Central Park boasts attractions with some of the cities most recognizable names: Loeb Boathouse, Wollman Rink and Tavern on the Green to name a few. Now, for the first time since 1934, a little-known, four-acre woodland called Hallett Nature Sanctuary will join that esteemed list.
Closed in 1934 by NYC Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, the track of land was designated a bird sanctuary and cordoned-off from the public. It remained untouched, even by park employees, until 2001 when the Central Park Conservancy began once again maintaining and cultivating growth in the heavily-wooded area.
The Sanctuary did host many birds throughout the years, but an infestation of non-native plants and wisteria threatened to wreck havoc on its environment. Now, thanks to the conservancy, it’s been restored.
But even though the Hallett Nature Sanctuary will now be open to the general public, there will be restricted hours at which visitors interested in sampling the pristine nature hidden at the center of the concrete jungle will be able to stop by.
April 1 – June 30 Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
July 1 – August 31 Monday & Friday: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Thursday, May 12 Open Birding Hours
8:00 am – 10:00 am
It may come as a surprise, but Central Park in New York City is a birders’ paradise. For decades, the 843-acre park in the center of the city has been an under-the-radar stomping ground for binocular-wielding birders hoping to spy one of the 30-something warbler species that stop here during spring migration before heading farther north. One of the most popular spots in the park for birders is The Ramble, a 36-acre, heavily wooded area that’s less frequented by tourists. Over the years more than 230 species have been seen there, including 40 that reside there year-round. “The diversity of birds there rivals, and in some cases is better than, some forests,” Guida says.
In the spring, the park also holds weekend birding-basics workshops for families interested in honing their birding skills.
Experience the beauty of the park in winter while you help collect valuable data, and learn about birds when you participate in this annual event with the National Audubon Society.
The Christmas Bird Count is a citizen-science tradition started by ornithologist Frank Chapman in 1900 and the longest-running wildlife annual census. The data you collect is used to assess the health of bird populations and guide conservation action in Central Park and beyond.
Each group is led by an experienced birder. Dress warmly and remember to bring your binoculars.
Take part in this annual citizen-science tradition started by ornithologist Frank Chapman on December 25, 1900. The collected data will be added to an ever-growing database that provides valuable information to research scientists who study early winter bird populations across North America.
8:00 a.m.: Meet a the South Pump Station of the Reservoir (85th Street and 5th Avenue). All counting groups will be escorted by Urban Park Rangers.
12:30 p.m.: Data tally and refreshments at the Arsenal Gallery (3rd floor of the Arsenal at 64th Street and 5th Avenue).