As I entered my teen years and early twenties, I was busy with school, social life, and building my future. I was happy to happen upon a bird though I did not seek them out. I fed House Sparrows at the zoo cafe in Central Park when I lived in Manhattan. At the time, I did not know they were House Sparrows as I grew up calling these guys “chickadees”!
While walking around Central Park I noticed serious birdwatchers decked out with gear and headed toward The Rambles.
My first time looking at birds through a scope was when one of the regular birdwatchers offered me a look at owlets in a tree.
During another visit to Central Park, I ran into a birder with a scope set up at the Conservatory Water. I noticed that people were lining up to take a peek. I got in line and got a close up look of a hawk up on a nest on a high rise apartment complex across the street from the park (5th Avenue).
The man with the scope showed me a book of photos and told me that this was a red-tailed hawk called “Pale Male.” I learned that this hawk was famous and people were really excited that he was was nesting in Manhattan. As the years past, I would see Pale Male or his mate and/or offspring flying over Central Park.