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
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
Rock Dove /NYPL