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the northwest corner of washington square park looking southeast with leaf out in the canopy, a person looking into the park, metal barricades blocking entry into the park.

The deciduous trees in the park have leafed out, and the warblers and other migratory birds are here! The lede photo looks into the park from the northwest corner which is again barricaded. Full disclosure: our survey permit allows us to enter this area of the park on a biweekly basis to count birds. Let’s take a look at leaves and birds. UPDATE, May 13, 2022: The northwest corner is now open!

leaf bud of a tuliptree with leaf visible through the bud scales.

Look at any tree in the park and you will see a head of leaves but there are unopened vegetative or leaf buds as is the case with the Tuliptree pictured above.

looking up into an oak with two red-tailed hawks perched on branches with blue sky in the background.

Also keep your eyes (and ears) open for birds in the canopy. Red-tailed Hawks perch high up in the park’s trees. Seen above: the pair in a pin oak in the big lawn in the northwest area.

A large American Linden was removed from this lawn in 2020 and one of the oaks has been exhibiting a thin canopy over the same time period.

Allergy sensitive folks might be wailing against oaks right now. The male flowers or catkins have been releasing a lot of pollen! We can still appreciate their beauty and those of the leaves.

a male palm warbler on a lawn surrounded by black fencing.

The warblers are here! Washington Square’s warbler list is decent given the park’s size (9.75 acres). The park might get a check for species richness during migration season but a lower score in terms of abundance.

A mustard yellow Palm Warbler is shown above. Other warblers spotted this spring are Blackburnian Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Ovenbird, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat, and Chestnut-sided Warbler. A Blue-headed Vireo, Scarlet Tanager and Baltimore Oriole have also been observed in the park. See the park’s complete eBird checklist.

flowering dogwood inflorescence with bracts visible.
young inflorescence, bracts, and leaves of a kousa dogwood.

Closing with a little bit of botanical geekery. Two dogwood species are pictured above. The inflorescence of the native Flowering Dogwood is shown on the left. The white structures below it are bracts or modified leaves. Showy, but not petals. The true flowers are small and in the center. You can see an open flower amidst swelling floral buds. On the right is a Kousa Dogwood inflorescence. This inflorescence is centered on four bracts too, but this dogwood is a later bloomer than the native dogwood.

Planner with 2022 in words laid on white painted boards. Photo by Debby Hudson via

Add the following program dates to your calendar.

  • Every 2nd Thursday –  New episode of Your Bird Story, available wherever you listen to podcasts
  • April and ongoing – Bird specimens featured in Street Lab EXPLORE at Chelsea Market
  • Sunday, May 15, 11am – Bird exploring and crafting at the Naval Cemetery Landscape, Brooklyn Greenway
  • Do you have an idea for an event? Tell us about it! Email us or leave a voice message at 510/859/4643.
Washington Square Park Eco Projects is an initiative of Local Nature Lab.
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Selfie with the mini data art hawk at the Biodiversity Love Fest + City Nature Challenge on April 30, 2022.