Next Tuesday, on March 26th, the group will be at Haffen Park after having put out some bird feeders on Monday in each area to see which birds are back for spring. So far only House Sparrows and American Robins have been around, so maybe it is still too cold!
Friends of Haffen Park
For the past twelve years, the Friends of Haffen Park in Bronx, NY have worked diligently with the Bronx Park Department on gardening and community events in the Park. More recently, they have been interested in birdwatching and teaching the Park community about local birds, especially trying to increase their awareness and sense of stewardship for the birds that nest and live in the Park year-round.
In the past, the group has used professional bird guides and donated binoculars to invite community members to come learn about the birds that enjoy the seeds, tall trees, and grubs found throughout the Park. The children who participated last year have been asking when they can do it again, so plans are in the making for another event to take place!
The Friends of Haffen Park have welcomed Jim Lane, an environmentalist bird guide in the community, to assist them in selecting the best time of the day for bird observation and give them tips on bird identification. Participants will be spread throughout the area for a simultaneous, Park-wide ten-minute bird count.
Earlier this year, the group started a butterfly garden that was fairly successful, and they feel that planting more flowers and low bushy areas in the Park will help attract even more birds by providing them with more safe areas and food, especially during the winter, when it can be difficult for the local birds to find nourishment.
Another local group, the Unity Neighborhood Center, runs an after-school program in the Park five days a week. The Friends of Haffen Park plan to work with the UNC’s art teacher to encourage community members to start painting and drawing pictures of birds in their natural habitat and then do an outdoor exhibit at a future event. They’ve found that many of the children and youth members already like to draw and particularly enjoy drawing live animals, such as birds and squirrels, so we expect this upcoming event will be a success!