Central Park Birding Report

Spring Migration is well underway with increasing numbers of colorful warblers arriving in Central Park. But many birders were focused on a magnificent Green Heron in the North Woods last week.

Green Heron.

Text and Photographs by Boysenberry45

At times shy and reclusive, this small, intelligent, beautifully-feathered bird is seasonally monogamous. The Green Heron is a master fisher, one of the few birds known to use bait to lure its prey, dropping a tasty morsel on the surface of the water and patiently waiting for its prey to “take the bait”, after which the heron will pounce.

More active in the early morning and late afternoon, look for this gem at the water’s edge. At about 17” long, it is about half the size of a Great Egret and easy to miss, except for its enormous, pointed-end beak. We can thank the Green Heron for helping reduce the local population of rats, frogs, and other creatures – they are not especially picky eaters!

COLUMNS, NEWS, OUTDOORS | 7 comments | permalink
    1. Mark Moore says:

      We’ve seen a black-crowned night heron in the duck pond quite a few times.

    2. zig says:


    3. Sarah says:

      If you like this sort of thing, there are a number of NY birder accounts on Twitter you can follow.

    4. West 90th Street Jeff says:

      I like the part about Green Herons taste for rats. For that reason, these birds have an open invitation to visit 90th Street between CPW and Columbus Avenue.

    5. Jennifer Riggin says:

      Hi. I saw a bird yesterday that was just stunning. I thought it was a Blue Jay. Do those live in New York,but then it was really the tail feathers that were a vibrant blue. Not the entire body. Anybody know what kind of bird this is? Thanks.

      • Erica says:

        tons of blue jays in nyc! there’s usually a nest up in the eaves of the swedish marionette theater (south side).

    6. Mason says:

      Also seen in prospect and highland parks