Friday, April 10, 2020

April 10 - Inwood HP - birds and shells

Another one of those strange spring days when the weather was all over the place. At sunup it was clear and sunny. Later it got overcast. It was windy most of the time. I went into the park for a bit around the middle of the day. While in the park there were snow and sleet flurries. A little while later it was partly sunny and then another sleet flurry came through. By the end of the day it was partly sunny again.

There were not a lot of birds around, though one of the highlights was an Osprey seen from the top of the ridge. Strangely, it was flying south. At the bottom of this post you will find a list of 27 species I recorded today.

One bit of local history Inwood Hill Park is famous for is that it is the site of the Native American village of Shorakapok of the Lenape people. Legend has it this is where Peter Minuit supposedly bought Manhattan Island from the Lenape in 1626.. I say legend since Native Americans did not have the same concept of land ownership the Europeans had so it is doubtful that they understood whatever transaction took place as being a "sale" of their land. All that aside, the shell middens of the Shorakapok village are still present in the park. The early spring is the best time to see them before they disappear under vegetation and leaf litter. Below is a picture I took today of a fairly complete oyster shell half surrounded by many small fragments of other shells.

Canada Goose
Double-crested Cormorant
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Sparrow


  1. Fascinating history! Does that mean this shell is 17th century or earlier? Has there ever been an archeological excavation done here? Thanks!

    1. Yes, the shell is that age or older. There were archeological studies done in Inwood from the 1890s through the early 20th Century. It was one of the reasons the park was created. There are accounts in some of the reference books I list in my page on local references here on the blog.

    2. Here is the link to my references page:


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