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• Intro / Home
• Historical Neighbors
• Street and Backyard

• Park and Green Places

• Shore and Wetlands

• Salt and Freshwater

• Tiny Neighbors
• Unwelcome Neighbors
• Occasional and
  Unexpected Neighbors

• Wildlife Sighting Log
• Resources

• Hours and Tours


 Street and Backyard Neighbors
Street intro| Image: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

It is commonly believed that the only wildlife in the "urban jungle" are pigeons, sparrows, Starlings, rats, and mice. Certainly these familiar animals thrive amid the seeming inhospitality of Manhattanís tall buildings, concrete sidewalks, and traffic-jammed streets, but others, including Mourning Doves, House Finches, and crows, also do quite well. Gulls scavenge garbage and other street fare, and raptors such as Peregrine Falcons prey on the pigeons and other smaller birds. In late summer, thousands of orange and black Monarch Butterflies begin their fall migration to Mexican winter homes, and may be seen then as they flutter south along Manhattanís busiest avenues.

Where there are patches of greenery, and any of the cityís nearly 500,000 street trees, Blue Jays, American Robins, and Eastern Gray Squirrels may also be observed. "Greenstreets," a citywide urban beautification program, has enhanced neighborhoods and helped support wildlife by converting paved traffic islands and malls into green spaces.

Vacant lots, apartment building lawns, and especially front and backyards of private homes attract an even wider circle of animal neighbors, including Raccoons, Cotton-tail Rabbits, butterflies, moths, bees, and other, mostly benign insects. Cardinals, Goldfinches, Chickadees, Flickers, and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are some of the many bird species attracted to yard feeders. According to an officer of the New Jersey Audubon Society, some 80 percent of the nationís more than 54 million birders are homeowners who pursue their birdwatching hobby without leaving their own property. The reported observations of these "backyard birders" supply valuable data for several research projects co-sponsored by the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Check out the sighting log to record your interaction with some of the native New York City wildlife featured in Urban Neighbors. You may also browse the sighting log by animal, borough, park or natural area, and/or habitat to view a sighting you have submitted or to read othersí observations.




Blue Jay / NYPL


Eastern Gray Squirrel /NYPL


Raccoon / NYPL

Monarch Butterfly /NYPL


Rock Dove /NYPL

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