If you happen to live in New York, you may quite possibly spend some spare time birding in Central Park, or checking out the red-tailed hawks of Washington Square. And if you are planning a trip to Abaco, you might suddenly wonder just how different the bird life will be there. Will there be any familiar species at all?
New York City has nearly 200 regularly recorded bird species, most of which will be found in Central Park at some time of the year, if not all through it. South Abaco has 126 species. Is there much overlap, I wondered? And the answer is that there is plenty, rather more than I expected. 61 species in common, by my reckoning. The coincidence of warblers is the most notable feature.
I used the excellent AVIBASE checklist for South Abaco (as now featured on the Delphi Club site in the new BIRDING section) and worked through a comparative list of the NYC species (there are very good sites for NYC / Central Park birding). The result is below: a New Yorker using the South Abaco checklist may see any of the birds ringed in red. And it would work vice versa, of course. Why New York? It’s the only other place outside Europe that I have ever ‘birded’ (only extremely casually – no book, no notes, few photos – just for enjoyment). Peaceful bird time in the Ramble in Central Park is time well used… Before we get to the list, here’s a bit of local colour that you won’t find on Abaco – a male Northern Cardinal in the snow in February
NYC BIRD SPECIES THAT APPEAR ON THE SOUTH ABACO BIRDS CHECKLIST
Here’s a red-tailed hawk I photographed in Central Park… I’ve seen one on Abaco in the National Park, but it flew off before I could get my camera out of the truck. There’s a lesson there somewhere…