350 Central Park West
2020 Manhattan Red-tailed Hawk Nest Update 9

A Yellow-breasted Chat Isn't Worth Dying Over

The "regular birders" have been very good about social distancing in the Ramble.  Many of us live around the park, and we use the park to get our daily exercise while also bird watching. We keep our distance from one another and find areas of the park that are sparsely used to explore.

However, today a Yellow-breasted Chat created a large crowd with many photographers and birders, jockeying for position to get a look and possibly a shot of the bird.  Social Distancing went out the window for an attractive but not all that rare a bird.  A park employee reminded everyone to practice social distancing, but the crowd quickly regathered.

I didn't know most of the people in the crowd.  Early May attracts birders who don't normally bird Central Park.  They come with the migrants.

Even with masks and staying six feet apart, a crowd of twenty to thirty people is a perfect place, even outdoors for the COVID-19 virus to disperse.  But many of the observers were right on top of each other.  It was like a paparazzi scrum, fighting to get a shot of a member of the royal family.  Folks, it was just a Chat!

As birders, we should believe in science and follow social distancing guidelines.  No bird is worth risking your health or your families.   Please don't do this.