April 5, 2020 (Updated: May 17, 2020)

Birds of Quarantine

Can’t really go birding, but they came to me instead

Starting in late March, birds start returning to New York City from their Winter migrations, and local species start preparing nests for their reproductive urges. During this time of year I usually try to spend as much time in Central Park as I can, attempting my best to capture photos of them. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, I can no longer walk through the park on my commute, and being in the park on the weekend doesn’t seem to be the best idea this year.

I live in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, in the rear of the building, which faces the rear of the buildings from the next block. If you’ve ever seen Hitchcock’s Rear Window, you know what my view is like. Between my building and the other buildings are relatively large outdoor spaces for the garden apartments, and in those spaces, several trees. During the early morning and late afternoon, if I’m paying attention, I can usually catch several birds visiting, searching for food and nesting material.

After paying attention to some of the birds I’ve seen, I think it’s safe to assume that there is a pair of robins and mourning doves nesting nearby. There is also a group of blue jays who seem to be a bit territorial and act like they control this area. I’ve begun calling the group of blue jays “The Goodfeathers”, like you said to someone, “You’re gonna like this bird. He’s all right. He’s a good feather. He’s one of us.”

The list of species I’ve seen:

Some photos of the birds from my “rear window”:

Blue jay
Blue Jay
House Sparrow
House sparrow
Starling
European Starling
Cardinal
Cardinal
Starling
European Starling
Blue jay
Blue jay
house sparrow
House sparrow
blue jay
Blue jay
blue jay
Blue jay
mourning dove
Mourning dove
Cardinal
Cardinal
Cardinal
Cardinal
blue jay
Blue jay
american crow
American crow
blue jay
Blue jay
robin
American robin
robin
American robin — It held this pose for a good 15 seconds, while singing, and I just thought it was odd
robin
American robin pooping
blue jay
Blue jay
robin
American robin
robin
American robin
blue jay
Blue Jay
robin
American Robin during a preening session
robin
American Robin
cardinal
Cardinal