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Peacocks By Design

March 12, 2014

New York City’s three Cathedral peacocks have already begun their annual spring courtship displays in which they unfurl their insanely long, dazzling tail feathers, hold them up in a giant fan, and rotate slowly to enchant the ladies. Here is a video I took a few years ago of one of St John the Divine’s […]

Snow Day NYC with Peacocks

January 6, 2014

It was cold and snowy in the city on Saturday, so the dog and I bundled up. He’s the one with the blue boots. I’m the one with the blue hat. (My hat recently inspired some guerrilla art.) Morningside Park is always magical in the snow. The little pond was frozen solid. A little boy […]

Urban Peacocks and Red-tails in Winter

December 9, 2013

Last night we saw tiny snowmen on the top of the retaining wall in Riverside Park. It wasn’t much of a snow, but it gave a mysterious look to the park at night. This morning in the drizzle, a Red-tail Hawk flew low over our heads as we were crossing Amsterdam Avenue. We tracked it […]

My NYC Home Where the Peacocks Roam

October 4, 2012

After spending the better part of September on eastern Long Island, I’m home in NYC, where fall has thinned the trees in Riverside Park. Home in the city, where the peacocks roam. Our first day back, the dog and I visited the grounds of Saint John the Divine to check in on the three free-roaming […]

NYC Peacocks and Blossoms

March 31, 2012

It’s cold and grey today, cold enough that I wished I had brought gloves on my morning dog walk.  So to warm us all up, here are recent photos from a walk through the grounds of Saint John the Divine in Morningside Heights.  As you look, you must try to imagine the continual sound of […]

Top Five Urban Nature Stories of 2011: From Peacocks to Mastodons

December 31, 2011

Yesterday we began our coverage of Out Walking the Dog’s Top Ten Stories of 2011 with Numbers Ten to Six. The stories explored urban coyotes and whales as well as a secret garden in the middle of New York City and two peculiar NYC plants, one of which is connected to an on-going ancient British […]

Wandering Peacocks of NYC

September 9, 2011

The free-roaming peacocks of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine on Amsterdam Avenue exert a strange fascination. In June, when a maintenance man rattled a cookie tin filled with food, the white peacock eagerly hopped a fence and positively hustled to get some chow. The peacock chowed down. He appeared completely unfazed by a […]

Peacock Boys at the Cathedral

April 17, 2020

Walking the pandemic Peacocks have freely wandered the grounds at Saint John’s Cathedral in Morningside Heights since the 1980s. The three peacocks currently in residence, Jim, Harry and Phil, are older gentlemen now, but age is no obstacle to the call of spring. There are no peahens on the premises, yet the three peacocks still […]

Urban Wild and Feral Life in Spring

March 21, 2014

Spring is officially here. Red-tails are nesting, peacocks are showing, and male mallards are acting downright crazy. Trees are still mostly bare, which means you can more easily spot wildlife. And feral life. The feral cat colony in Morningside Park seems out of control this spring. The cats are everywhere around the pond, stalking  ducks […]

A Dog in New York

November 10, 2013

Lately I’ve been feeling grateful to my walking companion. Just over five years ago, my family and I left the horizontal landscape of Dallas, Texas for the vertical world of Manhattan. Since then, like old-fashioned postal workers, the dog and I can fairly say that “neither rain nor snow nor heat nor gloom of night” […]

It’s April in NYC, Let’s Ditch the Plow

April 18, 2013

Here are two favorite spring posts from years past: NYC Signs of Spring: Red-tails Nest and Mr. Softee Sings Two-Eyed Prophecy of Spring April in Morningside Heights. Time to … Raise the plow. Wait a minute. “Raise the plow?!” It’s April, people, let’s just ditch the freaking plow! Time to go to the laundromat. Apparently, […]

It’s Spring, Everybody Sing!

April 11, 2013

Today is a little chillier, but the last few days have made the birdies sing. Here is the song I heard them singing. Oh, it’s spring. Yes, it’s spring. Magnolias are budding. Peacocks are showing. Fruit trees are blooming. Turtles are basking. Willows are greening. Yeah, it’s a beautiful day. Can I have an amen?

Most Popular Urban Nature Stories of 2011: Numbers 10 – 6

December 30, 2011

Today and tomorrow, we’re celebrating another year of watching New York City’s urban wildlife by looking back at Out Walking the Dog’s Top Stories of 2011.  The articles include mastodons, chihuahua-carrying hawks, whales, coyotes, rodents, burdock, peacocks and the secret garden of St. John the Divine. Today I’ll count down from Number Ten through Number […]

Fall is Coming

October 4, 2011

How do I know? I read the signs of the city. Wall sitters wear long sleeves. Thinning trees let the river peep through. The dog is a walking seed dispensary, from his head to his tail Sparrows in camo poke around in the underbrush. Fall flowers abound. Art work surprises. (AM:PM. To me, that means: […]

Morningside Park on Hurricane Sunday and NYC Wildlife Rehabilitation

August 31, 2011

On Sunday, when the hurricane had passed, after strolling the grounds of Saint John the Divine to check on the peacocks, I continued east to Morningside Park.  A downed tree completely blocked the 110th Street staircase: The rain had been too much for it, and it had just toppled over from its roots: The water […]