Apr 15, 2009 3:42 PM | 2
Brooklyn is not a quiet borough. When I walk around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and listen to the wind in the trees, I will inevitably hear air plane engines over my head or the sound of sirens in the distance--not really the noises that I want to hear in this sanctuary. But one sound that I've waited all winter for, I finally get to hear again: birdsong.
A lovely publication called Birds of Prospect Park that I found on our shelves is a delightful guide to birds in Brooklyn. Published in 1951 by the Brooklyn Bird Club, this pamphlet records field observations of the birds of Prospect Park. The pages include information on sightings of birds and the date sighted. 40 pages of bird observations fill the pamphlet with entries like:
A witty message for the American Robin. This entry for the Tennessee Warbler also caught my eye:
While these entries may not seem very helpful, the listings do include times of year when the birds can be seen throughout Brooklyn. I do wish that there were descriptions of the birds that are unfamiliar to me. Then again, the guide has a decent bibliography which includes Audubon's Field Guide. This pamphlet includes maps that show migratory patterns, bird watching paths in Prospect Park and what to look for in the Spring and Fall. The booklet is almost 60 years old and while I do not know how much birding has changed in Brooklyn over the last 60 years, you can find up-to-date Prospect Park bird sightings at the Brooklyn Bird Club blog! The Brooklyn Bird Club turns 100 this year and has lots of special events planned. I am hoping to go on a bird watching tour soon. Until I can find that moment, I will be content to listen to the melancholy coos of the Mourning Dove couple that reside in my Brooklyn backyard.
Images: Birds of Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bird Club, 1951