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We hope this newsletter finds you and yours healthy and safe.

Our wildlife and plant phenology surveys, the EXPLORE BIRDS education program, and related community science experiences are on hold.

We miss spending time in the park. We will miss observing the changes in the trees and shrubs, the arrival of migratory birds, and the breeding season of resident birds such as the red-tailed hawks.

As you may know, the resident female red-tailed hawk disappeared last month. However, a new female red-tail has been spotted in the territory, and birders have seen the male and the new female mating. We are keeping our fingers crossed for a successful nest. The NYU Hawk Cam has been disconnected so we will only know the outcomes from word of mouth.

In terms of plant phenology, we are closely following our social media channels for photographs of flowers and canopy green up. We took what turned out to be our final phenology monitoring walk on March 26th. Here’s what we observed on the trail.

  • The flowering dogwood Cornus florida had visible green tips and its flower buds were swelling.
  • Kwanzan Prunus serrulata #1 was showing expanding flower buds (pictured above).
  • The star magnolia Magnolia stellata was exhibiting several phases: faded flowers, open flowers, opening flowers, and leaves.
  • The red maple Acer rubrum was holding on to faded flowers. There were fallen flowers on the ground.
  • It was difficult to determine the phenophases present on the silver maple Acer saccharinum due to low lighting.
  • The kousa dogwood Cornus mas was still dormant.
  • The tulip tree Liriodendron tulipifera was showing green leaf tips and expanding leaf buds.
  • The Yoshino cherry Prunus x yedoensis had many open flowers. At least 50% (to 74%) of all flower buds were open flowers (top photo).
  • We did not check Kwanzan #2 as it was challenging to maintain a safe 6′ foot distance in that location.

For more information about the phenology project, visit our story map. Please reach out to us with any natural history questions about the park. Our email is We are happy to answer them if we can.

For official park status updates, please visit the NYC Parks Department Service Announcements page.

Stay well.