NYC Has More Birds Than You Think

Robert Paxton reminds us: ‘New York is a particularly “birdy” city (to use the birder’s term). Someone who makes a serious effort to find birds in the city almost every day—there are such people—can find upward of three hundred species in one year without ever leaving the city limits, using only public transportation. The cumulative bird list of Central Park alone includes over 280 species, some of which, to be sure, appear only occasionally. Like Boston or San Francisco, New York has rich bird life because it has extensive parkland, because it is close to the sea (which adds marsh and beach to the mix of habitats), and because the city now protects certain places where birds congregate, like tern colonies and heronries, even at some inconvenience to humans.’

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