Creatures of New York, Pt. 2

On an early Sunday morning walk in Manhattan, the creatures one runs into are mostly dogs, along with their walkers. But plenty of other fauna can be spotted if you keep a sharp eye. white_pigeon Pigeons are everywhere, of course, but of the billions of pigeons in the city, mere millions are white like this one. If you spot one, you’ll have seven seconds of good luck, or so they say.

Squirrels are common, too, but you usually have to go to a park to see one, unless you are unlucky and one tries to find a warm place to sleep in your home. If this happens to you and you find a squirrel or another kind of wildlife lurking in your home, you can visit a site like to find someone to humanely remove them and get them back to their natural home. This one lords it over a patch of Madison Square Park. squirrel Squirrels feed on nuts, which they stash in the ground all over the place. The species thrives here because the city is full of nuts. (Chock full, even.)

Exiting the park, one may discover wildlife even on a heavily trafficked thruway such as Fifth Avenue, especially in the morning before the tourists have finished their breakfasts. Here, another pigeon has been artfully pressed into service as a window display. paul_smith_dove The culprit: the chain store, an invasive species with no known predators. Oh, but how can you stay mad at Paul Smith? He has that cute little monkey! (Monkey not shown.)

Indigenous New York species tend to be wheeled. Below is a robust yellowbacked streetsweeper, probably a male.


The photo is blurry because sweepers are hard to catch up to, especially in early winter when they’re in a hurry to stock up on food for their brief wintertime hibernation. As a scavenger animal, the highly territorial sweeper must feed for many hours each day.

By contrast, take a look at this sleeping truckus deliverus. This beast maintains its full plumage all year round.