Your home for information on the guided bird walks led each week in
New York City's Central Park by Dr. Robert "Birding Bob" DeCandido
Directions to Turtle Pond Dock
Turtle Pond is located in the Center of Central Park, bordered by the famous outdoor Delacorte Theater and the Belvedere Castle. The dock is on the north side of the pond, next to the theater. The most direct route to this point is to enter the park at 81st Street and Central Park West, near the Museum of Natural History. A few hundred feet down the path you will bear slightly left and come to a stop light and crosswalk. Ahead and across the street you will see the Delacorte Theater. Cross the street, but be extremely careful to look for cars, runners, roller bladers, and especially bikers, who won’t slow down or yield the right of way, despite the law. Follow the path straight up the hill past the theater on your right. After you pass the theater completely, bear slightly right along the pathway and then, where there’s a break in the fence, take your first right path leading out to the Turtle Pond dock, which is obscured by large trees and shrubs.
At the corner of 81st Street and Central Park West is a subway stop for the B and C lines. Since there are frequent subway disruptions due to construction, especially on weekends, you might want to visit the MTA service advisory web page before heading out. There is also #M79 bus service at this intersection.
The Boathouse on the lake in Central Park
Bob speaks to birders before Sunday morning walk steps off from the dock on Central Park's Turtle Pond
Directions to The Boathouse
The Boathouse is located along the East Drive, adjacent approximately to
75th St. East and Fifth Avenue. The easiest way to get there is to enter the park
at 72nd and Fifth Avenue. Just a few feet inside the park there are steps at your right leading down to the Model Boat Pond or Sailboat Pond, known officially as Conservatory Water. This is a small body of water entirely surrounded by concrete. There is a tiny "boathouse" here for storage of model boats, but this is no the Boathouse you are seeking. If you pause to look up at the buildings here, you can see the nest of the world’s most famous redtail hawk, Pale Male. It’s located on the curved cornice over the top center window of the shorter apartment building nestled between two taller buildings.
At the bottom of the path at the pond, turn left on any of the several paths there (or into the interior of the park away from 5th Avenue, whichever direction you enter from) and walk about a hundred yards to the East Drive. You will see the Boathouse (pictured) across the drive on the Central Park lake. The group generally meets inside at the tables in the cafeteria area, or during good weather, out front. Just look for folks with binoculars. There is also a “Nature Book” located here, where Bob DeCandido and other birders log recent Central Park bird and nature sightings.
A subway alternative lies a few blocks away at 79th Street and Broadway, where the #1 train stops. The #M79 bus also stops at this corner.
You can also enter the park at East 79th St. near the Metropolitan Museum and make your way more or less west to Turtle Pond dock. See map.
Directions to Conservatory Garden
Walks in the north end of the park start at Conservatory Garden. We meet inside the huge gate and just down the steps at 105th Street and 5th Avenue. There are bathrooms open year-round at Conservatory Garden. Easiest way to get to Conservatory Garden is (a) by subway: take the #2 or #3 IRT west side train to 110th street and Central Park North. Then cross the street to Central Park and head east (to the left) out to Fifth Avenue, and then south until you reach the main gate to the Conservatory Garden (about a 7-10 minute walk from the train station; easy and safe); (b) from the East Side, you can take the IRT #6 train to Lexington Avenue and 103rd street. Walk west for three blocks and then north by two; (c) Finally, buses run north up Madison Avenue regularly, as well, such as the #1, #2, #3 and #4.
Directions to Strawberry Fields
Strawberry Fields is located just inside the park at the corner of 72nd Streets and Central Park West. At this corner sits the famous Dakota, home of the late former Beatle John Lennon. Our walks start at the Imagine Mosiac, which was installed in Lennon's honor. We will gather at one of the many benches surrounding the mosaic, which is one of New York City's most visited tourist attractions.
Both the B and C trains on the NY City Subway system stop right at this corner, making this the easiest way to get to the start point. Upon exiting the subway just cross the street and enter the park. Immediately after the entrance row of face-to-face benches you will see a walkway entering the trees straight ahead, while there are roads that split off both left and right at the this point. Take the path and you will immediately come to the Imagine Mosiac. The #1, 2, and 3 trains also stop at 72nd Street, but several blocks to the west, requiring about a 10 minute walk to the park.
Directions to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
To get to the meeting place (The Environmental Center that has bathrooms, good drinking water but no food) we advise you to take the "R" train from 59th street and Lexington Avenue headed EAST towards Queens to the WOODHAVEN BOULEVARD STATION. Here switch to the Q53-LTD (LIMITED) bus from HOFFMAN DRIVE & WOODHAVEN BLVD. You want the bus headed towards ROCKAWAY PK - B. 116 ST via WOODHAVEN BLVD. Stay on the bus for about 35 minutes and ask the bus driver to let you out at CROSS BAY BLVD & the WILDLIFE REFUGE You are a 30 second walk from the meeting place...the Environmental Center is right in front of you...Total travel time is about 1 hour and 10 minutes once you get on the "R" train.
Use this trip planner: http://tripplanner.mta.info/MyTrip/ui_web/customplanner/tripplanner.aspx
Type in: 59th street train station (starting point) and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (ending point)
Date: date of bird walk you're attending
Arrive by: 9:30am
Travel By: check boxes for BOTH subway and bus
Start Service: subway. ignore "route"
End Service: bus (borough: Queens). Ignore "route"
Any questions: give Bob or Deb a call at home 718-828-8262
copyright © Robert DeCandido PhD