Birds are comfort to the overwhelm of New York City. A whirring flock of sparrows momentarily pulls your eyes above the street. Pigeons mingle on the sidewalk and we navigate through gentle chatter on our way to work.
The city is a cultural hub for avian species, as much as it is for human beings. I wrote this Birdwatcher’s Companion to share the stories of how certain birds came to NYC, and help you notice them in your daily routine.
There are a number of thoroughly-written field guides for birds in NYC, which I didn’t try to match with information. Instead, I profiled a subset of New York City birds, including a number of introduced species. I split up the stories into Natural History, to give a bit of evolutionary background on the animals, and Urban History, to talk about how they fit into the city. Included on each spread is a space for notes, and some identification tips to get you started.
Slide the book in your pocket with a pen next time you go out walking. In the back of the book is a map that you can mark up if you spot any of the birds.