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Warblers, Sparrows, Raptors: Mid-October Birding in Central Park

Updated: Oct 13, 2022

Bald Eagle (second year) on 9 October 2022 by Deborah Allen

12 October 2022

Bird Notes: The weather will cool beginning on Friday (14 October), with north winds. This will bring significant numbers of migrants south to our area - and perhaps the last good flight of migrant warblers in Central Park. Thursday 20 October will be our last Thursday walk for the season - they will resume in April 2023. You can always find all our bird walks here: SCHEDULE.

Our Historical Notes focus on birds flying through Manhattan windows open at night in October 1875. It must have been warm in those offices and the (gas?) lights must have been switched on (electricity was not "invented" yet). So we send (a) two tales of small October migrants at night; (b) the night migration of Birds at the Statue of Liberty in 1886-1888 (after electricity and electric lights had been invented), and the number/kinds of birds found dead there; and finally (c) Game in Market in lower Manhattan in 1874 including Clapper Rails, Dickcissels and Ruffed Grouse, all for sale at the Fulton Market

(above) Golden-crowned Kinglet (male) Central Park 9 October 2022 Deborah Allen

(below) Golden-crowned Kinglet (female) Central Park 9 October 2022 Deborah Allen

Bird Walks for mid-October 2022

All Walks @ $10/person

Directions to All Meeting Locations can be found: (Click) here

1. Thursday, 13 October 8:30am. Bird Walk. Meet at the Dock on Turtle Pond. $10.

Deb will be leading today's walk.

2. Friday, 14 October 8:30am. Bird Walk. Conservatory Garden (105th street and 5th Avenue) $10. Deb is back leading today's walk.

3.!!! Saturday, 15 October at 7:30am and again at 9:30am. Bird Walk. Boathouse Cafe; 74th street/East Drive $10. If you do the 7:30am walk, you get the 9:30am walk for free.

4.!!! Sunday, 16 October at 7:30am and again at 9:30am. Bird Walk. Boathouse Cafe; 74th street/East Drive $10. If you do the 7:30am walk, you get the 9:30am walk for free.

5. Monday, 17 October. 8:30am. Bird Walk. Strawberry Fields (72nd street and Central Park West) $10.

!!!: if you do the 7:30am walk, you can come on the 9:30am for free (two for one).


Call (718-828-8262) or Email us with questions:


The fine print: Our walks on weekends meet at 7:30/9:30am at the Boathouse Restaurant (approx. 74th street and the East Drive). Please note: the Boathouse is not one of the buildings that surround the nearby Model Boat Pond - people make this mistake all the time! Fridays we meet at Conservatory Garden; Mondays at Strawberry Fields - check the "Meeting Points" page of this web site for exact meeting location.

Our home phone is 718-828-8262...and Deborah's cell is: 347-703-5554. Email is ( If you are lost and trying to get to the bird walk, call Deborah's cell phone...but remember on weekends there will be 2-3 other people calling who are also lost - please be patient. If in doubt about whether a walk will take place or not the morning of the walk: check the main landing page of this web site as well as the "Schedule" page - if the walk is cancelled, information will be posted there by 6am the day of the walk, and usually by 11pm the night before. If still confused and as a last resort, call us at home - if no one answers it means we left for the bird walk. We end all our Central Park walks (except Fridays) near the Boathouse at about noon; you can get a cup of coffee and a muffin there (around $6 total). Walks last about 3 hrs (less if hot or rainy), and you can leave at anytime - we won't be offended. If you need directions or help to your next destination, just ask someone on the walk - we aim to please.

(below) Cape May Warbler (male) Central Park 9 October 2022 Deborah Allen

(below) Magnolia Warbler (first-fall) Central Park 9 October 2022 Deborah Allen

Here is what we saw last week (brief highlights): Some updates on bird trends/patterns of the last few weeks: In August we were disappointed with the lack of migrant warblers in Central Park. The pace has definitely picked up from mid-September. It is (a) an especially good year for numbers of Canada Warblers (including a very late one on 9 October on our walk), and an above average year for Northern Parulas, Tennessee Warblers and Cape May Warblers; (b) it is a less than average year for the cuckoos (both Yellow-billed and Black-billed), as well as Baltimore Orioles; (c) Red-breasted Nuthatch numbers are up (this is their bi-annual irruption year after we saw almost none last year), but not significantly high (as was 2020); in the last week, White-breasted Nuthatches have appeared in above average numbers...let's see what the rest of the month brings for this species; (d) Tufted Titmice first appeared on 29 September (a loner), but by Sunday-Monday (Oct. 9-10), we were easily seeing 8-10 per walk...and the first Black-capped Chickadee was seen on Sunday 10 October (in Riverdale in the Bronx), but by Tuesday (12 Oct), Caren Jahre MD found several at Shakespeare Garden - see her photos Click Here. Finally, Purple Finches began appearing in Central Park about Thu-Fri October 6-7, and using sound we were able to bring in many (some at eye level - photographed by Anyinda Sen PhD click here) on Saturday-Sunday. How significant a flight for the remainder of the autumn of these seed eating birds we will see...ask me again in late October. Meanwhile enjoy the diurnal migration flights of Red-bellied Woodpeckers (above average year) and Blue Jays (migration started early this year - large flocks seen by day going south low overhead).

Deborah's List of Birds for Thursday, 6 October: Click Here

Deborah's List of Birds for Friday, 7 October: Click Here

Deborah's List of Birds for Saturday, 8 October: Click Here

Deborah's List of Birds for Sunday, 9 October: Click Here

Deborah's List of Birds for Monday, 10 October: See Below!

Central Park NYC

Monday 10 October 2022

OBS: Robert DeCandido, PhD, m.ob.

Highlights: Wood Duck, American Black Duck, Red-headed Woodpecker, Peregrine Falcon, White-crowned Sparrow, Nine Species of Wood Warblers including Cape May Warbler. A Marsh Wren was reported at the Loch**.

Canada Goose - around a dozen

Wood Duck - 1 male Turtle Pond

Mallard - 15

American Black Duck - 4 Turtle Pond

Mourning Dove - 15

Chimney Swift - 3-5

Herring Gull - 5 flyovers

Great Egret - 1 Turtle Pond

Red-headed Woodpecker - 1 hatch-year Pinetum*

Red-bellied Woodpecker - 6-8

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 25-30

Downy Woodpecker - 1 Ramble

Northern Flicker - 8-10

Peregrine Falcon - 2 flyovers

Eastern Phoebe - 1 Strawberry Fields

Blue-headed Vireo - 3

Red-eyed Vireo - 4

Blue Jay - 80-100 migrants

Tufted Titmouse - 8-10

Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 30-35

Golden-crowned Kinglet - 8-10

Red-breasted Nuthatch - 8-10

White-breasted Nuthatch - 5-7

House Wren - 3

Winter Wren - 2 Ramble

Carolina Wren - 2 Ramble

Gray Catbird - 20-25

Brown Thrasher - 2 (1 Balcony Bridge, 1 Ramble)

Northern Mockingbird - 1 Sparrow Rock

Swainson's Thrush - 10-15

Hermit Thrush - 1 Ramble

Wood Thrush - 1 Iphigene's Walk

American Robin - 15-20

House Finch - 4-6

Purple Finch - 2 King of Poland

American Goldfinch - 2 Sparrow Rock

Chipping Sparrow - 1 Strawberry Fields

Dark-eyed Junco - 3 Strawberry Fields

White-crowned Sparrow - 1 hatch-year north end of Maintenance Field

White-throated Sparrow - 30-40

Song Sparrow - 6-8

Eastern Towhee - 10-12

Red-winged Blackbird - flock of 15 migrants

Common Grackle - 10-15

Common Yellowthroat - 4-5

American Redstart - 3

Cape May Warbler - 6

Northern Parula - 8-10

Blackpoll Warbler - 1 Strawberry Fields

Black-throated Blue Warbler - 6-8

Pine Warbler - 1 Strawberry Fields

Yellow-rumped Warbler - 8-10

Black-throated Green Warbler - 1 Strawberry Fields

Northern Cardinal - 4-6


*The Red-headed Woodpecker was found at the Pinetum by Suresh Easwar @SEaswarNYC at 11:05am. Click Here

**A Marsh Wren was photographed at the Loch this morning by Mark Scheflen @charlieschef Click Here

Additional reports on birds in Central Park and NY County can be found on twitter @BirdCentralPark maintained by David Barrett.

Deb Allen

(above) Wood Thrush Central Park on 8 October 2022 Deborah Allen

(below) Cooper's Hawk (adult female) in the Bronx 9 October 2022 Deborah Allen


Migrating Birds Fly Into New York Office [October 1875]

One would hardly think of looking in the composing, or even editorial rooms, of a new York daily paper [New York Tribune] for living birds; yet during the last month several birds, migrating at night, have flown in at the windows of The Tribune rooms on the top floors of their new building about midnight, and their names have been taken. Thus came a ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula); a golden-crested kinglet (Regulus satrapa); a pine-creeping warbler (Dendroica pinus = Pine Warbler); a white-eyed vireo (Vireo noveborensis); two white-throated sparrows (Zonotrochia albicollis); a snow bird (Junco hyemalis = Dark-eyed Junco); and last, Wilson's black cap (Myiodioetes pusillias = Wilson's Warbler). [See related article just below about some of the same birds.]

E. Ingersoll


Kinglets and Warblers in Captivity at Jersey City

Jersey City, N.J., December 24th, 1875.

My husband brought home, at different times, last October (1875), several kinglets, one of which was the ruby-crowned, and the other the golden-crested, that had flown into his office in the top of the building, at midnight. They were all let loose in the house, and soon became very tame. At one time a gold-crest and a pine-creeping warbler were brought home by him, which we had for a night and day. For the first five or six hours they kept flying from the top of one door or window easing to the top of another; but after that the kinglet became bolder, and began to investigate the premises, and later in the day he would alight on the heads of any and every person entering, and allow himself to be handled even by our little two-year old. For food, he appeared to pick up crumbs, and helped himself to lice on some plants in the window. Catching sight of himself in a hand mirror lying on the table, he immediately hopped upon the glass, and began an energetic flapping of his wings, at the same time chirping loudly, as though to attract the attention of his vis-a-vis. I remarked it as a curious fact that, while he paid so much attention to his reflection, returning again and again to the mirror, he never noticed the warbler, or attempted to strike up an acquaintance with him. This kinglet, like all the rest, seemed entirely at home, and even when the window was opened and he was pushed out, he came flying back several times before he could make up his mind to leave us. But at least he did, and the last we saw of the gay little chap he was gleaning among the grape vines. Meanwhile the warbler seemed perfectly untamable, and would let no one come near enough to touch him. As night came on he became very restless, and threw himself against the window panes in frantic efforts to get out. This violence was very different from his demeanor during the day, since although sad and shy, he made no attempt to escape from the room, and I regarded it as an indication that it was his invariable habit to migrate at night, remaining quiet during the day. Seeing his distress, we opened the window and the captive joyfully darted out, and shot like a rocket up into the southern sky. Two white-throated sparrows were also caught at the office on November 4th, and are mentioned, among others [see article above]. They were taken home by a gentleman of our acquaintance and caged. He succeeded in reconciling them to confinement, but one died without any apparent cause, after four or five weeks. The other became so tame that he was given the liberty of the room, and would not leave even when the window was open. At last, only a few days ago, as he was standing on the sill of the open window, a sudden movement frightened him, and he hastily flew away.

Mrs. E.I. [Ernest Ingersoll.] January 6, 1876.

Red-breasted Nuthatch (male) Central Park 9 October 2022 Deborah Allen

Birds and Their Habits [November 1888]

Discussed by the Ornithologists Union.

Feathered travelers killed by striking the Statue of Liberty

…… Jonathan Dwight, Jr. read an interesting paper on “Birds that have struck the Statue of Liberty, Bedlow’s Island, New York Harbor.” He said that on account of its lighter color more birds strike the pedestal to the Statue than the Statue itself. The Statue was erected too late in 1886 for the migratory birds, and none struck it that year. The first to strike it was May 19, 1887, and the next late in August, when the lights were said to be put out by birds. Mr. Dwight read a highly-colored newspaper account of the killing of nearly 1,500 birds on the night of Aug. 22-23, its statements exciting much merriment. He said it was utterly untrue that birds were burned or roasted, except in the case of one or two birds which had fallen near the heat. The slaughter of birds on this occasion was due to the first cold wave of the year, which started the migration. Mr. Dwight also read newspaper accounts of the slaughter of 1888, one account stating that in a single night 500 birds were killed. The first date at which birds struck the Statue was Aug. 5, when 14 were killed. A few others were killed during the month, and a considerable number in September and October. Oct. 24 was the last date at which birds were killed. The whole number killed this year was 690, which was considerably less than in 1888 or 1887. Mr. Dwight began visiting Bedlow’s Island Sept. 19 this year and had studied the birds and recorded the species. He found that every cold wave in the early fall was followed by migratory birds flying against the Statue. Of the dead birds picked up this year, 60 per cent belonged to one species, the Maryland yellow throats [Common Yellowthroat]. The remaining 40 per cent included a great variety.

Discussion followed as to the effect of darkness in causing the destruction of birds and as to whether sparrows and hummingbirds were ever among the migrants killed.

Common Yellowthroat (male) Michigan 20 September 2020 Doug Leffler

Game in Market [Fulton Market, Lower Manhattan]: 1 October 1874. Ruffed grouse quite plenty, and in fine condition, worth $1.50. Pinnated grouse scarcer: selling at $1.50. Bay birds of all kinds in nice order; plentiful. Meadow hens [Clapper Rail] are in prime order. Rice birds [Dickcissel] fat as butter, coming in from the rice fields of Georgia.

Wild ducks, a few bunches of teal and some springtails [Pintail Duck], have made their appearance on the coast of New Jersey. On October 16th [1874] the annual duck hunt takes place at Barnegat Bay, and the gunners are getting ready.

Our friend Col. Bruce, of Turf, Field, & Firm, tried his gun on the snipe at Barnegat last Saturday and bagged a dozen, but couldn't stop for more, as the mosquitoes drove him off.

New Jersey. Barnegat. September 28th [1874]. I hear of brown backs [Ruddy Ducks?], yellow-legs, and snipe being killed on the meadows, but not in very great numbers. Today I took a walk in woods and started pheasants, some half a dozen, and saw three flocks of quail. Yesterday I noticed a small flock of wild pigeons [Passenger Pigeons] flying over. A. Brick.


THE WRONG PLACE FOR PLAICE [SEPTEMBER 1889]. A contributor alluding to the fact that English sparrows are sometimes palmed off for reed birds in the restaurants reminds me that not long since I had occasion to go to the restaurant of the Pennsylvania Railroad depot in Jersey City, and looking over the bill of fare I saw on the fish list "Halibut steak, 40 cents." As this seemed a tempting dish I ordered it, and in a few minutes the waiter brought in a couple of transverse sections from a plaice, which might easily be mistaken for halibut by a man with a very bad cold. I asked the waiter if he couldn't serve a different sort of halibut if I waited a few minutes, and he said, 'No sah! that's the only sort of halibut we have, sah.” As I am not a kicker I said nothing and paid my bill, but decided to go elsewhere for dinner next time. As stewards can buy the cheap and coarse plaice for a mere trifle, and as the delicious halibut is expensive, I presume that a great many travelers find that they do not care much for halibut. ROBT. T. MORRIS.


Deborah Allen and Robert DeCandido PhD

Follow our Bird Sightings on Twitter: @DAllenNYC and/or @BirdingBobNYC

Black Skimmer Pelham Bay Park (the Bronx) 2 October 2022 Deborah Allen

Mockingbird in the Bronx 9 October 2022 Deborah Allen

#CentralPark #BirdWalksCentralParkOctober2022

1 Comment

Stunning and varied as always! Happy news from Brookline, right next to Boston: rescued a female Canada warbler who accidentally flew inside our school. She let me scoop her up and take her to a tree where she steadied, blinked, stared and flew off to our amazement! Now my 7th graders called me The Bird Whisperer, lol!

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