Birds of a Feather (Part 16)

3 min readMay 9

The Sparrow in Central Park

Photo by Manuel Torres Garcia on Unsplash

It’s May in New York City. The trees are in full bloom, the birds are back from their winter’s journey. And most of all, the people are out and about Central Park. As I walked the Jackie Onassis reservoir, the approximate mile and a half around the path that so many New Yorkers and the more than 37 million visitors walk and run, I noticed two Sparrows building their nest for their new family. When I stopped to watch them, with my binoculars, I decided to give them their names, Bella, and Max.

Sparrows are small and agile birds, weighing between .5 and 1.4 ounces. Their wingspan measures between seven and nine inches. They are known for their brown and gray feathers, which help them blend in with the natural surroundings of the park. Nature has created the Sparrow in a way that protects them from their natural predators.

Central Park is known for its abundant trees. More than 180 different species make up the 20,000 trees or more that fill the park with a beauty not known in many parts of the world. Some of the common species of trees include the American Elm, the London Planetree, the Black Cherry, and of course the Red Maple, just to name a few. Each tree has its own characteristics that provide the park with important benefits for its ecosystem. Visitors are blessed to have the shade and clean air from the trees while enjoying the wildlife that surrounds them.

It looked like Bella and Max had just returned from their winter vacation. Their usual place to winter and join up with other Sparrows is the sunny state of Jalisco in Mexico. There is always plenty of food for them in the south. They don’t mind flying over vast open lands and even oceans to get there each year. They show an incredible amount of strength and resilience in the face of enormous challenges to fly thousands of miles south and then return back each year.

Bella and Max’s story reminds us that even in the midst of a busy city, like New York, life can thrive and even flourish because of the hard work and perseverance of Central Park’s team of workers. Keeping the trees and the grounds in this 843-acre wonderland is an amazingly tricky task. Central Park measures two and a half miles from north to south and a half mile from east to west. It is truly an urban oasis among the constantly bustling population of almost nine million who live here and those many million visitors who come to New York City each year.

Bella and Max will soon see their eggs hatch and their young emerge. Bella will always be busy, feeding her chicks, grooming their feathers, and teaching them how to fly. Max will help by bringing home worms and seeds for the young to eat. Within just a few weeks the chicks will be off on their own. As fall approaches they all will once again set off for the journey to Mexico for the winter. Comes the Spring they will all return back to Central Park and the cycle will again continue.

(A Birds of a Feather story from the Wolrad collection #190)


WOLRAD the pen name of Mark Darlow, writer, songwriter, poet, invites you to visit his website at and enjoy his books and songs.