What do you do when you’re not in the park?
I’m the founder of JuggleFit where I teach juggling for brain/body fitness and team building.
Please describe what you do with the park?
I lead bird walks during spring and fall migration and document and photograph the birds of the park on my blog. I’m currently working on a book project, a photographic account of the park’s birds and my quest to find 100 bird species there.
I was always fascinated with birds, but purchasing a birder’s notebook and diary in a Cobble Hill used bookstore is what really got me started. It was for recording all the bird species you saw, with places to write notes about the sightings. This looked like an intriguing scavenger hunt. Once I entered my first bird sighting into the book I was hooked.
What’s the most exciting or weird discovery you’ve made in or around the park?
While sitting on a bench on Pier 1, I heard the calls of a beautiful bird called a Cedar Waxwing. I didn’t see any around, but it sounded like there was one right above me. I stood up to take a look. Right on the branch that had been hanging over my head, I discovered a nest full of Cedar Waxwing chicks being fed.
What’s the most exciting or weird bird species discovery you’ve made in or around the park?
Finding a Black-crowned Night-Heron was definitely unexpected and exciting. I was chasing after another much smaller bird that flew into some trees on Pier 1. I poked my head in around the tree trunks, trying to find it. As I looked up, I saw two giant yellow feet on a tree branch that happened to be attached to a Black-crowned Night Heron, which is about two feet tall!
The rarest species I’ve spotted in the park is a Grasshopper Sparrow. It was hanging out on the north steps of Harbor View Lawn one morning in November 2014.
What’s an interesting fact you’ve learned about Brooklyn or the park?
I think it’s really interesting that the benches in the park were constructed from pinewood recycled from demolished buildings on the original park site.
What do you like about the park?
Apart from the stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan, I like the variety of habitats that attract different types of birds. It’s also a great place to get some exercise whether you walk, jog, bike or even kayak.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experiences in the park or the people you’ve met here?
I’m so grateful to Brooklyn Bridge Park and its amazing staff for transforming the Brooklyn waterfront into an urban paradise. I’m not sure what I’d do without it!