The Best Birdwatching in Greenwich Village and the East Village
There comes a time each spring when one can’t help but marvel at the sights and sounds of our neighborhoods. The blooming magnolias and budding leaves are made even more beautiful by smiles on the faces of New Yorkers who seem to have finally defrosted after a long winter. But if you keep a close eye out, or perhaps a close ear, you’ll notice the springtime joy of our other neighbors: the birds.
The parks and urban green spaces that these birds call home are a vital component of the character and quality that make our neighborhoods so special. So, take a walk with us today as we turn our attention to the trees and explore the best places to go birding in our neighborhoods!
East River Park
This park on the waterfront of the East River boasts a track, a tennis complex, softball and baseball fields, and perhaps the finest views of aquatic birds to be found in Lower Manhattan. Frequent sightings of well-known mallards and Canada geese are complemented by flashes of rust that can be attributed to the red-throated loons swimming in the water. The over 57 acres of land encompassed by this park create the perfect setting for an active and restorative day full of recreational sports and mindful birding.
Jefferson Market Garden
Jefferson Market Garden is one of the most beloved gardens Greenwich Village has to offer. Tended to by dedicated community members, the flowers that bloom there represent a loving reclamation of the land where the Women’s House of Detention previously stood. Adjacent to the iconic Jefferson Market Library, it’s easy to see why it is an aesthetic jewel of our area. In addition to its picturesque surroundings, the Garden is home to a plethora of avian residents. Stunners such as the fiery scarlet tanager and the warbling American redstart have been spotted there. If one is diligent, they may even be able to spot a ruby-throated hummingbird whizzing through the air. To learn more about the birds of Jefferson Market Garden, make sure to check out their official Bird Guide!
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park is a central gathering place for New Yorkers of all stripes. Between the musicians playing, the students laughing, the bubbles floating through the air, and the art all around, the park boasts so many wonders that it can be easy to miss the sound of the birds that call from just above. Luckily, if one finds a bench in a quiet corner (as quiet as the park can be, that is,) they are just as likely to find flashes of flying color as they look up. In April alone, the bold bib of the black-capped chickadee can be seen on the same tree occupied by a yellow-bellied sapsucker. Watching vigilantly from the highest branches one may even catch a glimpse of the predatorial red-tailed hawks that make the park their playground.
Tompkins Square Park
The variety of birds on view at Tompkins Square Park can partially be attributed to the magnificent assortment of trees to be found there. One of the best stands of American elms in New York can be found there alongside oak trees, crab apple trees, dogwood, and more. With this selection of homes, it’s easy to see why birds are quite literally flocking to Tompkins Square Park. The springtime often comes with sightings of downy woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatches, and palm warblers which all boast a remarkable display of coloring, habits, and birdsongs. A standout during migratory seasons, Tompkins Square Park shouldn’t be missed.
To learn more about the many birding spots New York has to offer, see a list of recent sightings, and connect with birders in your community, visit eBird. If you’re interested in other ways to connect with the nature of the Village, check out one of the many community gardens the East Village has to offer!
One response to “The Best Birdwatching in Greenwich Village and the East Village”
Um…East River Park as described in this article does not exist anymore, and what currently stands as so-called usable park space is steadily degrading from lack of maintenance. It’ll be literally years before anything like its former self reappears. Can’t Wait until Spring hits and we’re all rewarded with an overcrowded couple of acres served by two decrepit bathrooms and broken water fountains, and pathways flooded with electric-motorcycle sociopaths. Thanks for everything, Bill (deBlasio, for the bait-and-switch that resulted in the long-term destruction of the park) and Eric (Adams, for your absolute nonchalance about the steady degradation of the remnants of the park and reckless motor vehicle drivers who will resume threatening park users on the paths).