CAA Birders Visit the North Woods  

May 13, 2024 in New York's Central Park


Chase Alumni's first birding event attracted 18 alumni and friends to the rustic North Woods of Central Park, an area that was a revelation to many who only know the park south of 96th Street. Even the pigeons look more beautiful in the North Woods!


Tod Winston of NYC Audubon, a master at identifying bird calls and spotting birds with his naked eye, led the CAA group, composed of both inexperienced birders and master birders (including Lou Morrell, former chair of the American Birding Association, and CAA member Katherine Patton's friend who leads events for Audubon in the Pacific Northwest).


The group, which also included CAA members Rich Bittenbender, Diane Bresee, Jim and Sally Davis, David Dempsey, Ron Mayer, Liz Pike and Ralph White, saw 50 different types of birds, including a variety of water fowl, starlings and warblers, a Baltimore oriole and even a woodpecker. 


Many were surprised by a stone commemorating Tom Labrecque, former chair of Chase. Labrecque, who died of cancer in 2000 at the age of 62, was a trustee of the Central Park Conservancy, which oversees the park, and played a major role in rehabilitating the "Pool" that dominates the park near West 103rd Street.


Most of the participants said they wanted to do another walk this fall to welcome back the birds to New York. Look for an announcement and join us!

LEFT: Tod Winston (center) and Rich Bittenbender (right)

From Tod Winston:  
Highlights of our exploration of the Pool and Loch included 16 hyperactive and vocal warbler species, some of which granted us good views: Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, Ovenbird, American Redstart, and Black-and-White, Black-throated Blue, Magnolia, Wilson's and Bay-breasted Warblers were particularly kind to us. We also found a variety of other bird species along the way, though, including great looks at a very cooperative Solitary Sandpiper, a pair of swooping Northern Rough-winged Swallows, several squabbling and singing Baltimore Orioles, bountiful Gray Catbirds, a pair of beautiful and tame Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and subtly beautiful sparrow species including White-throated, Swamp and Lincoln's.


Left: (Left to right): Lou Morrell, Ron and Linda Mayer, Rich Bittenbender, Liz Pike and Tod Winston.

Right, top: Diane Bresee.    Right, bottom: Liz Pike


Right: Sally Pope Davis and Rich Bittenbender

Below: Some of us were better at spotting (and photographing) chipmunks than the grackles or woodpecker.