For 24 hours on Monday and Tuesday, the Central Park Conservancy and the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY hosted a BioBlitz studying the flora and fauna of Central Park.
On Monday night I had the privilege of taking a small group of CUNY students around the North Woods looking for nocturnal birds. Our targets were Black Skimmer, any owl, Nighthawks, Nightjars, and Night-Herons.
August is a tough time to see owls in the park, especially since the Eastern Screech-Owls reintroduced in 1999 and 2002 are no longer in the park. The other birds are tough to find at night on a good day, especially up north. So, we only ended up seeing sleeping waterfowl -- Mallards, a few domestic ducks and a Canada Goose. Outside of birds, we also saw a few Eastern Racoons, some Norway Rats and heard a Bull Frog.
After our survey work was done we joined up with the bat team. Both Eastern Red Bats and Silver-haired Bats had been captured in mist nests, so the students got a chance to see the bats up close. While I always see lots of bats hunting at dusk during the summer in Central Park, this was my first opportunity to see them up close.
Kudos to both the Central Park Conservancy and the Macaulay Honors College who did a fantastic job organizing a great learning event for hundreds of NYC college students.