it was possible it had fledged in another place & flown with or without parents to Central (even if unlikely) but finding a family this early in the season, as Alice did, is that much more positive.

Chipping Sparrows nest in other NYC parks but I don't know that they are particularly common, even if not rare & certainly it would be considered a "rare nester" for Central Park.

Interesting how a number of very common migrant species can be so rare (or, for most migrants, non-existent) as a breeding species in that park, such a difficult place to raise a family if you're a native bird (other than a robin, catbird, etc.!) I'm glad Ardith didn't post any exact area or directions for the Chipping nest, a good policy for any of the less-common or possibly vulnerable nesters.

Tom Fiore

Book news:

From the New York Times website, these links should take you to today's [fairly positive] review of Central Park in the Dark, as well as to the book's first introductory chapter


First Chapter: