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New York City Celebrates Bird Week

New York City is a place known for its massive steel buildings, screeching subways, throngs of pedestrians and thousands of honking cars. One thing it’s not known for is its wildlife and enthusiastic birders.

However, a walk through one of NYC’s many parks on the weekends will reveal a world of hardcore and casual birders. For NYC, the second week in May marks the height of bird migration with many stopping in the city along the way to different destinations. That’s when birders in NYC are most excited.

In anticipation of the upcoming migration, the New York Times is honoring this week as Bird Week. On the City Room Blog over at the site, they are having a number of posts and interactive activities for birders in the city, including history about John James Audubon and great pictures from their archives.

Another thing they’re doing for Bird Week is exploring the interspecies relationship between birds and among in the Big Apple. A quick browse through the history shows it’s been pretty rocky. There have been some high profile cases of cockfighting in seedy buildings, a history of hunting birds and, more recently, the mayor ordered the gassing of thousands of Canadian Geese.

There have been recent efforts to promote birding in NYC and this blog’s collection of great places for birdwatching may help spark increased interest for birding in urban environments.

Since we understand how difficult it is to birdwatch in a big city, we’ll be bringing you advice and tips for urban birding. In the meantime, go check out the cool information and pictures on the New York Times site.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.