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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikimedia Commons/Piero d'Houin

A group just documented every single type of bird in Central Park

Written by
Clayton Guse

When you think of a diverse ecosystem, New York City isn’t the first place that comes to mind. Gotham is oft called a concrete jungle, and with good reason—the most compelling natural experience a typical urban dweller encounters in a given week is a pigeon pecking at a rat carcass. Yet the city is home to several natural wonderlands, and one of its most notable is Central Park.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the sprawling green space has been a haven for amateur birdwatchers, whose observations and data have helped shape scientists’ understanding of the ecosystem in the Lower Hudson Valley. Last week, Central Park’s most notable birdwatching group, New York City Audubon, held its annual Christmas Bird Count, a veritable bird nerd jamboree during which a few dozen observers count and document the variety of bird species across the park. This year, the group came across 5,592 birds spanning 58 species in the park. It’s worth noting that this data isn’t a holistic reflection of the entirety of Central Park’s avian population but rather a small segment that, when combined with data from other counting events in the area, will paint a picture of how many and what kind of birds dwell in the region.

Nevertheless, the sheer variety of species identified at the Central Park count ought to be surprising to anyone who’s not an experienced birdwatcher. Ever hear of a white-breasted nuthatch or a black-capped chickadee? Neither have we—but we’re sure as hell happy that they exist and are alive and well in New York City’s most iconic park.

Check out the full list of species found by the NYC Audubon below:

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