White Birds of NYC

White birds abound on a walk through Morningside Park and the nearby grounds of Saint John the Divine.

A lone egret, its long breeding plumes flowing in the breeze, fishes beneath the waterfall in the well-stocked waters of Morningside’s tiny pond.

On the other side of the pond, a white rock pigeon wanders away from its flock. I wonder if this bird is an escapee from a pigeon fancier. It is particularly plump and sleek, and exudes health and well-being. The pigeon heads for the muddy banks of the pond, where it lowers its head and sucks water through its beak as if through a straw.

I head up the cliff and across Morningside Avenue to Saint John’s, where a white peacock guards the grounds. It stands very still in one spot for a long time, occasionally emitting a sound like a truck horn followed by a wild cry. From somewhere out of sight comes a response.

The white peacock lives on the cathedral grounds with two brightly colored comrades. The white pigeon is a member of a multi-colored flock that regularly forages on the large patch of grass in front of the pond. The white egret appears to be a regular visitor to the pond this spring.

You can go months in New York and not see a pure white bird.  Here are three different species within a few minutes walk of each other. Lovely birds, all.

Explore posts in the same categories: 2010, April, Birds, In the City, Wildlife/Natural History

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2 Comments on “White Birds of NYC”


  1. […] Peacocks of NYC NYC Peacocks on Hurricane Sunday Spring in Three Cities Two-Eyed Prophecy of Spring White Birds of NYC Share this:PrintEmailMoreDiggLike this:Like3 bloggers like this. Explore posts in the same […]

  2. mthew Says:

    That white pigeon probably is an escapee. Sometimes they will be banded.

    Keep an eye out for the snowy egret (smaller than the great, with black bill, yellow feet as opposed to the yellow bill, black feet of the great) and the more elusive cattle egret, which has sort of orange-y plumes with its white during breeding season.


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