On my last visit to Bryant Park I not only spent time photographing the wintering birds there but also carefully watching them, trying to figure out how such a small urban park with so little proper habitat could possibly be providing enough food for birds that aren’t used to a diet of bread crumbs and table scraps. And while I am still not sure how they do it, I did learn a bit about where the Lincoln’s Sparrow, Ovenbirds, Gray Catbirds, and Yellow-breasted Chats are getting their sustenance.

Mostly, they seem to be willing to search every square millimeter for food of any kind. They turn over mulch, twigs, and leaves; they search cracks, crevices, and crannies; they even hop up staircases to see where the stairs lead.  The birds that are wintering in Bryant Park can’t leave any portion of the park unexplored. They must find enough food or die.

This Ovenbird is no exception.

I’m just an ordinary Ovenbird minding my own business.

Hmm…what have we here?

Do I dare make this plunge? I must have courage!


Next time I’m just ordering take out.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.