Birder's Guide

MAR 2018

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 28 of 73

cause of their size but also because of their terrain. In addition to the geo- graphic factors mentioned earlier, much of Brooklyn lies on the terminal moraine of the Wisconsin Ice Sheet, an accu- mulation of sand and stone deposited by a vast glacier during the last glacial maximum. Decades before the estab- lishments of Green-Wood Cemetery and Prospect Park on these glacial high points, their topography shielded the re- treat of George Washington's continental army during the first major battle of the Revolutionary War. Nowadays, these high points act as wooded beacons for migrants arriving over an otherwise flat, mostly de-forested, coastal plain. The Prospect Park Effect The first thing you would notice, if giv- en a bird's-eye view of Brooklyn, is the huge green oasis at its center, amidst a sea of concrete, glass, and noise. Birds migrating at night see this unlit swath of vegetation, comprised of Prospect Park and the adjacent Green-Wood Cemetery, amid the surrounding world of lights as a haven in the otherwise-inhospitable landscape. In spring and fall, Prospect and Green-Wood can be filled with mi- grants. On exceptional spring days, one can see nearly 30 species of warblers be- tween the two. Almost every species of eastern warbler is recorded here annu- ally, some in staggeringly high numbers. Green-Wood Cemetery differs from Prospect Park in that it is much more manicured, with many tall trees but lim- ited undergrowth. It really shines dur- ing spring songbird migration, though it also concentrates sparrows in the fall. Sometimes thousands of Chipping Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos scatter across the ground, foraging in a way that n Prospect Park and Green-Wood Cemetery are easily accessible by public transportation, with a plethora of nearby subway and bus lines. If you're looking for some quality food, 5th and 7th avenues in Park Slope are packed with deli - cious offerings from all over the world. There are plenty of classic New York pizzerias, too, includ - ing Luigi's Pizza just a few blocks north of Green- Wood's main entrance on 5th Avenue (try one of their to-die-for fresh mozzarella slices—you won't be disappointed). Make sure to check on Green-Wood Cemetery's hours before planning your visit there—it usually opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 4 or 5 p.m. Map © Rad Smith 27 April 2018 | Birder's Guide to Travel top to bottom: n Bicknell's Thrush in Prospect Park. Photo © Sean Sime n Saltmarsh Sparrow. Photo © Douglas Gochfeld n Greater Scaup in Dead Horse Bay. Photo © Douglas Gochfeld

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