From here to Pelham Bay Park, and straight on down to Central Park, the kinship of bird watchers is peaking. April and May are something of a pilgrimage holiday for the truly dedicated ornithological set, though few in New York hoof it far from home; they set out with their binoculars, their pens, and their dog-eared notebooks, taking time off from work to travel a scant few miles to the nearest stand of trees.
These dyed-in-the-wool avian aficionados don’t come to the NYBG in spring specifically for the Red-tailed Hawks, or for the Great Horned Owls. Their prize is far smaller. And as prizes go, these birds seem more of an indulgence than the rare and elusive species recorded with fingers scribbling furiously between the lines of a “life list.” Many New York birders–seasoned or green–instead come to see the little puffs of color and song known as warblers.