The annual Central Park Christmas Bird Count was on Sunday. It's a great event that brings together the Urban Park Rangers, the Parks Department, Audubon NYC and lots of amateur birders to take a census of the birds wintering in the park.
After a series of bad weather counts with snow, rain or bitterly cold temperatures, this count had enjoyable, if chilly weather.
The day before, I looked for the two unusual birds that have been around, the Varied Thrush and a young Red-Headed Woodpecker (which at this age, has yet to get a red head.) Along the way I had nice looks at a Cooper's hawk.
On Sunday, I joined the Northeast team. Highlights for me were a Carolina Wren and young Red-tailed Hawk at Mount Sinai Hospital. After our counting was done, our team saw a Merlin in the Northwest team's area, I saw a young Red-tail being harrased by Pale Male at 63rd and Fifth, and at dusk I watched the park's surviving Eastern Screech-Owl's fly out.
The count had 62 species of birds, including birds from the count week. There are lots of birds in Central Park, even in the winter! The count had 11 Red-tailed Hawks, 9 Cooper's Hawks, 2 Merlins, 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk, 1 Peregrine Falcon, and 1 Eastern Screech-Owl.