Morning Bulletin: Bird-Watchers Freak Out, Dogs Scuffle, Mystery Nutmeg Smell

Photo by Geoffrey Croft of bird-watchers in Central Park.

May 14, 2018 Weather: Mostly cloudy, with a high of 73 degrees.

A free Mendelssohn Glee Club concert and more local events this week are on our calendar.

How to get a free air conditioner from New York state of you’re suffering from a health issue.

Bird-watchers spotted a rare bird called the Kirtland’s Warbler in Central Park, and they have been collectively losing their minds about it for several days. “A Kirtland’s Warbler, a colorful songbird has attracted thousands of onlookers over the last few days on the Upper West Side just north the park’s W. 90th street entrance. Throngs of people have stopped to gaze at the tiny bird visiting our city high up in the trees. This is reportedly the first park and borough sighting of the bird.”

A labradoodle, a large black dog and a Rhodesian Ridgeback were involved in a scuffle in Central Park. “John Traynor told the Daily News he was walking his two dogs, Siri and Lulu, near Cedar Hill south of the Met before 9 a.m., when he saw a large black dog chomping down on a fluffy labradoodle.”

Throughout the city, and on the Upper West Side, blacks and Hispanics are much more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession despite studies showing that they are not more likely to use the drug. “In the precinct covering the southern part of the Upper West Side, for example, white residents outnumber their black and Hispanic neighbors by six to one, yet seven out of every 10 people charged with marijuana possession in the last three years are black or Hispanic, state data show.”

Lydia Kontos, the executive director of the Kaufman Center, is stepping down after 40 years working there. “During her tenure, the center’s population has risen from 400 students to more than 3,000 in its Lucy Moses School (LMS) and another 500 in the Special Music School (SMS), a public school she founded that integrates music and academic study..”

We hear that part of Central Park from 81st to 86th street smells like nutmeg and cloves. Anyone know why?

NEWS | 24 comments | permalink
    1. Wendy says:

      Does that Kirtland’s warbler nest yet ? DOES the firm, which does rescues of some wild birds in N.Y.C. : know of this rare bird ?STOP budgerigar mills !

    2. Amy cook says:

      I saw tons of bird-watchers standing on West drive on Saturday trying to get a look at this bird. Which is fine, but they were creating a very dangerous situation for everyone else.

      • Ish Kabibble says:

        Please explain how a group of people looking at a bird is dangerous? Asking for a friend.

        • Tim says:

          From the picture, it looks like 75% of the people were in the jogging lanes, with 25% in the roadway used by cyclists, etc. So that means runners would be forced to go around the horde and go into the roadway used by cyclists, which would endanger all parties. And of course the people lingering in the roadway were blocking cyclists and endangering themselves also. The roadway, even on the side for walking/jogging is not meant for lingering and loitering. Hope that helps.

          • Ish Kabibble says:

            LOL. Okay. Get over yourselves.

            • Independent says:

              Yes, the bird-watchers should get out of the way so no one will trip over them. Public safety first.

          • WS Thomas says:

            Ignore the noise Tim. Some people can’t accept reasonable and logical explanations, to questions THEY asked in the first place.

    3. dannyboy says:

      “smells like nutmeg and cloves. Anyone know why?”

      Wafting clove cigarettes?

    4. Emily Pearl says:

      The nutmeg and clove smell is from a largely natural, clove-oil-based insecticide used in Central Park. It is nontoxic for dogs.

    5. Park Runner says:

      The smell is from an organic clove oil herbicide the Parks Department uses.

      • Cato says:

        This is great! It shows how useful, even friendly, a community forum like this can be (when we’re not trashing elderly tenants in — gasp! — rent stabilized apartments).

        Thanks for the helpful answers!

    6. Mimi says:

      Omg!! Did anyone stop the fight?? Is the labradoodle okay??

    7. Ruby from Manhattan says:

      Clove oil is used in Central Park as a natural herbicide (I volunteer for the Conservancy).

    8. Michelle Lawton says:

      I live for biking in the park and over the years have wondered what that sweet spice aroma is as well – I was told it might be this (Michelle, Upper West Side)

    9. Wendy says:

      Bird watchers “ creating a dangerous situation “???
      That’s a laugh! Some people complain about anything!!

    10. Kitty H says:

      Regarding the dog “scuffle” in the park – can we assume that one or both of the dogs involved had been allowed off-leash? This is an increasing problem, and when approached, owners are unresponsive at best. Having been attacked by such a dog on our residential street in the west 80s, I am, admittedly sensitized to this issue. Although there is an existing law requiring dogs be kept on-leash, it is rarely enforced and owners feel they can break this law with impunity. Lots of room for improvement, here.

      • William Raudenbush says:

        Central Park allow dogs to be off leash from the time the park opens until 9:00 a.m. and from 9:00 p.m. until the park closes in most areas. Still, we dog owners owe this great priveledge the responsibility of being good dog ambassadors as it is quite a privilege.

    11. PEG BRADSHAW says:

      Hi, the nutmeg and clove smell is to control weeds in a people and animal friendly way.

    12. Joey says:

      “blacks and Hispanics are much more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession despite studies showing that they are not more likely to use the drug.”
      Maybe they are more likely to use it in public.

    13. Sarah says:

      Welcome, Warbler!

    14. shg says:

      I am not in the city right now but as described it could be the substance the conservancy applies to control either pests or weeds (or maybe both.) I called 311 a few years ago because it was so strong it was burning my eyes and nostrils.

    15. Dalia says:

      I am definitely in favor of the decriminalization of marijuana but I have to say I’m sick of smelling it every where I go. When I walk in Riverside Park, I want to smell fresh air and grass and earth — not skunk weed. It’s starting to seriously annoy me.

      • Millicent broderick says:

        Re the early morning smell of marijuana in my neighborhood. I call it the scent of no ambition.

    16. Independent says:

      Reminds me of the Honeymooners episode in which Norton is convinced he spotted a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

      What is that cedar fragrance (wonderful) often present down by the river in Riverside Park? Have never been able to determine the source.